Vivendi and RHI Press Release: Laurel & Hardy: The Essential Collection

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Ronald Epstein, Jul 18, 2011.

  1. Traveling Matt

    Traveling Matt Second Unit

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    I was particularly interested in how Big Business might look down the line. Thank you for the report. Hopefully all the silent safeties look as good.
     
  2. Ejanss

    Ejanss Banned

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    And I know it must have been posted at some point in the last seven years, either here or on the YouTube thread, but I know I'm not the only one who can't read a Laurel & Hardy thread without flashing back on the hallowed old YouTube classics:



    There's just something about that that never gets old. :D
     
  3. rmw650

    rmw650 Screenwriter

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    Heck, they can dance to any tune available in this scene, like Billie Jean by Michael Jackson or Rockwell's Phone Calls and such...how the hell did I even remember that?!
     
  4. JoHud

    JoHud Producer

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    Even with the dreadful Agee mishandling of these, I don't think there was any real danger of losing quality film elements of these. We forget that the European license holders have their own prints that they used for the European DVD sets and possibly have found better prints over the years. The loss of nitrates is certainly bad news, but as long as quality elements remain (and in competent hands), it shouldn't be a mortal blow for the future of their silent classics.
     
  5. Dick

    Dick Producer
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    Not to stray too far from the topic, but I hope this means we might also see ONE MILLION B.C. at some point...
     
  6. Brian McP

    Brian McP Second Unit

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    Don't know who owns the Roach features -- they could well be part of the Turner package and may well reside with MGM.

    I still have the laserdisc of this movie and it has fantastic special effects and editing, including plenty of real life lizards wrestling around, the 'dinosaurs' in this movie (these scenes ended up as stock footage in numerous movies over the years, notably in "Robot Monster"), plus it lauched the career of Carole Landis -- and even though the movie's credited director was Hal Roach himself, legend has it that D.W Griffith directed most of it.

    I much prefer this version than the 1966 remake (Raquel Welch and Ray Harryhausen withstanding)
     
  7. ahollis

    ahollis Lead Actor

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    The rights of films that have not moved into public domain are all over the place. The Hal Roach estate own some, especially the streamlines. King World, now CBS owns a few, Republic, now Paramount owns a few, etc. Then there are the individuals like Agee that own some also. The library is a mess of ownership.
     
  8. John Sparks

    John Sparks Screenwriter

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    $39.99 at Amazon right now!!!
     
  9. rmw650

    rmw650 Screenwriter

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    Not a bad deal for the set but hoping it goes down a tad more.
     
  10. JoHud

    JoHud Producer

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    From what I got from the WAC reps, they've already released every Hal Roach film that WB has the rights to with the sole exception of General Spanky. Outside of the two L&H films, they really only have the rights to two other Roach films, Nobody's Baby and Pick a Star.

    Regarding One Million B.C., I think that one is still with the same company that owns the sound L&H and Our Gang shorts. It used to be called RHI Entertainment, but apparently they changed their name in recent years (or were bought out by) a company called Sonar Entertainment.

    Their holding page for One Million B.C. is here

    http://sonarent.com/titles/one-million-bc

    It seems that Sonar Entertainment holds the lion's share of the Roach features and (sound) short subjects that are still under copyright, including the Topper films (browse their film catalog and narrow down the genre to "vintage"). Hopefully another company can license some of these for home video like Vivendi did with L&H and Our Gang.
     
  11. Tony Bensley

    Tony Bensley Producer

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  12. JoeDoakes

    JoeDoakes Cinematographer
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    At 3:00 E.S.T. or so today, there will be a lightning deal on Amazon selling this for $32.49.
     
  13. rmw650

    rmw650 Screenwriter

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    If you can get it at that price, GRAB IT!
     
  14. Tony Bensley

    Tony Bensley Producer

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    As of this posting, U.S. Amazon's price for The Essential Collection is back up in the $63 range. Let's just hope that they don't pull it off of their listings as they've done the two previous Decembers!

    CHEERS!

    Tony
     
  15. Tony Bensley

    Tony Bensley Producer

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  16. TheSteig

    TheSteig Supporting Actor

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    I decided to finally get this. I still have the UK set but may retire it. From what I have read about the USA set vs the UK set
    1) the US set has the shorts/movies in the order in which they came out, chronological order
    2)The US set has better PQ overall with longer versions(?) of the films
    3)It does not have the early silent shorts or colorized versions that the UK versions offer (I wouldnt watch them colorized anyway)
    4)The packaging seems to be hit or miss with different people on the USA set
    Is this all correct and is there is anything else I should know, other tidbits that anyone could share...Im considering retiring the huge UK set. Ive read reviews , Ive read this thread...its a lot to absorb and maybe I missed something ..
     
  17. Rob W

    Rob W Supporting Actor

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    Among other things, original titles are restored in the American set and there will be no PAL speed up.
     
  18. JoHud

    JoHud Producer

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    The UK set has a good bonus disc with that has a superior transfer of the original edition of Brats among other misc Roach material. I currently have both, keeping the UK set around for the silents.
     
  19. TheSteig

    TheSteig Supporting Actor

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    Do you mean the USA set has a good bonus disc which is # 10 ?
     
  20. Tony Bensley

    Tony Bensley Producer

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    Hi David!

    Both sets have their own Bonus Disc, each with completely different titles. Although I don't actually own the UK Universal Collection, I am sufficiently aware of details regarding it to offer up a few reasons as to why you may not want to retire this collection as yet:

    1. As you've mentioned in a previous post, the Essential Collection does not, for legal reasons, include any of the Laurel & Hardy Silents. Nor can they be currently obtained at anything resembling a reasonable price! Just check Amazon for your UK Set and the Lost Films Of Laurel & Hardy Volumes, and you will see what I mean!

    2. While the vast majority of the Hal Roach sound titles look just as good or better on The Essential Collection, there are a few notable exceptions. SONS OF THE DESERT for instance, has some rather funky contrast issues, and actually looks rather terrible in spots. The best version I've seen of SOTD is the out of print German Kinowelt PAL DVD. While I don't care for the 4% speedup, I must concede that the much superior video quality (Not to mention no missing bits or Audio/Visual Sync Issues, unlike the UK Universal version!) is worth it, in this case!

    3. If closed captioning holds any importance in your case, it should be noted that, while the Phonetic Foreign Language Films have English Subtitles, the English Language Films on the Essential Collection don't have either Subtitles or Captioning, while the opposite is true on the UK Universal Set!

    In closing, my recommendation is to enjoy the marvelous (In my opinion!) Essential Collection, but hang onto your UK Universal Set, at least until a reasonably priced Laurel & Hardy Team Silents Collection becomes available (Whenever that may be?) in Region 1!

    CHEERS!

    Tony
     

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