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Any Updates On the Ultimate Early Laurel and Hardy Boxset?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Matthew H, Dec 25, 2006.

  1. Matthew H

    Matthew H Well-Known Member

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    I remember about a year or two ago, news broke out about Michael Agee (runner of http://www.halroachstudios.com) about remastering and whatnot all of L&H's pre-1929 shorts, solos, and features into basically an ultimate package. Since we still don't have a decent collection of the sound shorts stateside, I'd love this in the meantime.. I really don't want to invest in the scarce and expensive "Lost Films of Laurel & Hardy" discs that were released eons ago, I'd just as well wait.. as long as this boxset is still planned. Any news?
     
  2. BarryM

    BarryM Well-Known Member

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    Hell....it would be about time for those idiots at Hallmark is get the European Universal beautifully remastered complete L&H set and get it issued here in the R1.

    My brothers owns it and he went out a bought the multi-R player just to view this set.

    Why on earth can't those people(?) at Hallmark realize how popular Laurel & Hardy still are...even though they've done their part to sabotage their memory......
     
  3. Rob W

    Rob W Well-Known Member

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    They are supposed to be released on May 29, 2007 according to postings on L & H newsgroups.
     
  4. Steve...O

    Steve...O Well-Known Member

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    Correct. This date is also confirmed by the Helpmates tent which publishes a quarterly publication. They even have a picture of what the new box will look like in their Winter edition which just was mailed to subscribers in the last couple of weeks. The editor said that review copies are on their way to him and to expect an update in the next issue.
    Steve
     
  5. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Well-Known Member

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    Are these the silent films being released? Also, I heard a long time ago that several Chase films would be included as extras. Is that still the case?

    I own the R2 set so I'm not sure I'll be upgrading (unless this has something new).
     
  6. Steve...O

    Steve...O Well-Known Member

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    These will be the silent films (these prints are much better than the ones included in the UK set since original negatives are used wherever possible) plus a plethora of other Roach material. A tentative list of contents can be found here
    http://www.laurelandhardy.pwp.blueyo...final02-05.pdf
    Charley Chase, Edgar Kennedy, Leon Errol, Our Gang, and various other Roach shorts/streamliners are included.
    A 150 page book is also supposed to be included which will include pictures of one sheets and possibly some stills.
    More info about this set is at this link
    http://www.laurelandhardy.pwp.blueyo.../roachset.html
    Of course until Image makes their official announcment none of this is confirmed and all the information published above should be treated as tentative.
    Steve
     
  7. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Steve. I'll probably go ahead and upgrade since (I'm probably in the minority) I think a lot of their silent films are just as good as the sound ones.
     
  8. Matthew H

    Matthew H Well-Known Member

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    So what happened with this set? Was it released? Delayed? If it came out, where can I snag a copy?
     
  9. GeorgeJA

    GeorgeJA Well-Known Member

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    The set has not come out yet.
    Information has been very scarce. There seems to be a rumor going around on other boards that Image Entertainment will no longer be releasing silent films. However, Image does have the following silents on their release schedule: TRUE HEART SUSIE, THE BATTLESHIP POTEMPKIN, and THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME. It is unknown at this point whether the rumor is false or that Image is merely honoring prior commitments.
    I don't subscribe to the Laurel & Hardy magazine but have heard that they have a proof set of this boxset. So, it sounds like Mr. Agee is pretty much finished working on it.
    We can only hope that Image has merely delayed this release.
    George
     
  10. Mike*HTF

    Mike*HTF Well-Known Member

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    And don't forget Treasures From the American Film Archives vol. III!
     
  11. Jeffrey Nelson

    Jeffrey Nelson Well-Known Member

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  12. GeorgeJA

    GeorgeJA Well-Known Member

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    Uh-oh [​IMG]
    Hopefully, one of the companies mentioned in the thread you posted, step up to the plate and work out a deal with Mr. Agee, even if it means the set gets pared down a bit.
    Although I don't know if Milestone is in any position to get these since their own Charley Chase collection is still MIA. I don't suppose there is any news on that one....
    George
     
