Hal Roach

Highest Rated: 100% Topper Returns (1941)
Lowest Rated: 60% Swiss Miss (1938)
Birthday: Jan 14, 1892
Birthplace: Not Available
American producer/director Hal Roach was overtaken by wanderlust early in life. Leaving his upstate New York home in his teens, Roach was an Alaskan gold prospector and mule skinner before he reached the age of twenty. In 1912, he spotted an ad placed by Hollywood's Universal Pictures offering a dollar a day for genuine cowboys to act as western technical advisers. Roach spent the next year making the rounds as an extra, in the company of his new friend Harold Lloyd. As the result of a small inheritance, Roach bought an office in Los Angeles' Bradbury Mansion in 1914, set up a small film production unit, and hired Lloyd as his star comedian. Roach's initial "Willie Work" one-reelers found no buyers, and, when the funds ran out, Lloyd left briefly for Keystone while Roach signed on as a director with the Chaplin unit at Essanay. Teaming with Dan Lintchicum, Roach re-entered the production end with his new Rolin Phunphilm Company; Lloyd returned to the fold, this time as a Chaplin rip-off character named Lonesome Luke. Throughout 1916 and 1917, Roach released his "Luke" comedies through Pathe; the films were popular not only because of the seemingly bottomless reserve of sight gags, but also because Roach insisted upon emphasizing strong story values as well as slapstick. In 1917, Lloyd dropped his "Luke" makeup in favor of his now-famous "glasses" character. While both Lloyd and Roach would later take credit for hitting upon the innovation of allowing a comedian to play "himself" rather than a heavily made-up buffoon, the important end result was that Lloyd became the most popular comic working in films. To ensure a consistency of product, Roach set up a preview system for the Lloyd comedies, screening them before test audiences and re-editing them for full comic impact before their general release. Roach began adding to his comic roster in 1919, building comedies around such stars as Snub Pollard, Stan Laurel, and black youngster "Sunshine" Sammy Morrison. He also gave a free creative hand to such writers and directors as Charley Chase, Alf Goulding, and Fred Newmeyer, who controlled the output while Roach concentrated on administrative duties. Chancing to see a couple of kids arguing over a block of wood in 1922, Roach decided that a series of comedies built around the joys and problems of real-life children would clean up at the box office. The result was "Our Gang", one of the longest-lasting short subjects series of all time (1922-44). Writer/director Charley Chase became Roach's top comedian after Lloyd left in 1924, turning out a successful yearly manifest of sophisticated domestic comedies; many of these were directed by Leo McCarey, who became Roach's supervising director. According to many contemporaries, it was McCarey and not Roach who first fully realized the potential of teaming comedian/gagman/director Stan Laurel with supporting actor Oliver Hardy in late 1926 -- culminating in the most successful series of two-reelers ever made at the Roach Studio. Unlike other independents, Roach was not intimidated in the least by the coming of sound in 1929. A sweetheart deal with RCA Victor and Western Electric enabled Roach to turn out the most technically proficient talkie shorts on the market, enhanced by the lilting background music scores (another innovation) written by LeRoy Shield and Marvin Hatley. With Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, Our Gang, and Charley Chase going full blast in the early 1930s, Roach developed several new series: The Boy Friends, The Taxi Boys, Thelma Todd/ZaSu Pitts and Thelma Todd/Patsy Kelly. Committed to the short subject form, Roach declared that he wanted to make 20-minute films with the production gloss usually associated with feature films. But the diminishing shorts market in the mid 1930s forced Roach to rethink his policy and concentrate on feature films. He'd been making features sporadically since the Harold Lloyd days in 1922. His two most successful productions, Lloyd's Grandma's Bo

