Am I the only one who wants a massive Wheeler & Woolsey boxset?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Tory, Apr 18, 2005.

  1. Tory

    Tory -The Snappy Sneezer- -Red Huck-

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    They made 21 films together and only three of them have found their way to DVD, Alpha's Hook Line & Sinker and Half Shot at Sunrise and Roan's Dixiana. We need more, all,restored with bonus features, at last the ones with Dorothy Lee in prominent roles. Surely someone else feels this way. Are they all PD?
     
  2. John Whittle

    John Whittle Stunt Coordinator

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    The films are not all PD and several are running this Friday on TCM as part of their "April Fools" Festival.

    I know that Warners has made a new print from the nitrate negative of "Half Shot" which is far superior to anything out now. The end of Dixiana (the last reel was in Technicolor--and for years on TV the film was just cut at the end of the black and white part) color sequence has been restored but I don't know the copyright status or the status of the balance of the picture.

    One of the sad aspects of copyright and PD status is that many pictures are not made available from pristine source material when they hit PD status.

    I find many of the comedies of the 30s and 40s fun viewing and it's ashame we're deprived of them.

    John
     
  3. Bob Graham

    Bob Graham Supporting Actor

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    Count me in for a W&W boxset! Olson & Johnson, too!
     
  4. Tory

    Tory -The Snappy Sneezer- -Red Huck-

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    That Technicolor ending is on the Roan Group release and of the three titles released, it looks and sounds the best, I think the Alpha's are copies of VHS tapes. Roan's DVD includes a bonus short called La Cucaraha, the first 3-strip Technicolor live-action film.I can't believe it would air without the ending, so incomplete.

    Oh, incidentally, I just bought Woolsey's autograph off of EBay, i hope it is legit but I did not spend much money. He sketched a small caricature of a self portrait on it
     
  5. Doug Bull

    Doug Bull Advanced Member

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    A lot of their RKO Radio titles were released on Laserdisc.
    Most are in reasonably good condition.

    As a comedy team, they are not in the same league as Martin and Lewis, Abbot and Costello, Laurel and Hardy, etc.

    I rather like Bert Wheeler as he has a good personality and can sing and dance quite well , but as for Robert Woolsey, I find him annoying, untalented and not at all funny.

    I love old Musicals, so I have collected almost all of their available movies, not for the laboured comedy, but for the highly enjoyable musical sequences that most contain. (although I guess most of their Movies are nevertheless quite entertaining)

    RIO RITA (1929) has an enjoyable 2 strip Technicolor finale and is one of my favourites.

    Would I buy a DVD box set?
    I guess I would, so count me in.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Bert Greene

    Bert Greene Second Unit

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    Oh, yeah, I'd buy a set. Their films can be hit or miss, to be sure. But, I seem to recall particularly liking "Hold 'em Jail," "Peach O'Reno," and "Diplomaniacs." Several others, too, now that I think about it. I got a big kick out of seeing and meeting Dorothy Lee (their frequent leading-lady) at a film convention several years back, and listening to her reminisce about the duo.
     
  7. Rob_Ray

    Rob_Ray Screenwriter
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    I'm also fond of "Kentucky Kernels," "Hips Hips Hooray," "So This is Africa" (a Columbia precoder) and perhaps my favorite, "Cockeyed Cavaliers".

    When they're good, they're quite funny. When they're not, they're really bad. See "Mummy's Boys" for proof.
     
  8. BarryR

    BarryR Supporting Actor

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    I'd certainly appreciate a DVD box set of their films, ditto Olsen & Johnson (problem with O & J is that they did a number of key films for Universal--I have little optimism about that being a big priority!); let's hear it for lesser known comedy teams! W & W did some memorable films; I'm glad I got my share of the laser disc titles in the '90s. As laser gave way to DVD, they were being dumped for $5.99 apiece!

    This indirectly reminds me--we also need an Eddie Cantor box set....WHOOPEE, PALMY DAYS, KID MILLIONS....would be great.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. John_S

    John_S Stunt Coordinator

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    I would definately buy a Wheeler & Woolsey boxset- particularly for "Cockeyed Cavaliers" and "Hips Hips Hurray"!
     
