Lost Laurel and Hardy film is found

BERLIN (AP) -- Laurel and Hardy, masters of foreign languages?
German film historians have tracked a long-lost copy of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy's early sound work to an archive in Moscow housing a 1931 film the comedy duo performed entirely in German, the Munich Film Museum said this week.
But lest anyone get too impressed, Germans who have seen clips from the film are far more approving of the comedy -- some of it unintentional -- than by the pair's accents.
"It's important as a curiosity," said Klaus Volkmer, a spokesman for the Munich Film Museum, which discovered the film. "You can't actually understand what they say. It's funny."
The mismatched team shot their 1930s films first in English, then reshot them with the same dialogue translated into German, French and Spanish -- which they spoke phonetically -- because it was so difficult to synchronize voices and actions in the early days of the talkies.
The German-language film, "Spuk um Mitternacht" ("Ghost at Midnight"), is pieced together from two other Laurel and Hardy shorter films, "The Laurel-Hardy Murder Case" and "Berth Marks," the Munich museum said.
It will have three showings in Germany -- Saturday in Bonn and two at the Munich Film Museum on Oct. 26 and 27.

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