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

CREDIT
No Score Yet Putting Pants On Philip Producer 2014
No Score Yet Captain Kidd's Kids Director 2014
No Score Yet Unaccustomed As We Are Director 2011
No Score Yet Hal Roach: King of Irish Comedy Actor 2004
No Score Yet George Stevens: A Filmmaker's Journey Himself 1984
No Score Yet Magnavox Theater - "The Three Musketeers" Director 1950
No Score Yet Two Mugs from Brooklyn Producer 1942
No Score Yet Niagara Falls Executive Producer 1941
No Score Yet Tanks a Million Producer 1941
No Score Yet Broadway Limited (The Baby Vanishes ) Producer 1941
100% Topper Returns Producer 1941
No Score Yet Road Show Director Producer 1941
No Score Yet All-American Co-Ed Producer 1941
No Score Yet Turnabout Director Producer 1940
No Score Yet Saps at Sea Producer 1940
No Score Yet One Million B.C. Director Producer 1940
No Score Yet A Chump at Oxford Producer 1940
No Score Yet The Housekeeper's Daughter Director Producer 1939
No Score Yet Zenobia, (Elephants Never Forget) Producer 1939
No Score Yet Topper Takes a Trip Producer 1938
No Score Yet There Goes My Heart Producer 1938
60% Swiss Miss Director 1938
No Score Yet Merrily We Live Producer 1938
No Score Yet Our Gang Follies Of 1938 Producer 1937
94% Topper Producer 1937
No Score Yet Nobody's Baby Producer 1937
No Score Yet Pick a Star Producer 1937
No Score Yet General Spanky Producer 1936
No Score Yet On the Wrong Trek Producer 1936
No Score Yet The Bohemian Girl Producer 1936
No Score Yet Second Childhood Producer 1936
No Score Yet Mister Cinderella Producer 1936
No Score Yet Bonnie Scotland (Heroes of the Regiment) Producer 1935
No Score Yet Teacher's Beau Producer 1935
No Score Yet The Fixer Uppers Producer 1935
100% Babes In Toyland Producer 1934
No Score Yet The Live Ghost Producer 1934
No Score Yet Them Thar Hills Producer 1934
No Score Yet Dirty Work Producer 1933
No Score Yet Busy Bodies Producer 1933
100% Sons of the Desert Producer 1933
No Score Yet Sherman Said It Producer 1933
No Score Yet The Devil's Brother Director Producer 1933
No Score Yet Twice Two Producer 1933
No Score Yet Towed in a Hole Producer 1932
No Score Yet Their First Mistake Producer 1932
No Score Yet Pack Up Your Troubles Producer 1932
No Score Yet Scram! Producer 1932
No Score Yet County Hospital Producer 1932
No Score Yet The Chimp Producer 1932
No Score Yet The Music Box Producer 1932
No Score Yet Red Noses Producer 1932
No Score Yet Helpmates Producer 1932
No Score Yet Beau Hunks Producer 1931
No Score Yet One Good Turn Producer 1931
No Score Yet The Panic Is On Producer 1931
No Score Yet Pardon Us Prisoners Marching in Formation Near Hardy Producer 1931
No Score Yet Our Wife Producer 1931
No Score Yet Laurel and Hardy Producer 1931
No Score Yet Chickens Come Home Producer Screenwriter 1931
No Score Yet Laurel and Hardy Producer 1931
No Score Yet Another Fine Mess Producer 1930
No Score Yet The Little Rascals Producer 1930
No Score Yet The Rogue Song Director 1930
No Score Yet Blotto Producer 1930
No Score Yet La Vida Nocturna Producer 1930
No Score Yet Brats Screenwriter Producer 1930
No Score Yet Night Owls Producer 1930
No Score Yet Hog Wild Producer 1930
No Score Yet Laurel and Hardy Producer 1930
No Score Yet Bacon Grabbers Producer 1929
No Score Yet Liberty (Criminals at Large) Producer 1929
No Score Yet Unaccustomed As We Are Director Producer 1929
No Score Yet Double Whoopee Producer 1929
No Score Yet Laurel and Hardy Producer 1929
No Score Yet Wrong Again Producer 1929
No Score Yet Laurel and Hardy Producer 1929
No Score Yet Big Business Producer 1929
No Score Yet That's My Wife Producer 1929
No Score Yet Laurel and Hardy Producer 1929
No Score Yet Angora Love Producer 1929
No Score Yet Laurel and Hardy Producer 1929
No Score Yet They Go Boom! Producer 1929
No Score Yet Two Tars Producer 1928
No Score Yet Should Married Men Go Home? Producer 1928
No Score Yet Their Purple Moment Producer 1928
No Score Yet From Soup To Nuts Producer 1928
No Score Yet The Finishing Touch Producer 1928
No Score Yet Leave 'Em Laughing Screenwriter Producer 1928
No Score Yet We Faw Down We Slip Up Producer 1928
No Score Yet Habeas Corpus Producer 1928
No Score Yet You're Darn Tootin' Producer 1928
No Score Yet Early to Bed Producer 1928
No Score Yet The Second Hundred Years Producer 1927
No Score Yet Why Girls Love Sailors Screenwriter Producer 1927
No Score Yet Love 'Em and Weep Producer 1927
No Score Yet Slipping Wives Producer 1927
No Score Yet Duck Soup Producer 1927
No Score Yet Do Detectives Think? Screenwriter 1927
No Score Yet The Battle of the Century Screenwriter Producer 1927
No Score Yet The Devil Horse Producer 1926
No Score Yet The Nickel Hopper Producer Screenwriter 1926
No Score Yet Black Cyclone Screenwriter Producer 1925
No Score Yet What Price Goofy? Screenwriter 1925
No Score Yet The King of the Wild Horses Producer 1924
No Score Yet Oranges and Lemons Producer 1923
97% Safety Last! Producer 1923
No Score Yet Why Worry? Producer 1923
No Score Yet Dr. Jack Screenwriter Producer 1922
No Score Yet Grandma's Boy Screenwriter Producer 1922
No Score Yet Never Weaken Screenwriter Producer 1921
No Score Yet I Do Screenwriter Director 1921
No Score Yet Hal Roach: King of Irish Comedy Actor 1921
No Score Yet Among Those Present Screenwriter Director 1921
No Score Yet A Sailor-Made Man Producer Screenwriter 1921
No Score Yet Now Or Never Director 1921
No Score Yet Number, Please? Director 1920
No Score Yet High and Dizzy Director Producer 1920
No Score Yet Get Out and Get Under Director Producer 1920
No Score Yet An Eastern Westerner Director Producer 1920
No Score Yet Haunted Spooks Producer Director 1920
No Score Yet His Royal Slyness Director 1920
No Score Yet Nomads of the North Producer 1920
No Score Yet From Hand to Mouth Director 1919
No Score Yet Bumping into Broadway Director 1919
No Score Yet Just Neighbors Producer 1919
No Score Yet Billy Blazes, Esq. Director Producer 1919
No Score Yet Ask Father Producer 1919
No Score Yet Young Mr. Jazz Director Producer 1919
No Score Yet I'm on My Way Producer 1919
No Score Yet Don't Shove Producer 1919
No Score Yet Just Rambling Along Director Producer 1918
No Score Yet Take a Chance Producer 1918
No Score Yet All Aboard Producer 1917
No Score Yet Luke's Shattered Sleep Director
No Score Yet Luke's Movie Muddle Director

QUOTES FROM Hal Roach CHARACTERS

No quotes approved yet.