Laurel & Hardy sound shorts on DVD?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Hal D, Dec 11, 2003.

  1. Hal D

    Hal D Extra

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    Hi. Does anyone know how Hallmark's recent L & H dvd sold & if they might bring out more? Titles like Laughing Gravy, Brats & Our Wife are must-haves.We need L & H's sound shorts!Thanks!
     
  2. Paul Drake

    Paul Drake Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi Hal.

    I totally agree with you. Unfortunately Hallmark/Artisan have shown total disdain toward L&H.

    A L&H superfan, known as "Laughing Gravy" on the Net has posted on the L&H newsgroup some very disturbing comments regarding his conversations with Hallmark in this regard.

    As you may know, the first Artisan release this year was disappointing in that "Sons of the Desert" print was a TV print complete with commercial fadeouts. "The Music Box" print contained VHS artifacts (including a very annoying rolling image) because Hallmark used an '80s VHS master.

    There has been talk of a volume 2 containing "Way Out West" and a handful of shorts, but nothing formal has been announced.

    Many diehard L&H fans have picked up the German Kinowelt DVDs. I've not done so, but I've read many places that the transfers are excellent and often feature scenes not in the US versions. Unfortunately, you'll need a region free player to view these.

    There was a fairly extensive thread about this awhile back that you may want to search out.
     
  3. Dick

    Dick Producer
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    Well, soon the Artisan catalog will belong to Paramount, and since that company has released probably 75% of their own prime back catalog already, the L&H material might actually see the light of day, and done better.
     
  4. Alistair_M

    Alistair_M Second Unit

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  5. Paul Drake

    Paul Drake Stunt Coordinator

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    Dick said:
     
  6. Matthew H

    Matthew H Second Unit

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    Being the die-hard L&H fan that I am, we need these on DVD. They're classics that shouldn't be missed by anyone. I'm glad to hear Paramount now has the rights to them, so there's a better chance we'll see them on DVD.

    I don't know about anyone else, but my tapes of "The Laurel and Hardy Show" taped from WWOR Ch. 9 from NYC in the late 80s are really wearing out, and not to mention the amazing colorized versions Comedy Central ran in the early 90s. I loved the way they formatted the L&H shorts and made it "their own show". Watching it to this day brings chills to my spine, just from the segments they showed at the end and how they left for commercial breaks. Doesn anyone know who owns the rights to air these? Would it be Hallmark? Man, what I'd do to see The Boys' back on TV under "The L&H Show" again.
     
  7. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    Artisan is NOT going to Paramount.

    Only the Republic catalog will revert to Paramount (High Noon, The Quiet Man, etc)

    However, I wish the L&H films would revert to Paramount. No extras, probably...but they'd at least use film transfers that are not two decades old.
     
  8. Dick

    Dick Producer
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    Sorry. My mistake.
     
  9. alan halvorson

    alan halvorson Cinematographer

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    The German versions are excellent - I own the 10-disc box set. The downside to the German versions is that they didn't exactly pack the discs; they could have easily been done in 5 or 6 with no loss of quality.

    I would like a couple more German L&H titles, but, my God! Shipping from Germany (at least through Amazon.de) is horrendous! Almost as much as the discs themselves.
     
  10. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    But it's possible that with the Lion's Gate acquisition that Artisan will begin to show more attention to the L&H titles--especially after the Republic catalog goes bye-bye and they have fewer titles to release. Here's hoping, anyway, but I'll probably have broken down and bought the Kinowelt discs by then.

    If you're on the fence about the Kinowelts, you should be aware that the licensor in Europe went bankrupt. What that means for the future of these Kinowelt discs I don't know but I doubt that it's good.
     
  11. Paul Drake

    Paul Drake Stunt Coordinator

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  12. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

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    Thanks for the info about the German dvds just might get these one of these days

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Steve...O

    Steve...O Producer

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    It appears the first Kinowelt box set may be OOP (at least the amazon.de website hasn't had it for quite some time).

    Fortunately, a potentially great alternative is coming from the Netherlands. Quoting from the L&H newsgroup:

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    Universal DVDs in 2004
    Universal Benelux in Amsterdam has announced the release on DVD of the first series of the Hal Roach/Laurel&Hardy Library.
    The release date is March 11th. The first series comprises the short talkies in chronological order on three double-DVDs, priced about 65 euro for the boxed set of six DVDs. For detailed content look here.
    The features and silent shorts can be expected later in 2004.

    The discs will have optional Dutch subtitles. Universal will use the same masters of restored films that are also used by Kinowelt in Germany.

    ------------------------

    The way I see it, the big advantage of this set is that it is quite affordable and presents all of the sound shorts in chronilogical order.

    I haven't reserched ordering options but I read where the freerecordshop.com website (in English) has this for pre-order.

    Steve
     

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