New Laurel & Hardy

Discussion in 'DVD' started by John Morgan, Feb 19, 2005.

  1. John Morgan

    John Morgan Supporting Actor

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    I noticed that a new Laurel & Hardy DVD is being released. It includes WAY OUT WEST and BLOCK-HEADS, two of their best features. The link to Deep Discount is:

    http://www.deepdiscountdvd.com/dvd.cfm?itemID=LGE017100

    I can't really tell who is releasing this, but both films are still copyrighted, so they should come from official sources. The one worry is next to the comment "Color" is a "Y", which I hope is a mistake or doesn't mean what I think it can mean.
    I know the previous release of SONS OF THE DESERT and a handful of shorts wasn't what most of us hoped for. Any insider information on this release?
     
  2. RonWilson

    RonWilson Extra

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    Amazon.com lists it as being in black and white and is set for release on March 15th.
     
  3. Jeff Rosen

    Jeff Rosen Extra

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    It is part of the Lion's Gate/ Artisan/ Hallmark library. Hopefully better than their first Lauel and Hardy title with Sons of the Desert.
     
  4. Steve...O

    Steve...O Producer

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    Given the disdain that Steve Beeks at Lion's Gate has for Laurel and Hardy (ask fellow HTFer Laurence Garvey about his conversations with Beeks) I would keep expectations low for this release.

    Still, I'll probably buy it to show support for releasing L&H in R1.

    Steve
     
  5. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    FYI, Turner Classic Movies is going to have a day-long marathon of Laurel & Hardy films on April 1st.


    I'm really hoping Lion's Gate pushed Hallmark to provide new transfers. The first L&H volume was a joke. And it wasn't funny, either.
     
  6. John Hodson

    John Hodson Producer

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    From Barrie Maxwell at The Bits:

    Michael Agee who releases a number of classic features through Image under The Hal Roach Studios imprimatur has a 12-disc Laurel and Hardy: The Definitive Edition release in the works. It will contain all the boys' work together and apart prior to 1929, plus appreciable supplementary material involving Charley Chase, Our Gang, Leon Errol, Edgar Kennedy, and many others. This planned release will not likely appear before the end of 2005 at the earliest, but when it does, it will replace the existing 10 discs comprising The Lost Films of Laurel and Hardy, and will contain almost two and a half times as much material in total as those discs.
     
  7. Steve...O

    Steve...O Producer

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    Mr. Agee posted on the L&H newsgroup awhile back with some of his plans; I'm glad Barrie followed up on this (thanks Barrie!)

    The quality of the initial batch of discs was excellent and generally surpassed the quality of the same shorts on the European releases. If Mr. Agee is finally able to deliver (he's been promising this set for quite some time now) I think L&H fans are in for a real treat with this upgrade.

    The one constructive criticism I would offer about the first batch is that they were single layer and recorded at a very low bit rate. Mr. Agee has indicated he is using dual layer, double sided disc this time. Hopefully the bit rate will be upped to make the material look even better.

    Mr. Agee has put up a website related to the first batch of releases if someone wants to learn more: www.halroachstudios.com

    Steve
     
  8. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    Any idea if the 12 disc set is just going to put all of the single discs together or will there be new transfers/masters?
     
  9. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    Agee has indicated new transfers for the most part and in some cases substantially better source material, so it looks as if an upgrade may well be in order.
     
  10. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    That's great, then.

    Just peeking at the website, it looks like a lot of care went into the films for the older masters... plenty of nitrate elements, too.

    Perhaps Hallmark could take note of this.
     
  11. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

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    thanks for the update about this

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Steve...O

    Steve...O Producer

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    In Barrie Maxwell's latest column he offers this tantalizing tidbit:



    This is great news for L&H fans and provides more confirmation that Fox is perhaps looking to get some more vault titles out in 2006. On the L&H newsgroup a contributor reveals that commentaries will accompany these.

    Steve
     
  13. Charles H

    Charles H Screenwriter

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    Maybe Robert Blake can be persuaded to do a commentary for THE BIG NOISE?
     
  14. Steve...O

    Steve...O Producer

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    It's too bad he's mired in controversy at the moment. "Bobby" Blake's early career found him along side some of the all time greats and I'm sure he has some great stories to tell.

