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HAL ROACH FORGOTTEN COMEDIES 10/17/17

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Bob Gu, Oct 16, 2017.

  1. Bob Gu

    Bob Gu Screenwriter

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    I guess this DVD set is coming from the same VCI deal as the Blu-Rays of ONE MILLION BC and TOPPER.

    The HAL ROACH FORGOTTEN COMEDIES are: THE HOUSEKEEPER'S DAUGHTER- 1939 with Joan Bennett, TURNABOUT- 1940, and ROAD SHOW-1941, both with Carole Landis. All three titles co-star Adolphe Menjou and John Hubbard. I think these are pretty funny and cute movies.

    VCI also released a DVD triple feature set of three TOPPER movies, with both B&W and colorized versions.

    Have all these movies been restored? Are more Hal Roach titles on the way from VCI? I'd like to see the 'Taxi' movies with William Bendix, Joe Sawyer, and Grace Bradley and the Joe Sawyer and William Tracy service comedies and anything with Zazu Pitts, Patsy Kelly, and Marjorie Woodworth.
     
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  2. bigshot

    bigshot Cinematographer

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    I heard there is a Charlie Chase DVD set in the works
     
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  3. rmw650

    rmw650 Stunt Coordinator

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  4. rmw650

    rmw650 Stunt Coordinator

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    But this Richard Roberts person seems to be acting like an immature adolescent with regards to materials being released and such of this set as he should be grateful people are willing to shell down their hard earned monies for this DVD set. He should tone his attitude down quickly or he won't get any sales for this set at the rate he's going and this has been going on with this guy now for months on end.

    I believe his rep's name is Linda Shah or something like that who is literally carrying on an argument in the comments section with some fan over the contents of this release in that link i sent to you.
     
  5. Bert Greene

    Bert Greene Supporting Actor

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    I remember "Road Show" is quite wacky, in an agreeable way. "Turnabout," based on the Thorne Smith novel, is a weird, clunky misfire that doesn't work. "The Housekeeper's Daughter" is the one I don't remember too well, and would be most interested in revisiting. Anyway, I'll be anxious to hear about any reviews regarding the quality. Chances are pretty high that I'll be picking it up regardless. I'm really salivating for the Charley Chase shorts, though. Chase can really make me laugh. Hope the Todd-Pitts and Boy Friends shorts can follow.

    Years back I recall a book/memorabilia store in Hollywood that had some old wooden filing cabinets that seemed to come from the Hal Roach studios. No L&H or Our Gang stuff in it (as I suspect it was long grabbed up), but it was stuffed to the gills with original stills and press-sheets from the Chase/Todd-Pitts/BoyFriends series. I picked up a few things, including a typed paper (full of markings and corrections) that some Roach secretary apparently compiled for a press-sheet. Neat bits of history.
     
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  6. Robin9

    Robin9 Producer

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    I normally avoid VCI discs but a set with two starring Carole Landis is irresistible. I've never seen either Road Show or Turnabout but I have stills and publicity shots from them so I'm eager to watch these two films.
     
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  7. Message #7 of 27 Oct 17, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2017
    Robin9

    Robin9 Producer

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    Turnabout 3.
    A publicity shot from Turnabout.
     
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  8. DeWilson

    DeWilson Cinematographer

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    Same Here! Plus I wouldn't mind seeing a set of the one/two-off "Streamliner" short films HR made for double-bills - or some of the longer features compiled from them.

    Nice that the Hal Roach features are finally getting some real attention for a change outside of TCM airings.
     
  9. Bert Greene

    Bert Greene Supporting Actor

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    Maybe I wouldn't be so harsh on "Turnabout" if only they hadn't gone with the transposing/dubbing of voices between Hubbard and Landis, after they'd switched bodies. It was just too unsubtle, and seemed to ultimately undermine some of the otherwise solid humor in the script. Ah, well, it will still be nice to have this (and "Road Show") on disc, replacing my off-air VHS recordings that date back thirty years. I'd also welcome some of those Roach 'streamliners,' of which there are still a few I've never gotten around to seeing.
     
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  10. DeWilson

    DeWilson Cinematographer

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    Has anyone compiled a list of Roach Features/Streamliners-Streamliner Compilations?
     
  11. Bob Gu

    Bob Gu Screenwriter

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    Hal Roach Features released by United Artists- 1938-41:

    There Goes My Heart- 1938
    Captain Fury- 1939
    The Housekeeper's Daughter- 1939
    Topper Takes A Trip- 1939
    Of Mice And Men- 1939
    Zenobia- 1939
    A Chump At Oxford- 1940
    Turnabout- 1940
    One Million BC- 1940
    Saps At Sea- 1940
    Captain Caution- 1940
    Topper Returns- 1941
    Broadway Limited- 1941
    Road Show- 1941
     
  12. Bert Greene

    Bert Greene Supporting Actor

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    Yeah, Landis alone should make this collection worth having. She was probably at her most fetching around this time. Which is also when she headlined "Mystery Sea Raider" (1940) at Paramount, a nifty little maritime adventure film. I wish Universal Vault would somehow allow that one to escape. It's an exciting little film.
     
