Stan & Ollie

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Not recommended under 8; parental guidance to 10 (mild language and themes).

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Stan & Ollie
  • a review of Stan & Ollie completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 25 February 2019.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 8 Not recommended due to lack of interest.
Children aged 8–10 Ok for this age group however parental guidance is recommended due to mild coarse language and some mature themes.
Children aged 11 and over Ok for this age group.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines. Other classification advice (OC) is provided where the Australian film classification is not available.

Name of movie: Stan & Ollie
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild coarse language
Length: 98 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Now in semi-retirement, the famous comedy duo, Stan Laurel (Steve Coogan) and Oliver Hardy (John C Reilly), attempt to rekindle their comedy careers in post-war Britain.  With a potential new film on the horizon, the pair begin a comedy tour of classic and fresh material.  For the ageing friends however, the gruelling nature of the task becomes all the more difficult when they are forced to do constant media appearances to garner interest.  As Ollie’s health declines, and Stan battles in vain to keep the upcoming film afloat, the tour threatens to open old wounds that might just tear the duo apart.  With their wives Lucille Hardy (Shirley Henderson) and Ida Kitaeva Laurel (Nina Arianda) in tow, Stan and Ollie reflect on their inevitable final curtain call, and their lifelong friendship.


Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Friendship and breakdown of friendship; illness; marriage; divorce.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is very mild slapstick violence throughout this movie. For example:

  • Ollie and Stan hit each other on the head with mallets and other objects during their performances.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

Apart from the above-mentioned slapstick violent scenes, there is nothing in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

In addition to the above-mentioned slapstick violence there is one scene in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged five to eight, including the following:

  • Ollie collapses (and is later said to have had a heart attack). This may distress some children as it is clear that he is very unwell.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

  • Nothing of concern.

Thirteen and overinfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

  • Nothing of concern.

Product placement

  • There is no product placement in this film. 

Sexual references

There are some mild sexual and romantic references in this movie, including:

  • Ollie and his wife lay in bed together. They cuddle and kiss lightly.
  • Stan and his wife kiss lightly.

Nudity and sexual activity

  • Nothing of concern.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • Frequent smoking of cigarettes and cigars.
  • Frequent drinking of wine, spirits, and beer.
  • Ollie takes prescription medication.

Coarse language

There is some mild coarse language in this movie, including:

  • Damn
  • Ass (smart ass; pain in the ass)

In a nutshell

Stan & Ollie is a tender yet bittersweet biopic, following the final public appearances of the comedy duo Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy.  With glorious performances by the leading men, this film is funny and touching, and will be appreciated by those with even a passing acquaintance with the titular characters.  The film may feel slow to younger audiences, and children under 13 are likely to find this film lacks interest.  While there is little content of concern, parental guidance may still be warranted for children under 10 due to mild language, mild substance use, and themes of friendship breakdown, illness, and death. 

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Friendship and love
  • Supporting and caring for those closest to us in times of need
  • Forgiveness

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as

  • Gambling