    A couple of years ago someone on the L&H newsgroup contacted Fox and the then head of marketing dismissed any notion of releasing L&H citing unspecified legal issues. I give kudos to the current team (Steve Feldstein and company) for taking a good look at their library and deciding to become more adventurous with their 2006 releases. Let's just hope they receive adequate promotion so that consumers know about them.
     
  15. Steve...O

    Steve...O Producer

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    The L&H Magazine is reporting details of the long rumored and long awaited Mega-Collection of early Roach material from L&H, both as singles and as a team, as well as other shorts from featured Roach players like Edgar Kennedy and Charley Chase.

    The details can be found here while the mouth watering listing of material can be found here.

    A big thank you to Michael Agee for his efforts to put this together and to Image Entertainment for having the faith in Mr. Agee and L&H to be willing invest in this vitally important (in my opinion) venture.

    Steve
     
  16. Matthew H

    Matthew H Second Unit

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    Well that is mouth-watering and I can't wait for it. I still want my talkies released the correct way in Region 1. I had to part ways with my R2 set and miss it dearly. Damn Hallmark. [​IMG]
     
  17. Steve...O

    Steve...O Producer

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    From Davis DVD comes the news about the Fox set. It's due on 4/11 and will contain The Big Noise ,Great Guns, and Jittterbugs. . Some very nice extras are being included. All for Just $35 (less with on line discounts).

    I'm sold on this.

    Steve
     
  18. John Hodson

    John Hodson Producer

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    From DVD Times, more detail on the Fox L&H set:

    Fox Home Entertainment have announced the Region 1 DVD release of a Laurel and Hardy Giftset for 11th April 2006 priced at $34.98 SRP. This three-disc collection offers three films made by Laurel and Hardy at 20th Century Fox after they had left Hal Roach in 1940.

    Disc 1 "Big Noise":
    Audio: English: Mono & Stereo
    Subtitled: English and Spanish
    Special Features:
    Commentary by Randy Skredvedt
    Photo Gallery
    Theatrical Trailer
    Laurel and Hardy Theatre: Bullfighters Theatrical Trailer, Great Guns Theatrical Trailer, & The Dancing Master Theatrical Trailer

    Disc 2 "Great Guns":
    Audio: English: Mono & Stereo
    Subtitled: English & Spanish
    Special Features:
    Commentary by Randy Skretvedt
    Photo Gallery
    Opening the Freemont Theatre Movietone News
    Theatrical Trailer
    Laurel and Hardy Theatre: Big Noise Theatrical Trailer, Bullfighters Theatrical Trailer, & Jitterbugs Theatrical Trailer

    Disc 3 "Jitterbugs":
    Audio: English: Mono & Stereo
    Subtitled: English & Spanish
    Special Features:
    Commentary by Randy Skretvedt
    Photo Gallery
    Inauguration of the Railway Movietone News
    Theatrical Trailer
    Laurel and Hardy Theatre: Big Noise Theatrical Trailer, Bullfighters Theatrical Trailer, & Great Guns Theatrical Trailer
     
  19. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    I am a huge fan of the early L&H
    features. I owned many of them as
    a teen on Super 8mm. As an adult,
    I just bought the highly impressive
    UK boxed set with approx. 80 of their
    features from that era.

    This Fox release? I have never heard
    of these films. Should I be excited
    over their release?

    Would love to hear from fello L&H fans
    regarding how good these films are.
     
  20. Steve...O

    Steve...O Producer

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    Ron,

    The following is my opinion...don't be surprised if someone else says the polar opposite.

    L&H fans are sharply divided over these films. Many consider them non canon and will not watch them. Others, including HTF member Scott MacGillivray who wrote a book on these '40s films, find them charming in their own way and underrated.

    One big knock against them is that Fox took creative control out of Stan Laurel's hands and forced them to be "actors for hire" instead of the creative geniuses they were at Hal Roach. This isn't to say that the material is bad, just that Stan didn't have as much input as he used to.

    I personally find most of these films enjoyable. THE BIG NOISE in particular is quite funny in my opinion. It could be that the bad feelings toward the later L&H films stems from the fact neither Laurel or Hardy ever had good things to say about their Fox years. I suspect a lot of that was bruised ego.

    Fox has priced this DVD set to sell (under $10 per film with discounts) and put some very good extras on them. (Skredvedt's book on L&H is a treasure trove of information and is indispensable.) If anybody from Fox is reading this...Thank You!

    Steve
     

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