  13. Steve...O

    Steve...O Well-Known Member

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    EDIT: confirmed that DVD-Rs are not going to be used (see subsequent post #15 below)
    Ugh. I sincerely hope this isn't true. I have an e-mail into someone who should know the truth of what is going on. If/when they respond back to me, I'll post here.
    As originally presented this boxset would have been a killer - restored films/soundtracks with great bonus shorts from the Roach vaults in addition to a 150 page book with poster art, stills, etc.
    DVD-Rs do not have copy protection...Mr. Agee would be a fool to release his life's work in this format. Copies would show up on ebay within a short time. I have a hard time believing that Kino, Milestone, Laughsmith et al wouldn't step in and work something out with him.
    Steve
     
  14. Mike*HTF

    Mike*HTF Well-Known Member

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    DVD-R's would definitely be doo-doo.
    While this may be old news, here's the last word that came directly from Agee regarding the set - you'll even find a pdf file of the brochure mock-up if you just click a-here!
    edit: Crap! I might have read a bit earlier to see that Steve already posted the link - sorry, Steve!
     
  15. Steve...O

    Steve...O Well-Known Member

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    No problem, Mike. That link has great info and deserves to be repeated. [​IMG]
    I have heard back from my contact within the L&H world who knows Michael Agee personally. He confirmed that Mr. Agee was considering a private sale, BUT also said there are no plans to do this via DVD-Rs so we can put that rumor to rest before it starts.
    My e-mail was forwarded to Mr. Agee directly and hopefully the man himself will provide an update fairly soon. Given how many years he's put into this I doubt he wants his efforts to be scuttled by internet speculation over whether DVD-Rs will be used.
    I still hope that he can find a distributor. These silent L&H films are classics in the truest sense of the word and I hope that someone will recognize this and partner with him on this. If he's going private I fear the cost will be prohibitive because he'll need to make up the reduced volume with higher prices. As it was, Image was going to charge $200 MSRP for this set.
    Steve
     
  16. Rob W

    Rob W Well-Known Member

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    This project needs to be scaled back in order to succeed. There are at least five discs of non L & H material in the proposed contents that will appeal to Hal Roach comedy buffs more than the casual L & H fans, or first-timers. A lot of them will resist paying what looks to be a premium for a lot of content they don't want. Release the Chase, Our Gang and Streamliners separately if possible but get the price of the L & H material down below $100.00, which is still way too much for most collectors.
    The problem, of course, is that most of the other material isn't in demand enough to be able to sell significantly on it's own as a separate release, although a single-disc Our Gang with a reasonable price could probably find an audience. So, if it's not piggybacked on the L & H stuff, we may never see it. But my priority is The Boys and getting a successful release of their material first and foremost.
     
  17. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Well-Known Member

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    Why not just divide the set into multiple chronological collections? That would be easier to market, probably.
     
  18. Jack Cleveland

    Jack Cleveland Well-Known Member

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    I have been reading this thread with interest and thought I would share my thoughts. I am a huge classic film fan, and have always had a certain degree of respect for the output of the Roach studios. I suppose this traces back to my early years watching "Little Rascals" shorts on a snowy UHF channel (Baltimore's Channel 45- Remember Captain Chesapeake, anyone?). I have always enjoyed L&H when I have seen their films, but confess I currently have none of their output in my collection.

    The set talked about here is certainly a classic film lovers dream. I believe Mr. Agee has also been trying to do something similiar w/ "Our Gang" silent films as well. Priced reasonably, I would scoop this release up in a heartbeat, and rediscover the talents of Ollie and Stan. At 199.00, I will only dream of owning it.

    I too believe they would do better releasing the set in volumes. Sony's new "Three Stooges" collection is a prime example. Dividing it up in years, and priced below 30.00 guarantees a sale from me. I have not seen a Stooges short in years either. But as a film lover, this set chronicles film history, and it's affordable price allows me access to the films without making me cash poor for a few weeks.

    L&H silents are wonderful. I would love to have them. But I'm going to have to stand on the side lines here. If anyone buys an extra set by accident, I'll accept gifts! LOL! Just kidding, of course... or am I?

    Just my unsolicited 2 cents worth...
     
  19. DeWilson

    DeWilson Well-Known Member

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  20. Matthew H

    Matthew H Well-Known Member

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    Well, Michael Agee's site is down. Looks like this set was a dud. Off to eBay I go..
     

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