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

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

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    [​IMG]


    TIMELESS SOUND-ERA FILMS FROM THE LEGENDARY HAL ROACH LIBRARY DEBUT IN ONE EXTRAORDINARY DVD SET
    FOR THE FIRST TIME IN THE U.S.



    LAUREL & HARDY: THE ESSENTIAL COLLECTION



    [​IMG]



    Digitally Remastered And Digitally Restored, Loaded With Over Two Hours Of Special Features, The Spectacular 10-Disc Set Arrives October 25 From RHI Entertainment And Vivendi Entertainment



    UNIVERSAL CITY, CA – Celebrating the genius of the most beloved comedy team of all time, LAUREL & HARDY: THE ESSENTIAL COLLECTION debuts in a stunning 10-disc set on October 25, 2011 from RHI Entertainment and Vivendi Entertainment. With a comedic style that defined an era and created a legacy that is still celebrated today, 58 of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy’s talking shorts and feature films, produced under legendary movie mogul Hal Roach from 1929 through 1940, are now available for the first time in the U.S. all together in one magnificent collection.



    Transferred in high definition for the first time and digitally enhanced for home viewing in the finest quality available to date, the set contains favorites that have been enjoyed for generations including Helpmates, Hog Wild, Another Fine Mess, Sons of the Desert, Way Out West, and the Academy Award® winning* film The Music Box.



    LAUREL & HARDY: THE ESSENTIAL COLLECTION comes housed in collectible, book-style packaging with an extensive, detailed film guide. The set also boasts over two hours of special features including exclusive, never-before-seen interviews with comedy legends Dick Van Dyke, Jerry Lewis, Tim Conway and more, who discuss the enduring impact and influence of Laurel and Hardy.



    Additional features include commentaries by Laurel and Hardy aficionados, along with a virtual location map that allows viewers to take an interactive tour of the iconic places in and around Los Angeles where Laurel and Hardy filmed. Available for the suggested retail price of $99.98, LAUREL & HARDY: THE ESSENTIAL COLLECTION showcases some of the most cherished and hilarious films in cinema history and is a must-have for comedy fans and collectors everywhere.



    BASICS


    Price: $99.98


    Street Date: October 25, 2011


    Order Date: September 20, 2011


    Catalog Number: RH3021


    Language: English


    Running time: 1941 minutes


    Rating: NR
     
  2. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Wow! Never thought I'd see this day.

    Wonder how this set compares to the UK boxed set
    which I have owned all these years. I know the UK
    set has both B&W and colorized versions of the shorts,
    but perhaps the U.S. release has a better HD transfer.

    Will keep all of you posted when this becomes available
    for preorder.
     
  3. Steve...O

    Steve...O Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for starting my day off right, Ron! I also had my doubts this would ever happen but the consistent reports from Dick Bann and others that this was being worked on provided some hope.

    10 discs sounds about right - the UK set was inflated by the colorized versions. From my count, they made 40 talking shorts and 13 features during this period (2 of which were released by WHV). The presser indicates 58 titles so perhaps some of the foreign language ones will be included. We will have to wait until later today or this week when Mr. Bann and others will presumably offer more details.

    It's unfortunate that the silents were not included here but those were at least released in the past by Image and are likely still caught up in rights disputes thanks to the notorious Michael Agee.
     
  4. JoHud

    JoHud Well-Known Member

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    Great to see this set finally released, a looong time coming. It appears that blurb posted back in March on the L&H forums was true after all. Vivendi has been on a roll since they gained the rights to this Roach material--hopefully more releases are forthcoming.
    The downside? It appears this is solely their talking pictures--none of their features in silent or non-talkie w/ prerecorded music/sound effects
    UCLA has been working diligently on the L&H library since the last UK/German set, so I expect to see several improvements. Though it is possible there may be a few better prints held by the German European rights holders that they may not share for legal reasons.
     
  5. Eric Peterson

    Eric Peterson Well-Known Member

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    Awesome news!! I've only seen their major works "Music Box", "Way Out West", and "Sons of the Desert" and those were quite some time ago on muddy copies. I'm looking forward to seeing more of their films and in restored versions. Here's to hoping that these are done properly the first time....unlike the Rascals which were incomplete/edited prints. :D
     
  6. JoHud

    JoHud Well-Known Member

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    Anyone more leaned on L&H's DVD release history know if the UK release had footage missing from "Blockheads"? I seem to recall it mentioned somewhere that it was a trimmed version.
     