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  13. Message #13 of 27 Oct 19, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2017
    Bob Gu

    Bob Gu Screenwriter

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    Hal Roach United Artists Streamliners- 1941-48

    All-American Coed- 1941
    Fiesta- 1941
    Miss Polly- 1941
    Niagara Falls- 1941
    Tanks A Million- 1941
    About Face- 1942
    Brooklyn Orchid- 1942
    The Devil With Hitler- 1942
    Dudes Are Pretty People- 1942
    Flying With Music-1942
    Hay Foot- 1942
    McGuerins From Brooklyn
    Calaboose- 1943
    Fall In- 1943
    Natzy Nuisance- 1943
    Prairie Chickens- 1943
    Taxi, Mister- 1943
    Yanks Ahoy- 1943
    Hal Roach Comedy Carnival- Part 1 Curley- 1947
    Hal Roach Comedy Carnival- Part 2 The Fabulous Joe- 1947
    Lafftime Part 1- Here Comes Trouble- 1948
    Lafftime Part 2- Who Killed Doc Robbin?- 1948 These last two were in Cinecolor.
     
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  14. Message #14 of 27 Oct 19, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2017
    Bob Gu

    Bob Gu Screenwriter

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    Streamliner Compilations: Yanks Ahoy was combined with Hayfoot. I think McGuerins Of Brooklyn was combined with Taxi, Mister. Dudes Are Pretty People and Calaboose were combined.

    The Tracy/Sawyer military comedies continued with As You Were- 1951 and Mr. Walkie Talkie- 1952. I not sure if Hal Roach Co. was involved.

    If anyone is wondering why Carole Landis has a chin strap in that picture, above, it was to hold the beanie on her head, that matched the circus outfit she was wearing. She and her double performed a rope climbing act.

    There certainly have been many welcome Carole Landis releases the past few years.
     
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  15. Camps

    Camps Supporting Actor

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    I'm afraid we better not be holding our breath for this.... <_<
     
  16. Robin9

    Robin9 Producer

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    I watched Road Show last night. I found it fairly amusing but not laugh-out-loud funny. The picture quality is pretty good but not outstanding: a bit pale and not much contrast. I've no idea what this film looked like when new.

    Road Show 85.
     
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  17. Robin9

    Robin9 Producer

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    I've just watched Turnabout which did make me laugh a few times. The picture quality is very good, far better than on Road Show. I agree with Bert Greene about the voices after the "switch." I didn't find the comedy arising from the "wrong" voices at all funny. I was delighted to see Mary Astor, one of my favorite actresses. As always, she was perfect.

    I was really impressed by John Hubbard's playing of a woman. He was a lot more talented than I had realised. I wonder why his career didn't take off in a big way. I remember watching the magnificent Twilight Time disc of Fate Is The Hunter for the first time. Right at the end there is a sequence where they are trying to re-enact the flight that went wrong. A co-pilot appears. I vaguely knew the actor's face but I couldn't put a name to it. It was John Hubbard.
     
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  18. Bob Gu

    Bob Gu Screenwriter

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    I guess World War II service interrupted John Hubbard's star climb. After the war, he combed his hair back and grew a moustache and began playing oily cads, fortune hunters, and red herrings. I always enjoy seeing him and it is a treat when he actually turns out not to be the bad guy in something.

    Hubbard also appears with Carole Landis in ONE MILLION B.C.

    I enjoy Joan Bennett in this era. A great beauty. I like the scene in THE HOUSEKEEPERS DAUGHTER where she tries on the harem girl leg jewelry. Funny and educational!
     
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  19. Robin9

    Robin9 Producer

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    I haven't yet watched The Housekeeper's Daughter. Perhaps tonight if I'm in the right mood.

    I know Joan Bennett mainly from her films in 1940s and 1950s. I recently came across a photo of her from, I guess, the late '30s and I was astonished. She was far more glamorous than I had seen before:

    Joan Bennett.
     
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  20. Bert Greene

    Bert Greene Supporting Actor

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    "Road Show" isn't too bad, but at 87 or so minutes, it ultimately over-extends its welcome. It should have been about 12 or 15 minutes shorter. Seeing "Turnabout" again for the first time in a couple of decades, it held up a little better than I remember, though I still think the 'voice' transposing ultimately torpedoed it. The script was actually pretty funny in spots, and it had a marvelous supporting cast of comedy pros who buoyed things considerably. Donald Meek had the role of his life, and made the most of it. William Gargan, usually a dramatic actor, always had excellent comedic chops, and is quite funny here. Menjou too. Marjorie Main underplays and is amusing. Mary Astor totally delivers in a role that is surprisingly small but quite key. Ya got funny character folks like Franklin Pangborn, Burton Churchill, and Murray Alper around. Along with bright, reliably funny gals like Joyce Compton and Inez Courtney, who always knew how to get the most out of every line of dialogue they had. A real bonanza of a cast. Yet, I still have to call the film a crazy misfire.

    "The Housekeeper's Daughter" was the one I remembered least. It was decent, if a bit manic, and somewhat left unwieldy by its overly large cast. I was enjoying the cute and funny romantic angle between Hubbard and Bennett, and it little disappointed it receded somewhat in the background as the film went off in so many other wacky directions. Hubbard really was solid in all of these films. I always spot him in 1960s tv-shows (like "Family Affair"), and think back to these earlier comedic leading-man roles, and wonder why he wasn't able to leave a bigger mark. You'd think he could have had a long string of b-comedies at Republic or Columbia, and stack up the credits in the kind of roles that Dennis O'Keefe used to thrive in before he turned serious/noir post-war.

    Joan Bennett was also quite a looker in her blonde days. You see, ahem, quite a bit of her in "Eleven Men and a Girl" (1930), after she takes a plunge from a canoe into the water, wearing a gossamer-thin dress. Some things you can't easily forget.
     
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