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Charley's Aunt (Benny 1941) - great job Fox!

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8 replies to this topic

#1 of 9 OFFLINE   Steve...O



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Posted June 19 2007 - 02:57 PM

I finally had a chance last night to watch Fox's recently released "Charley's Aunt" DVD. Being a big Jack Benny fan I very much looked forward to seeing this rare film for the first time. It certainly didn't disappoint; I found it howlingly funny with a surprising amount of somewhat risque material thrown in (check out Cregar's walking stick when he sees "Charley's Aunt" for the first time). Kay Fwancis receives high billing for a relatively small role, but Laird Cregar and Edmund Gwenn are absoultely delightful in their roles. Those who know Cregar primarily for his menacing noir roles will be amazed to see his flair for comedy. It's unfortunate that Fox released this to little fanfare since their DVD is so well done. In my opinion, the print quality is very good to excellent and the limited supplements are enjoyable. There's a very funny promotional short pairing Benny with Tyrone "Ty" Power and Randolph "Randy" Scott, Randy Skretvedt offers a commentary (really a Benny bio), liner notes are provided as are 4 reproduction stills. Sales numbers for this at Amazon were pretty abysmal; I'm not sure how this did elsewhere. Best Buy wasn't even stocking this in their stores. Hopefully Fox will find a way to release the other Jack Benny film they control ("Meanest Man in the World"). If anybody from Fox is reading this: thank you for releasing "Charley's Aunt" and doing such a great job with this! Steve
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#2 of 9 OFFLINE   PaulaJ


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Posted June 20 2007 - 06:58 PM

I saw this at Cinevent some years back (16mm print) and nearly fell off my chair laughing. Can't wait to see the DVD.

#3 of 9 OFFLINE   Greg_S_H


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Posted June 20 2007 - 07:04 PM

Never heard of it. But, no, this isn't a thread, um, burp. Now that I'm aware of it and see that it's available at the local Borders, I'll have to remember to pick it up sometime soon.

#4 of 9 OFFLINE   Charles H

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Posted June 21 2007 - 12:29 AM

THE MEANEST MAN IN THE WORLD (which is also very funny) is only 57 minutes and it is the only other Benny film that Fox controls. I know that -- as consumers--we are all becoming overly marketing-conscious, but I can't imagine in what "context" Fox could bring it out. Hope that WB brings out IT'S IN THE AIR, BROADWAY MELODY OF 1936, GEORE WASHINGTON SLEPT HERE, and THE HORN BLOWS AT MIDNIGHT. In the waning days of VHS, Universal mentioned bringing out Benny films as part of their "Comedy Classics" series but it never happened. Through their Paramount/MCA series, they own COLLEGE HOLIDAY, MAN ABOUT TOWN, THE BIG BROADCAST OF 1937, ARTISTS AND MODELS, ARTISTS AND MODELS ABROAD, BUCK BENNY RIDES AGAIN, and LOVE THY NEIGHBOR.
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#5 of 9 OFFLINE   CineKarine


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Posted June 21 2007 - 12:48 AM

I'm especially partial to BUCK BENNY RIDES AGAIN (great musical) and the very funny LOVE THY NEIGHBOR about the publicized Benny and Fred Allen radio "feud". And Mary Martin performs "My Heart Belongs to Daddy"!
Sing your worries away, smile, be kind and accentuate the positive!
DVD wish list: The Accused (48), Margie (46), I'll Get By (50), The Constant Nymph (43), The Voice of the Turtle (47), The Barretts of Wimpole Street (34), Her Twelve Men (54), The Lost Moment (47), I Walk Alone (48), The Glass...

#6 of 9 OFFLINE   DavidJ



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Posted February 17 2008 - 06:53 AM

Finally got around to watching this last night and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I was also very pleased with the transfer. I would highly recommend that people check this DVD out.

#7 of 9 OFFLINE   RobertGr


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Posted February 17 2008 - 10:14 AM

If you want to take a flyer on Fox's CHARELY'S AUNT Nina's Oldies is selling it currently for $6.98. I bought it when it was released and paid about $14.00 and loved it I thought it was worth the blind buy. At 6.98 it is a bargain!!!!

#8 of 9 OFFLINE   Gunther Toody

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Posted February 18 2008 - 02:42 AM

The film and transfer are great! For those that haven't seen the bonus features (below), they are great too! Especially the promo short with Tyrone Power and Randolph Scott.
  • Commentary with film historian Randy Skretvedt
  • "Three of a Kind": Charley's Aunt promotional short featuring Jack Benny, Tyrone Power and Randolph Scott
  • Still Gallery
  • Lobby Card reproductions
Would love to see a Jack Benny collection featuring his remaining films not on DVD!

#9 of 9 OFFLINE   DavidJ



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Posted February 18 2008 - 09:09 AM

I didn't listen to the commentary, but I did check out the other extras. David is right. The promotional short was a great inclusion. I also liked reading the insert that briefly chronicles the history of Charley's Aunt. It was quite interesting.

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