Anyone seen the new W.C. Fields set?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by MikeDE, Nov 11, 2004.

  1. MikeDE

    MikeDE Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2001
    Messages:
    195
    Likes Received:
    21
    Trophy Points:
    110
    I haven't seen any reviews and am wondering how they are.

    Mike
     
  2. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Producer

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2000
    Messages:
    6,445
    Likes Received:
    892
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
  3. John Hodson

    John Hodson Producer

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2003
    Messages:
    4,533
    Likes Received:
    324
    Trophy Points:
    4,110
    Location:
    Bolton, Lancashire
    Real Name:
    John
    I took a chance and ordered this without seeing any reviews the other day; there's supposed to be a Fields documentary somewhere in the set according to one set of specs I saw - any sign Colin?
     
  4. AlexHL

    AlexHL Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2003
    Messages:
    101
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    From www.dvdtimes.co.uk/content.php?contentid=12145

    Extras include a W.C. Fields: Behind the Laughter featurette, and theatrical trailers on 3 of the 5 films (My Little Chickadee, You Can't Cheat an Honest Man and International House).

    I've ordered mine online and hope to receive it next week.
     
  5. Brian PB

    Brian PB Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2003
    Messages:
    671
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I watched the International House disc last night (which also includes the 45-minute 1994 A&E Biography documentary, W.C. Fields: Behind the Laughter). I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. The feature looked great for a 1933 film. Quality-wise, it's worth watching for Burns & Allen and Fields, as well as performances by Cab Calloway, Rudy Vallee, and the 10-year-old (Baby) Rose Marie--of Dick van Dyke fame--who belts out a tune with a brassy voice that belies her age. As a side-note: one of the co-stars of the picture is Peggy Hopkins Joyce, who was apparently the inspiration for Anita Loos' character Lorelei Lee (immotalized by Marilyn Monroe in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes). Some have described Peggy Hopkins Joyce as the Anna Nicole Smith of her day. Even though this film was subject to vetting by the Hays Office, Fields gets away with several risqué jokes. I would rate the film 3 stars out of 5.

    The A&E Biography documentary (the only real extra in the Universal's Fields box set) presents a nice overview of Fields' life & career.

    At least based on this disc, I'll retract my criticism of Universal from another thread. I hope to watch the rest of the set over the weekend, and will post my thoughts on Monday.
     
  6. John Watson

    John Watson Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2002
    Messages:
    1,937
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Just got it last week.

    I watched "It's a Gift" last night. As well as not being a very strong movie, it stuck for about 5 seconds at one point (am I wrong for expecting single-layer disks to be very reliable?[​IMG]), and the disk seemed to contain nothing else than this 67 minute movie.

    But I started watching "International House", and it looks much better, and the disk seems to have some extras.

    I'm really looking forward to seeing My Little Chickadee for the first time in years. The Bank Dick will duplicate the Criterion, tho it's nice to hear it may be a better copy.
     
  7. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1997
    Messages:
    4,301
    Likes Received:
    42
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    My review is up at digitallyObsessed. It seems Universal put a good deal more effort into this set than the Marx Bros. one for some reason, or the Fields material is just in much, much better shape. But they did restore The Bank Dick significantly beyond the Criterion disc, which floored me. It looks very nice indeed.


    http://www.digitallyobsessed.com/sho...w.php3?ID=6695
     
  8. John Hodson

    John Hodson Producer

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2003
    Messages:
    4,533
    Likes Received:
    324
    Trophy Points:
    4,110
    Location:
    Bolton, Lancashire
    Real Name:
    John


    Seconded; ironically the two Paramount films - both the oldest in the collection - are simply excellent (and It's a Gift is, IMHO, a laugh out loud comedy classic).
     
  9. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

    Joined:
    May 16, 2001
    Messages:
    7,590
    Likes Received:
    236
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Georgia (the state)
    Real Name:
    Patrick McCart
    I love this bit from International House...

    Professor Quail (W.C. Fields): Hey! Where am I?
    Woman: Wu-Hu.
    Professor Quail: Woo-Hoo to you sweetheart. Hey Charlie, where am I?
    Hotel Manager (Franklin Pangborn): "WU-HU!"
    Professor Quail: Don't let the posy fool you.

    (Thanks, Rob, for the correction)
     
  10. Brian PB

    Brian PB Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2003
    Messages:
    671
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0

    IMHO--shared by many others, including grandson & biographer, Ronald--It's a Gift is Fields' best, most consistently funny movie. Granted, comedy is a very subjective matter, but if you love W.C. Fields, this one is pure gold.
     
  11. BarryR

    BarryR Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2000
    Messages:
    652
    Likes Received:
    67
    Trophy Points:
    610
    Location:
    Earth
    Real Name:
    BARRY RIVADUE
    Carl LaFong agrees!


    [​IMG]
     
  12. Rob W

    Rob W Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 23, 1999
    Messages:
    598
    Likes Received:
    207
    Trophy Points:
    610
    Location:
    Toronto
    Real Name:
    Robert
    Patrick, the hotel manager in INTERNATIONAL HOUSE is Franklin Pangborn, not Bela Lugosi.
     
  13. John Watson

    John Watson Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2002
    Messages:
    1,937
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Have now watched You Can't Cheat an Honest Man, and My Little Chickadee, and am very happy.

    I have never seen these movies looking or sounding so good. As per Colin's review.

    However, I had a case of an almost-picture-break-up at about the 42 minute point on the Cheat movie, and several strange 4 second or so pauses, screen dark, between some chapters of Chickadee? Tomorrow will give the Bank Dick a go. If that's all the glitches that the set contains, I will be very pleased

    Sorry for my opinion about It's a Gift. Excessive "Padding" as per the review.

    I love the movie "The Big Broadcast of 1938" that became available on DVD earlier.

    The only other Field's film that I have a passion to see would be Poppy. And I would like to see the Biopic with Rod Steiger on DVD some day. But I count this set as a Gift.

    Speaking of which

    http://www.therightside.demon.co.uk/quotes/wcfields/
     
  14. John Morgan

    John Morgan Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2001
    Messages:
    767
    Likes Received:
    132
    Trophy Points:
    610
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Real Name:
    John
    Seeing that we have SIX OF A KIND (Burns and Allen) and BIG BROADCAST OF 1938 (Bob Hope) on other DVD compilations, my vote for Volume 2 films:
    THE MAN ON THE FLYING TRAPEZE
    NEVER GIVE A SUCKER AN EVEN BREAK
    THE OLD FASHIONED WAY
    YOU'RE TELLING ME
    POPPY
    MILLION DOLLAR LEGS
    MISSISSIPPI
    TILLIE AND GUS

    The first four seem to have had new transfers in the last several years, but I think the last four needs work. There are still a few oddities left like ALICE AND WONDERLAND and MRS. WIGGS, but the above eight are my first choice.

    I just hope this initial set does well enough to convince Universal to do more. For some reason, Fields and Laurel and Hardy don't seem to have the fan base they once had and that is disappointing.
     

Share This Page