TCM Archives: The Laurel And Hardy Collection in April

Discussion in 'DVD' started by John Hodson, Dec 19, 2005.

  1. John Hodson

    John Hodson Producer

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    Fantastic L&H news at DVD Times:

    Warner Home Video have announced the Region 1 DVD release of TCM Archives: The Laurel And Hardy Collection for 18th April 2006 priced at $39.92 SRP. Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, Hollywood’s most-beloved comedy duo, let loose on DVD April 18 in a brand-new release built around two of their best, but rarely seen, feature films -- TCM Archives: The Laurel And Hardy Collection. This deluxe two-disc set from Warner Home Video features the slapstick team’s The Devil’s Brother and Bonnie Scotland, (both newly restored from original nitrate film elements) and a number of bonus features.

    Highlights of the bonus features are a full-length documentary Added Attractions: The Hollywood Shorts Story, narrated by Chevy Chase, which showcases not only the early films of Laurel and Hardy but also dozens of stars who developed a huge following from appearing in short subjects, such as The Little Rascals (Our Gang) and The Three Stooges. Also included in the extras are excerpts from several of the pair’s movies, including the only surviving footage from the “lost film” The Rogue Song.

    Laurel and Hardy -- enduringly popular, perhaps because their irresistible antics were underscored by an indomitable optimism -- made 104 full-length features and shorts together, never running out of comic ideas or insane inventions. Accidentally paired up in the mid-twenties’ silent era while both were under contract to Hal Roach, their comedy styles meshed so well that they gained immediate popularity with audiences. Unlike many of their peers, they easily survived the talkie revolution to become even greater stars during the Great Depression of the 1930s, when audiences craved escapist fare.

    Stan Laurel (the thin one) did much of the writing and some of the directing. Oliver Hardy, known as "Babe" to his friends, mostly golfed when away from the movie set, leaving the more creative work to his partner Stan.

    Some of Laurel and Hardy’s other classics include The Battle of the Century (1927), the Academy Award®-winning The Music Box (1932), Sons of the Desert (1933) and Way Out West (1937).

    The Devil’s Brother (1933) (AKA “Fra Diavolo”)

    Laurel and Hardy set the tone for their musical romps to come (The Bohemian Girl, Swiss Miss, Babes in Toyland) with this delightful comic interpretation of the 1830 Auber operetta “Fra Diavolo.” Co-starring Dennis King and frequent foil James Finlayson, the film’s leading lady is Hal Roach favorite Thelma Todd – also known for her appearances opposite comedy legends Jimmy Durante, The Marx Brothers, Wheeler & Woolsey and Joe E. Brown.

    Blundering blunderbusses – “Stanlio” and “Ollio,” destitute, would-be bandit scourges of 18th-century Italy, decide to restore their wealth by becoming armed highwaymen. Comedy highlights include Stanlio “spiffed” on too much wine, Ollio’s masterminding a boneheaded kidnapping attempt and Stanlio’s “finger-wiggle” and “kneesie-earsie-nosie.”

    Bonnie Scotland (1935)

    With a tip of their derbies and a twirl of their kilts, Laurel and Hardy bring comic chaos to the British empire. When Mr. MacLaurel (and his companion Mr. Hardy) arrive to inherit the vast MacLaurel fortune, the swag turns out to be a snuffbox and a set of bagpipes. The impoverished lads end up joining His Majesty’s Service to do manly battle on the frontier of India where they manage to set an entire marching regiment out of step, turn a clean-up detail into a charming soft-shoe routine, defeat a bloodthirsty warlord’s palace guard using a most unusual weapon and help a lovely lassie find love.

    DISC 1
    The Devil's Brother (1933) - (New to DVD)
    Bonnie Scotland (1935) – (New to DVD)
    Commentaries on both movies by Laurel and Hardy aficionados Richard W. Bann and Leonard Maltin
    Introductions by Turner Classic Movies Host Robert Osborne

    DISC 2
    2002 TCM Feature-length documentary Added Attractions: The Hollywood Shorts Story, narrated by Chevy Chase and showcasing Laurel and Hardy, The Little Rascals, The Three Stooges and dozens of others
    Vintage Laurel and Hardy excerpts from feature films:
    Magic act segment from The Hollywood Revue of 1929
    Fragment from Rogue Song (1930)
    2 Segments from Hollywood Party (1934) including one with Lupe Velez
    3 Segments from Pick a Star (1937)
    Theatrical trailers
    Subtitles: Français & Español (feature films only)


    No artwork yet, but no doubt it will pop up here
     
  2. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    This is great to hear. I caught The Devil's Brother during TCM's April Fools marathon and really enjoyed it. WB made a good decision, though, to omit Nothing But Trouble (the sole MGM L&H of the 1940's while they were mainly at Fox). It's a lousy movie and L&H have little to do in it.

