Although no print of this film is known to exist, the complete 90-minute soundtrack does. MGM transferred early sound discs to tape and approximately half of this material was released on LP in the early 1980s - on an obscure label. This included parts of the dialogue but was mainly the musical numbers. This is the only Laurel and Hardy "feature" film no longer available. Please check your attic.
A brief Technicolor clip in poor quality survives of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy involved with a bear in a cave.
This is the film that contains the infamous scene where Lawrence Tibbett sings while he is tied between two posts and whipped.
This title was originally one of over 700 features included in the MGM feature film package which was initially sold to local television stations in 1956; however, there is no record of the film ever actually having been shown, and later editions of the TV Key Book list it as "Withdrawn by MGM-TV; Bad Negative"; the same situation applies to Caught Short (1930).
Just prior to release, scenes with Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy were filmed interspersed throughout the film to increase box-office appeal.
" The Rogue Song " was the seventh most popular movie at the U.S. box office for 1930.
The film premiere took place at Grauman's Chinese Theatre on Friday 17th January 1930.
The original MGM print was destroyed by fire and that owned by the Technicolor Corporation was also destroyed.
Franz Lehar wrote the story, an operetta, in 1910 with the title translated from German as 'Gypsy Love'. It was to be a mammoth production early in MGM's sound era. One of it's selling points was it's filming in two colour Technicolor. It was MGM's first all talking prestige product. Songs and major production values were added to give the film a contemporary flavour.
Laurel and Hardy were an after thought and were added after much of the film had been shot. Their scenes were inserted to give the film a lighter appearance.
Stan and Ollie appeared in only one scene with Lawrence Tibett. Their other appearances as bandits in Yegor's gang were eight bits integrated into the film which included Stan eats a piece of cheese covered with flies and when he opens his mouth there's a strange buzzing noise, Stan is shaving Ollie and as he's lathering Ollie some attractive ladies pass by, Stan is distracted and puts the brush in Ollie's mouth. Next he sharpens the razor on a rock that lands on Ollie's toes.
The film was premiered at Grauman's Chinese Theatre on Friday 17 January 1930. Despite it getting mixed reviews it did well at the box office and played for months in New York and throughout the States. It was released in Europe about a year later.
Most of the dialogue was translated into other languages except for Lawrence Tibbett's songs.
Initially enthusiastic about loaning his prized comics for an MGM blockbuster, Hal Roach was horrified to learn that neither Lionel Barrymore, the director, nor producers Irving Thalberg and Paul Berm, had any idea how to incorporate Laurel and Hardy into the picture. They thought they could simply put a camera on The Boys and they would be funny. Roach hastily and reluctantly agreed to stay on and pilot some of their scenes, although they never fully integrated with the principal players. Roach would be much more careful about loan-outs in the future.