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For film fans, here is a little more information about some of the artistes, directors and genres which feature in our collection. We're starting with some comedy. We'll be adding more Galleries over coming months - feel free to let us know if you have any suggestions.




Laurel and Hardy - A-Haunting We Will Go

Laurel and Hardy

Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy are probably the best known, and best loved (by those who don't find them silly and repetitive) comedy duo in the history of film. First working together in the early 1920s, they successfully made the transition from silent to sound films, and continued making movies until 1950.
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Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man

Abbott and Costello

By 1940, Laurel and Hardy had been eclipsed at the Box Office by Bud Abbott and Lou Costello, who brought their vaudeville routines to contemporary comedies.

When the public started to tire of them, they reached even bigger audiences by switching to a series of comedy horror/thriller films, pairing them with Frankenstein, the Mummy, the Invisible Man and others, as well as sending them to Mars.
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Carry On Abroad

The Carry On Series

As British as a Donald McGill postcard and just as subtle, the Carry On series seems to have been with us forever and is part of our comedy fabric. Running initially from Sergeant in 1958 to Emmannuelle in 1978, reviving for Columbus in 1992, it is now threatening to return again next year with London.
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Charlie Chaplin - The Great Dictator

Charlie Chaplin

What can be said about Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin in a few lines? Criticised while alive for old fashioned direction and over-sentimentality, and critically eclipsed after his death by Buster Keaton, he was nevertheless the first global superstar.

His films remain - quite simply - very, very funny; whether it's the Little Tramp in the Yukon, Adenoid Hynkel toying with his globe, or Monsieur Verdoux trying to murder another wife.
more details about Charlie Chaplin


The Marx Brothers - The Big Store

The Marx Brothers

Groucho, Chico and Harpo have been entertaining film fans for nearly 80 years. They were always popular while they were making movies between 1929 and 1949. They later carved out successful individual tv careers which kept them in the public eye. Their films were discovered by a new generation of students and film academics in the 1960s

Groucho was still performing to sell out houses in his 80s. They have been top sellers on video and DVD. And as recently as 2004, a series of their films brought the house down at the NFT.
more details about Charlie Chaplin


Road to Rio

The Road to...Series

There were buddy movies before and there have been since. There were road trip movies before and have been since. Bing and Bob weren't the first comedy double act, and certainly weren't the last. But it's hard to find a group of films which can match the Road series for pure fun. Put it there, Pal.
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Allez Oop - Buster Keaton

Buster Keaton

The Great Stone Face, so-nicknamed because he didn't laugh or smile on camera, started his comedy life as a baby on the vaudeville stage in his parents' act. By the mid 1920s, his popularity as a silent film comedian was approaching Chaplin's.

Eighty years on, the debate continues - was Buster funnier than Charlie? Or is it apples and pears?
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The Nutty Professor - Jerry Lewis

Jerry Lewis

The film career of Jerry Lewis has spanned more than fifty years, from new comedy kid on the block, to elder industry statesman.

He started out with Dean Martin, and after the team split his solo career continued; with Jerry writing, directing, producing and starring in many of his own vehicles. Unlike Chaplin, he has never yet managed also to compose his own scores.
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Carlton-Browne of the FO

Terry-Thomas

Thomas Terry Hoar-Stevens, born into a middle class English family, realised at a young age that accent and attire were important attributes in getting ahead in the 1930s.

So he re-invented himself as the spiffily dressed, cigarette holder brandishing, gap-toothed, moustachioed T-T. Cue forty years of stage, television, British, American and international film stardom.
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The Man With the Golden Arm Insert

Saul Bass

There have been few movie poster artists whose skill and reputation elevates a film's advertising materials to "art" status even amongst purists.

For many, the best of them all was Saul Bass. A leading graphic designer, his film title and poster design work is instantly recognisable, producing some of the finest and most collectable examples of design led film posters and lobby cards.
more details about Saul Bass