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The Lucky Dog
Babe Hardy made his first movie in 1914, at Lubin, and Stan's first movie was in 1917, his only film that year.
By 1920, both were household names for cinema audiences and - as freelance actors - were in demand from all the major studios.
At the end of 1920, Essanay Studios booked Stan to star in a short comedy called The Lucky Dog, and they asked Jess Robbins to direct the movie and supervise the camera-work. Robbins looked at the script and realised that Babe Hardy was now a renowned "villainous heavy" and took him along, Robbins using his position as director to cover casting.
The Essanay company was a partnership between George Spoor and  Gilbert "Broncho Billy" Anderson, but in 1914 Anderson took over management of the Longacre Theater in New York and made no films again until 1920.
Jess Robbins also took a break from movies, and made none between 1914 and 1919.
Robbins came back into movies in 1919, and Anderson (briefly) in 1920/1. The Sun-Lite production company's facilities were used, but the hold-up scenes were filmed by the perimeter fence of the ostrich farm at Lincoln Heights.
Stan and Babe had not met before, but they had seen each other's movies and had mutual respect. Stan and Robbins worked closely on the script and action, and Stan was able to show Hardy what could be made funny, though it has to be admitted that for all its other worth, this is not a rib-cracker.
It does, though, have a momentous place in movie history, as the film in which Laurel and Hardy worked together for the first time, though by no means as a team; it was first and foremost a two-reel comedy starring Stan Laurel.
According to studio records, this movie was made during January 1921 and released on October 10th later that year.
The female lead in this movie is Florence Gilbert, who started her career in movies in 1920 and this was her 10th film.
The butler in this film is Stan Laurel's brother Teddy, who arrived in the USA in 1920 (as Stan's driver) and this was his second screen appearance (of only 6).
The name of the dog is unknown.
Robbins used some of the camera-trick techniques that had evolved from George Melies' pioneering work, and the film uses reverse-shooting and "ghosting" techniques that were revolutionary at the time, although D. W. Griffith had also used them and more besides.
There are no records of the film's "box office" and it is not mentioned in any catalogues of the big distributors of the day. But it was a chance for Hardy to show his acting skills beyond the "fat bumbler" of Plump and Runt, and the opportunity for Stan to work closely with an experienced and creative director, both on location shoots and in the studios. And in the long-term, it was life-changing for both their careers, and for film comedy.


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