  10. Doug Bull

    Doug Bull Advanced Member

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    I second an Eddie Cantor set, although the Laserdiscs of his Goldwyn Films all look pretty good.

    With the recent buy out of MGM, who now owns the rights to the Samuel Goldwyn Library?

    I would like to see the Goldwyn, Technicolored Danny Kaye titles released as a box set as well. ( "Up in Arms" with the lovely Dinah Shore especially )
     
  11. Tony Bensley

    Tony Bensley Producer

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    Count me in as being STRONGLY in favor of a complete Wheeler & Woolsey boxset! I have several of their films from TCM! Have been waiting for years for them to get around to showing my favorite COCKEYED CAVALIERS, only to find that TCM Canada isn't airing it on their feed!!! IMAGINE MY FRUSTRATION!!!!!! All I have is a very poor VHS print recorded from late night T.V. THAT'S over 20 years old!! All I'll say is if anyone can steer me to a decent copy of it, PLEASE LET ME KNOW!!!
     
  12. Steve Armbrust

    Steve Armbrust Second Unit

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    In the WB chat a couple of years ago, I remember that WB claimed the masters for most W&W movies were in bad shape and needed restoration before they could be released, something WB had no plans to do. However, these films seem ideal candidates for the Warner Archives program. Because of the prices, I haven't purchased any archive discs yet. But for W&W, I would open my wallet and let the moths fly out.
     
  13. ahollis

    ahollis Producer

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    MGM still has control over the Goldwyn Library. There has not been a buy out yet. That now seems to be a dead issue with a chapter 11 filing in the future and reorganization.
     
  14. John Morgan

    John Morgan Supporting Actor

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    I think DIPLOMANIACS is my favorite...sort of in the "Duck Soup" mold. Also really enjoy HIPS, HIPS, HOORAY, THE NITWITS, THE RAINMAKERS, PEACH-O-RENO...I guess I would buy a box set too.

    Along with RIO RITA, TCM has shown THE CUCKOOS with the color sequences and DIXIANA.

    I transferred all the ones I had on laser onto DVD, and the rest I got from TCM. I think SO THIS IS AFRICA played on TCM years ago. This Columbia film was heavily censored, I think.

    I remember a studio day back when lasers were the thing, the Universal representative said they would love to put their four Olsen and Johnson films in a set, but there were some legal hassles to work out. HELLZAPOPPIN' was released by Universal in Europe and played on Canadian cable. AMC had a beautiful transfer for CRAZY HOUSE years ago. The other Universal's are on pretty pitiful bootlegs. Heard a few stories about the legal problems of these films...Jerry Lewis had rights when he wanted to do an update on HELLZAPOPPIN' and the guy who played the robot in LOST IN SPACE had some involvement in some way. I don't know.
     
  15. Brent S

    Brent S Second Unit

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    The late Bob May is the grandson of Chic Johnson, and was the families' appointed manager of the comedy team's intellectual properties. The O&J estates have authorship rights to HELLZAPOPPIN', CRAZY HOUSE, SONS O' FUN, etc.
     
  16. Mark Edward Heuck

    Mark Edward Heuck Screenwriter

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    I could be mistaken, but I believe the Nedelander organization, having mounted the original stage production of HELLZAPOPPPIN', has an interest in the movie as well and thus must sign off on any release, and/or receive a licensing fee from Universal.
     
  17. Tony Bensley

    Tony Bensley Producer

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    I currently have nearly all of the Wheeler and Woolsey titles, including a pair of early 1930's titles, each featuring just one of them. Since my earlier posting, I was able to finally get "Cockeyed Cavaliers". Ironically, it was on the Canadian feed substituting a Laurel and Hardy marathon a few months back, as it was a substitute Canadian feed that deprived me of seeing this film last August! The only W&W titles I don't have are "So This Is Africa" and their last movie together "High Flyers" (AKA "The Kangaroos", according to TCM's film database). It's a shame that most of these titles are not available on DVD, but at least the TCM titles are unedited and commercial free!
     

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