    While I doubt they care, Hallmark ought to be ashamed that WB is putting out fully restored and remastered versions of their two films, Fox is working on their own set (no doubt that it'll be well done), and Michael Agee is working on a 12-disc remastered set of the L&H silents.

    There's something ironic about everyone EXCEPT Hallmark putting effort into Laurel & Hardy DVD's.
     
  3. Russell G

    Russell G Fake Shemp
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    I'd be more excited if it was a shorts collection. If it's priced right I might take a chance.
     
  4. Conrad_SSS

    Conrad_SSS Second Unit

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    Nothing But Trouble wasn't the only film Laurel & Hardy made when they were also making movies at Fox. The other title was Air Raid Wardens. Both films are awful, as are all the Fox films (with the possible exception of JITTERBUGS, which is somewhat entertaining).

    Meanwhile, this Warner announcement is truly something to celebrate. Not only are both features prime L&H during the Roach era (the only ones from that group that WB owns) but both films have looked terrible for years, so it's great to hear they're finally being restored from nitrate.

    Maybe indeed the less-educated folks that run Hallmark will finally realize they're sitting on a treasure trove of great films from the Hal Roach library, like the other L&H features and shorts, and the greatest Our Gang comedies.

    Once again, Warner shows why they're #1.
     
  5. Dale MA

    Dale MA Screenwriter

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  6. John Hodson

    John Hodson Producer

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    No they aren't.
     
  7. Dale MA

    Dale MA Screenwriter

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    Excellent, thanks John [​IMG]
     
  8. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

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    great news indeed
     
  9. Richard M S

    Richard M S Supporting Actor

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    I am really excited Warners is releasing a TCM Archive DVD set just six months after the Garbo one. Their archives are so full, I am happy they are releasing another one so soon.
     
  10. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    And we should be getting The Big Parade and Greed this year, too. TBP is a given, but I'd expect Greed soon because it had to be ready when that DVD Decision poll was made.
     
  11. Matthew H

    Matthew H Second Unit

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    THANK GOD!

    Now only if Hallmark would do something...
     
  12. John Hodson

    John Hodson Producer

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  13. Randy Korstick

    Randy Korstick Producer

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    I know I'm in the minority but I actually like the Fox L & H
    films. Maybe because I feel they capture the same slapstick 1940's feel that Universal had with their Abbott and Costello films. The two from WB/MGM : Air Raid Wardens and Nothing but Trouble I find to be weaker than all the fox films of the same time. The Fox films had nice prints with Fox being one of the biggest studios of the time. Of course I feel the Roach stuff is far superior but I still find alot to like in their 40's films especially compared to what passes as comedy today and I feel these films have been unfairly maligned over the years.
     
  14. Matthew H

    Matthew H Second Unit

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    This is fantastic news for us L&H fans. I'm in the minority and enjoy the Fox films too. Can't wait for Jitterbugs!
     
  15. Joe Karlosi

    Joe Karlosi Producer

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    I don't understand why WB would put out THE DEVIL'S BROTHER and BONNIE SCOTLAND, yet not also include NOTHING BUT TROUBLE and AIR RAID WARDENS in this same package? Granted, the late L&H films are not great, but how else are they to ever come out? Warner should have added these to this collection too, IMO.
     
  16. LaurenceGarvey

    LaurenceGarvey Second Unit

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    Lord forbid. Including the dreadful TROUBLE and WARDENS in this set would hamper, not encourage, future L&H sales.
     
  17. Roger Rollins

    Roger Rollins Supporting Actor

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    Truer words were never spoken, Mr. Garvey.

    Most L&H fans agree that all of the team's films made after A CHUMP AT OXFORD (with the exception of the often-charming JITTERBUGS) were downright awful & sad to see.

    AIR RAID WARDENS and NOTHING BUT TROUBLE have their place for completists, but don't do anything but make you feel sorry for how low filmdom's greatest comedy duo had fallen.

    The upcoming Warner set is a classy package, obviously assembled with intelligence and savvy. I can't wait until it becomes available.

    [​IMG] WARNER (yet again!)
     
  18. Steve...O

    Steve...O Producer

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    Major kudos to Warners for putting this set out.

    I would also like to see TROUBLE and WARDENS released. Are those films up to the Roach standards? No, but they are not, in my opinion, the dogs that their reputation would lead one to believe.

    Scott MacGillivray wrote a spirited defense of their 40s films in a book about this period that has caused some to re-evaluate these films. It won't change everyone's mind, and I respect that, but hopefully those who haven't seen these films will keep an open mind about them.

    Steve
     
  19. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

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    Count me in as another who is disappointed that the two other films aren't being released. A&C had some duds in their filmography but Universal didn't leave them unreleased. Here's hoping they get released at some point (as well as the "bad" Buster Keaton films owned by Warner).
     
  20. TomWoodward

    TomWoodward Second Unit

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    The artwork is here [​IMG]
     

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