Back in the early days of talkies when dubbing sound was a difficult process, studios shot the same film a number of times in several languages for export, reports Reuters. Supporting actors were replaced by foreign-speaking extras and the stars were coached to say their lines phonetically. Most of these curiosities now are lost forever, but the Munich Film Museum said last week that Russian archivists have discovered a German-language version of a Laurel and Hardy comedy called Ghost at Midnight, or Spuk um Mitternacht. When it premiered in Berlin on May 5, 1931, it had them rolling in the aisles; the Germans have always had a keen appreciation of schlapstick. The busy comedy team made 17 films in 1931, in English, Spanish, and Italian. But until this recent discovery, their only German title that year was Hinter Schloss und Riegel, which we’re all just a bit sick of seeing.
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