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At last talking Laurel and Hardy in Region 1 (1 Viewer)

Derek_McL

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I hear that Hallmark are at last releasing some talking Laurel and Hardy (hopefully not garishly colourised) in September (I think) on Region 1 although this will consist only of a 2 DVD set of five films : Sons of the Desert, The Music Box, Busy Bodies, County Hospital and Another Fine Mess. I've got most of these films from Region 2 or from Germany so I won't be buying this despite promises of loads of extras. Its a start but let's hope its only the beginning.
 
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This sounds promising ! But don't tease us, Derek, with your talk of extra features ; what have you heard ?
There are some good Laurel and Hardy R2 discs but the sound shorts are few and far between, released in small batches.
And though the extras are interesting - the French and Spanish versions that the duo made WITHOUT recourse to dubbing - it'd be great to learn more about all those absolutely brilliant supporting actors, like Finlayson and Billy Gilbert, or to see some decent footage (if any exists)of the pair at work.
In my dreams, some benevolent God releases year-by-year box sets of all the sound shorts, fully remastered with an extra disc of features. Isn't there the demand for it ?
Are the rights too complicated ? Aren't these comic geniuses appreciated anymore ?
 

Karl_Luph

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Thanks for the info guys. This comedy team will still be known long after the current crop of favorite comedians are gone. Laurel & Hardy are like The Three Stooges,known and loved for laughs in all corners of our world. I can't think of many other comedians loved as much by so many.
 

Derek_McL

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Sorry the red letter day for Stan and Ollie fans in the US is August 19th. This info is from a Dutch Laurel and Hardy website : http://www.blotto.nl/e/home_e.html and the Laurel and Hardy magazine http://members.aol.com/JostieH/latest.html which mentions extras but doesn't say what they are. The Dutch website also details all the German DVDs available : its strange that the Germans should be so far ahead of the rest of the world with regard to Stan and Ollie : they will have all the silent and most of the sound films by early next year. I would recommend these DVDs if you have multi-region equipment.
 

Randy_M

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I've been waiting for all the Hal Roach Laurel & Hardy sound material since forever.

I have most of them on VHS, taped off TV over the years, but the tapes are starting to disintegrate badly.

I NEED this stuff on DVD - I'll buy everything except for the post-1941 features.
 

AlanBrom

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The site says Hallmark, but would this be Artisan then releasing these. This is great news, and I'd wish they'd finish up The Little Rascals series which they only released one volume of.
 

Derek_McL

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No I think its definitely Hallmark who have the rights in the US. The bonus features are a tribute to Hal Roach, biographies, L&H trivia, tour of the locations they shot at...then and now. The tribute might be interesting.
 

Ronald Epstein

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The site says Hallmark, but would this be Artisan then releasing these. This is great news, and I'd wish they'd finish up The Little Rascals series which they only released one volume of.
Hate to interject LITTLE RASCALS in a L&H thread,
but I thought I'd chime in on this....

If I am not mistaken, that Little Rascals series
you speak of was released on DVD by Cabin Fever.
They featured introductions by Leonard Maltin.

It was a 6-DVD set with (I think) 24 episodes
total. It represented ONE of TWO Cabin Fever
Rascals sets that had been available on VHS and
LASERDISC.

Unfortunately, Cabin Fever went belly-up before
the SECOND set could be released. For years I
have been wishing that someone would buy the
rights and get that second set released.

I do know HALLMARK released a few RASCALS DVDs,
but how many of those they ever released I don't
know.
 

Chas_Michael

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Originally Posted By Ron.
If I am not mistaken, that Little Rascals series
you speak of was released on DVD by Cabin Fever.
They featured introductions by Leonard Maltin.

It was a 6-DVD set with (I think) 24 episodes
total. It represented ONE of TWO Cabin Fever
Rascals sets that had been available on VHS and
LASERDISC.

