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BOOTLEG FILES 581: “Zenobia” (1939 comedy starring Oliver Hardy, Harry Langdon and Hattie McDaniel).
LAST SEEN: An unauthorized posting from a TCM telecast is on YouTube.
AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: A 1997 VHS video release.
REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: A film that slipped through the cracks.
CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: It is not a priority.
In 1939, producer Hal Roach announced that he was creating a new film that teamed Oliver Hardy with Harry Langdon. This was not something that Hardy welcomed, but he had no choice. Hardy and his longtime partner Stan Laurel were signed to separate contracts with Roach – their teaming came about by accident rather than design – but after a dispute involving the production of the team’s 1938 feature “Block-Heads,” Roach terminated Laurel’s contract. With Hardy still under contract for another year, the producer looked about for a vehicle to fit his rotund comedy star.