I watched Tillie and Gus again recently for the first time in many years and really enjoyed it. I'd agree it's underrated. My own somewhat idiosyncratic choice for favorite Fields film is probably The Old Fashioned Way. The sequence where Jan Duggan auditions for Fields ("Gathering up the shells by the shore, WILLIE!") is one of the funniest things I've ever seen; Duggan is hilarious and Fields' reactions are priceless. I also love the sequences from The Drunkard that we get to see, as well as the best presentation of Fields' juggling skills captured on film.It’s A Gift is probably my all time favorite of the bunch. You Can’t Cheat an Honest Man is pretty good, but not as funny as Fields and McCarthy were on radio (seek out those broadcasts if you’ve never heard them!). Tillie and Gus doesn’t get mentioned very often these days but I have a real soft spot for it.
Hey, nothing about that socko-boff commentary?
More often than not I find myself disappointed in commentaries - I'm picky that way -, but the combination of film and commentator makes this one I can't wait to find in my mailbox, with any luck just a few days now.Mr. S. Is a class act, and his commentaries show both his knowledge and love of our art form.
According to Kino, It's A Gift came from a 4K scan done in 2017. But it's telling that they just mentioned the scan, because it's a raw one. That title has scratches and other damage throughout, including at least one dropped frame. In lieu of an actual restoration, it's for the best that they left everything alone rather than trying to erase them with automated tools, but it definitely doesn't look as good as The Bank Dick, and neither of them look anywhere near as good as the lovely restoration for My Little Chickadee. But they're all still upgrades from SD, and well worth picking up.If I’m remembering the Kino post about this new round of Fields titles, this and It’s A Gift are from HD masters Universal made about a decade ago, while The Old Fashioned Way is coming from a raw scan that Universal performed in 2017 that was color corrected and cleaned up by Kino this year.
So I guess what I’m saying is, this should be as bad as it gets and it sounds pretty darned good to me.
I’m thrilled to be getting these in HD. My Fields titles are among my most frequently revisited titles in my collection and I had practically given up hope on getting anything better than a DVD - I was just happy that the DVDs are all in reasonably presentable shape.