Hi Ron,
There are 48 Episodes in the Cabin Fever Little Rascals 6 DVD Boxset.
 
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Hey, enough of this LITTLE RASCALS stuff ! Who is this Ron guy anyway ??!

;)

I got all excited when I saw a three disc L and H set advertised on www.cd-wow.com. It's due in July and it's got
extras, such as Home movies etc.
Turns out it's all obscure solo silent stuff. Disc 3, for example, is devoted to the silent WIZARD OF OZ. One of the films is supposedly called TREE IN THE TEST TUBE, which doesn't sound likely, and I couldn't find it listed.

I'm holding out for the talkies.
 

Rob W

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TREE IN A TEST TUBE is a government industrial short made by the boys to promote U.S. forestry industries. It was shot in 1943 and remains the only chance to see the team in color. It's a silent film with just narration by Pete Smith.
 

Dave Hahn

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Aren't these comic geniuses appreciated anymore?
Alas, in the last 20 to 30 years Stan and the Babe have almost slipped into obscurity. It used to be when someone mentioned great comedians from silent film and talkies, they'd list Chaplin, Keaton, and Laurel and Hardy. Now, if mentioned at all, they end up at the bottom of the list, after Abbott and Costello and The Three Stooges :frowning:

The Boys had Chaplin's charm, Lloyd's physicality, and Keaton's timing. At Stan's funeral Buster Keaton said, "He was the best of us all."

I can't wait to finally see The Music Box cleaned up and on DVD. Wow, it's about time. Thank you Artisan! :) Five of their best for $15. This is a must buy for anyone who enjoys or collects comedy. The Music Box just might be the single best comedy short on film.
 

Paul Drake

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Stupid question time: is The Music Box the film where L&H are trying to move a piano up many flights of stairs?
Hi Dennis,

No question about the boys is stupid :) Anything that keeps them in the public eye is ok by me.

Yes, that is the film.
 

Derek_McL

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Yes that's the one a great film for which they won an Academy Award for Best short of 1932. We've been lucky here in the UK to have a few Laurel and Hardy sound films available :

Be Big/Laughing Gravy
The Music Box/Towed In A Hole/Busy Bodies
Sons of the Desert
Way Out West

As I said before strangely the Germans have almost them all and I've been rediscovering the Boys recently through these discs. I agree with Dave Stan Laurel was an under-rated comedy genius and almost all their Roach films are as funny as ever. I would rate them as at least the equals of Chaplin as the greatest comedians in film history.

I don't know about the situation in the States but I don't think they've been forgotten here in the UK. The BBC have been showing quite a lot of their short films (more this week)in the mornings recently so there is an opportunity for a new generation to discover them.

Actually I'd like to see more of Chaplin, Keaton, Lloyd, W.C. Fields and the Marx Brothers on mainstream (not satelitte) television : they are hardly ever seen here now.

There are a couple of other DVDs for classic comedy fans coming at the end of July featuring two comedians I dimly recall from my youth Edgar Kennedy (domestic comedy I recall introduced by "Chopsticks") and Leon Errol. VCI are releasing collections of ten two-reel shorts featuring each of these gentlemen. I read on another forum that the prints aren't bad for Public Domain and at $14.95 each these seem to be quite good value. Barrie Maxwell has the details in his Classic Coming Attractions column http://www.thedigitalbits.com/articl...ell071803.html
 

Dennis Nicholls

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"Towed in a hole". I'm probably the only American to get the reference. I've learned that sausages cooked in pastry, here called "pigs in a blanket", are called "toad in a hole" in the UK.
 

Eric Peterson

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I definitely need to pick up some Laurel & Hardy. I own just about everything released by the other classic comedians listed, but admittedly know very little about L&H. I would agree that they've been almost forgotten here in the states. But then again, anybody older than Adam Sandler or Jim Carrey has been pretty much forgotten by most.

I've seen part of "The Music Box" and laughed my Arse off. I can't wait to see the full thing.
 

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