If you have any comments
regarding The Charlie Hall Picture Archive or would like to submit a
review of the book then please
Dean, your book is really smashing! A must have
for everyone interested in Laurel and Hardy Land! The pictures are
all stunning and fascinating, it's hard to put this book down.
A job more than well done. Bravo!
I don't think I am overstating the case when I say
that this is one of the most exciting books ever to have been
written by a Son of the Desert. There has never been anything quite
like this before! Very skilfully compiled by Dean McKeown, it takes
you right into Charlie's personal life and work in a way which
leaves you feeling you have finally got to know that little chap
Willie McIntyre, author of The Laurel and Hardy
Digest and Bowler Dessert Magazine.
Dean McKeown's "The Charlie Hall Picture Archive"
is a well written visual masterpiece. I can't imagine any
admirer of Laurel and Hardy being without this work....The book
makes the reader feel close to Charlie's career and illustrates the
expression "pictures are worth a thousand words."
Part of Roger Gordon's excellent review in the
Intra-Tent Journal, issue 133, Summer 2009.
'Laurel and Hardy fans will devour and enjoy The Charlie Hall Picture Archive. It is the next best thing to having known the diminutive chap from Birmingham, England, the one who advertised himself in casting directories as "(Little) Charles Hall." He did so in order to distinguish himself from the similarly British-born art director and production designer Charles D Hall. Evidently the two men were even born the same year.
Besides the illustrations in Dean McKeown's book, and Charlie Hall's own captions for them, I enjoyed the text. I learned some things I did not know, giving a better sense of who this man really was.
And right when so many of us believe there are no more Laurel and Hardy still photos yet to be unearthed, more surface. It seems there are always more to discover - a good thing!'
Richard Bann on
the Official Laurel and Hardy Website read the whole review
Thank you very much for dedicating all this time
and energy in one of the most popular colleagues of the Boys.
Peter van Rooij
This is a lovely book, well presented and
beautiful photographs of Charlie and his family, as you go through
this book, you get to feel the love and hard work that went into
producing this wonderful 'Diary' of Charlie's life, because that's
what it's like, a Diary in Charlie's own words ! Also, the research
that Dean has put into this work, (for example) finding a copy of
the passenger manifest going through Ellis Island ! Couldn't have
been easy! All these little extras help to form a wonderful
compilation of Charlie's early life in America, and becoming a great
'Foil' for the 'Boys'. Thank you Dean, We are Indebted to you
for this long overdue account of one of the great co-stars of L. &
Many thanks for letting us share a truly
remarkable piece of history- and a thoroughly good read.
Despite a list of acting credits as long as your
arm, Charlie Hall is not a name that is instantly recognisable to
any but the most ardent classic film fans. Born in Birmingham,
England in 1899, Hall emigrated to America in his twentieth year. As
a trained carpenter he found work behind the scene in New York film
studios before eventually finding himself in front of the camera.
Today he is best remembered for his appearances as a foil to the
ever popular Laurel and Hardy during their heyday at the Hal Roach
film studios in the 1930s.
It is to Laurel and Hardy fan Dean McKeown’s credit that, when he
purchased a batch of photographs from the person collection of 1930s
character actor and comedian Charlie Hall, he felt no desire to
horde historic artefacts to himself. Instead he immediately set to
work assembling this book as a means of sharing the images with
interested parties world wide. Hundreds of photos are presented
uncropped in this 170-page, large format soft-back book and are
given context by Dean’s well researched text.
Beyond simply collecting film stills (although there are many fine
examples of these), The Charlie Hall Picture Archive delves into the
actors personal snaps. Many of the photographs were taken during a
visit from his mother, who still lived in England. Mother Hall was
given a full tour of her son’s new home and fans of classic
Hollywood film making are bound to pleased with the visual record of
the city that has been preserved in these informal snaps. The fact
that Hall kept such a detailed record of her visit perhaps hints to
the fact that he regretted not seeing her more during his adult life
and the book is all the more worthwhile for this kind of insight.
I must say The Charlie Hall Picture Archive is
very professionally put together. The photos are astounding,
especially those of Charlie by his dressing room, in Stan's garden
and so many others - and to see his comments in his own writing -
stunning. It is a remarkable and attractive book. What a
treasure of information this book is. I always wondered about
co-stars like Charlie and what their lives were like and you have
created the definitive source for just that. You really put
your heart and soul into this.
WOW, let's have a book like yours about every
Laurel and Hardy co-star!!! Congratulations, I haven't read it
completely yet but of course I've seen every single page and photo!
The photo on page 135 is from the 1933 short comedy 'In the Dough'
with Dougie Wakefield and Billy Nelson. The photo on page 145
is from the 1932 short 'The Soilers' directed by George Marshall.