  7. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    It has been a long time since I took the UK boxed set
    off my shelf.

    Does that have the silents on it? I think Liberty was
    one of the silents on that set.

    So, based on this early information, are we confident
    the UK set had more shorts than this US release does?
     
  8. Randal Gist

    Randal Gist Active Member

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    Wow! I have been waiting for years for something like this to happen. Stan and Ollie have been poorly served in the realm of home video. But I would not call the collection "The Essential" if none of their silent shorts are included. while it is true that L&H gained a great benefit from the use of their voices, the silents were they developed their relationship/routines and created some great cinematic comedy. Still, this great news and I am looking forward to it. Thanks for the info! :D
     
  9. EricSchulz

    EricSchulz Well-Known Member

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    I never bought the whole UK set, just various volumes since Amazon UK had some killer deals on them (roughly $8US per volume at one point!). Several volumes that I own have the "classic short" and the silent version that originally inspired it. THIS is a must buy, even for the duplicates that I'll end up with. AWESOME NEWS!!!!
     
  10. ColbyCo82

    ColbyCo82 Well-Known Member

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    The UK set had most all of their silents I believe. However, the prints ranged from very poor to good. It didn't seem like they had access to the nitrate material that Agee's Lost Films set had. Also, the UK silents had their music tracks compiled from Beau Hunks recordings of LeRoy Shields tunes. While I enjoy the Beau Hunks work, the Shields tunes were originally written and performed in the talkie era and the historian in me would prefer the vitaphone soundtracks (as was done on the Lost Films set) that are more accurate for the time frame the films were released.
     
  11. JoHud

    JoHud Well-Known Member

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    The UK set was generally compiled to have one long sound feature of two shorter sound features, and one or two silent features, usually at random.
    It is possible some silent features may be included as extras but, judging by the 1929 date in the press release and the lack of silents in the Our Gang collections, it doesn't look likely.
    Still, I hope this set is actually chronological, minus the handful of features owned by other studios.
     
  12. rdf8585

    rdf8585 Well-Known Member

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    I'm glad Warner doesn't have these. They'd probably end up in the Archives....
    All kidding aside, this is a must buy.
     
  13. Radioman970

    Radioman970 Well-Known Member

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    My my, yes. Happy day. Can't wait to get this. Gotta stack it on my Wish List for now. Probably going to order this the same time I grab the Our Gang set from WB.
    Would love to get all the Our Gang silents as well...any word on a similar set of those?
     
  14. Matt Stieg

    Matt Stieg Well-Known Member

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    This is some of the best home video news ever.
     
  15. Rick Greene

    Rick Greene New Member

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    Finally, the press release is out! I have been waiting to share some of the juicy tidbits that Dick has shared with me. This is the first time we'll see these in HD masters. They will look incredible. Yes some of the foreign versions are included but not all. The extended versions of Pardon Us and Pack Up Your Troubles are included. The third reel of Laughing Gravy is included. All available original titles are restored. No silent films. Many short cut scenes are restored such as one short where they are talking about a letter, and the less than 10 second shot of the envelope showing Stan Laurel and his address is back in. This will more or less make the big UK box obsolete as far as the sound films go.
     
  16. ahollis

    ahollis Well-Known Member

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    This is outstanding. I can not wait to spend the hours of enjoying these films again with better transfers.
     
  17. DeWilson

    DeWilson Well-Known Member

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    RHI and the European rights holders exchange and use each others elements all the time. The same folks behind the European restorations are invovled with this set.
     
  18. Sumnernor

    Sumnernor Well-Known Member

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    Unclear is the term "HD masters" - will these be issued on DVD and/or "Blu-Ray????
     
  19. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Press release states just DVD
     
  20. Brandon Conway

    Brandon Conway captveg

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    Excellent news! I bought the UK set not too long ago, which will be good to have because of the silent films, but I'll gladly buy this set to have them NTSC (no PAL speedup) and from better HD source.
     

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