Written and filmed July-September, 1929. Produced by Irving Thalberg. Directed by Lionel Barrymore. Laurel and Hardy scenes directed by Hal Roach. Released by MGM, January, 1930. 115 minutes.

Cast: Lawrence Tibbett, Catherine Dale Owen, Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy.   

STORY: Opera star Lawrence Tibbett plays Yegor, a rogue bandit who happens to have a beautiful singing voice.  Laurel and Hardy play Ali-Bek and Murza-Bek, his bumbling assistants. 

A frame from the few minutes of THE ROGUE SONG that have been found

     One of the most sought-after Lost Films in all of moviedom, and the second most unfortunate missing link in the L&H catalog next to Hats Off. Despite its popularity in its day and despite earning an Academy Award nomination for its star, no known print of ROGUE SONG exists. MGM's original negative and stock print were destroyed in a fire, while all other prints seem to have decomposed away, owing to the fragile state of the old two-color technicolor film stock. It was apparently screened in Russia as recently as the 1960's, but it has been well over sixty years since the film has been seen in America or Europe.

     Though the film was conceived as a vehicle for Metropolitan Opera star Lawrence Tibbett, the film is considered an important loss for Laurel and Hardy fans for several reasons. First is the fact that it features L&H in the most prominent of their guest-star appearances. They are featured in eight scenes, totalling about twenty minutes of screen time. Next is the fact that ROGUE SONG marks their feature-film debut. Though they play supporting roles, it was the most lavish production in which they were ever to appear. Finally, it marks the only vintage appearance by L&H in color.

      The original trailers and a three-minute L&H sequence have been discovered, and the complete soundtrack still exists on disc. Until a complete print is discovered, these fragments are all we have with which to judge the film.