The Forgotten Films of Fatty Arbuckle

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Eric Peterson, Jun 16, 2005.

  1. Eric Peterson

    Eric Peterson Cinematographer

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    Has anybody seen this? I'm currently reading a book on Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle, and am thirsting to see some more of his work. I currently have the Arbuckle & Keaton collection, but was looking for some earlier Arbuckle comedies.

    I was searching around the web and came across this by accident.

    http://www.mackinacmedia.com/arbuckle.htm

    I've never heard of this company, and was concerned about quality, but it looks like a classy product, and there's a cross-promotion with TCM (Who doesn't promote garabage). I'm thinking about ordering this, but was curious if anybody had any thoughts.

    It appears that there are only a couple of duplicate shorts from the Arbuckle & Keaton collection, so that's a big plus.
     
  2. John Hodson

    John Hodson Producer

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    There's a very nice review here.
     
  3. Eric Peterson

    Eric Peterson Cinematographer

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    Thanks for the link John.

    This set sounds fairly impressive, and I was just surprised that it sneaked past the HTF, especially with some of the silent aficionados around here like Patrick McCart.
     
  4. LaurenceGarvey

    LaurenceGarvey Second Unit

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    It's a terrific set, and the words "labor of love" have to be used whenever it's discussed. These guys did a terrific job putting together one of the nicest silent film collections in the DVD universe.

    That said...

    I still think Fatty Arbuckle wasn't very funny. I'm only about half-way through it, so maybe I'll change my mind on disc three. He's a big fat guy who plays an unlikeable character that falls down a lot (very athletically, though). Not funny to me.

    That said...

    You'll find Chaplin, Charley Chase, Edgar Kennedy, and the Keystone Kops knocking about in these films, and they're not just funny hereabouts, but frequently hilarious.

    I recommend this set without reservations, but not for Roscoe.
     
  5. ChrisPearson

    ChrisPearson Second Unit

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    Thanks for the head's up on this, Eric. Mackinacmedia looks like a company to watch.

    DVD Pacific have this for a very reasonable $28.90 here.
     
  6. Eric Peterson

    Eric Peterson Cinematographer

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    Wow, that's a great price.

    Thanks Chris.
     
  7. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    Here's my review at digitallyObsessed (incidentally my 900th review, hooray for me):

    http://www.digitallyobsessed.com/sho...w.php3?ID=7306

    It is a splendid set with some great comedy and exceptionally fine musical scores. I wasn't very impressed with Laughsmith's Stooges set, but they really knock it out of the park with this one.
     
  8. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    Well, he's probably not as consistently funny as Chaplin, Keaton, and Lloyd in their films... but he did make a lot of real gems.

    I do think that his two-reeler "Out West" is one of the best, along with "Coney Island".

    Mr. Zimmer:

    Great review. I finally decided to order it... FYI, DeepDiscountDVD has two 20% off coupons (PRICESEARCH and SUPERSALE), which means you can get the set for $26.99... the cheapest price anywhere. Also got both Treasures from American Film Archives sets for $87.
     
  9. Tory

    Tory -The Snappy Sneezer- -Red Huck-

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    I like Roscoe better than Lloyd and Chaplin and I love them both. This set is a must and according to the commentary we may see more if this does well. It is a Limited Edition, I fear it staying on the shelf too long.
     
  10. Jeffrey Nelson

    Jeffrey Nelson Screenwriter

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    WOW...better than Lloyd or Chaplin?

    I picked up this set, and am extremely glad to have it. A HUGE missing chunk of silent comedy history is contained therein. Arbuckle is growing on me, I must admit. A great gagman and innovative comedy director. A good actor too, as is evidenced especially by his turn in HE DID AND HE DIDN'T. But better than Lloyd or Chaplin? Certainly not >funnier< in my opinion...I don't know who could be, except perhaps Buster Keaton.
     
  11. Eric Peterson

    Eric Peterson Cinematographer

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    Thanks for the reviews guys. I placed my order late last week, and it should be here by tomorrow. I have only watched a couple of the Arbuckle/Keaton shorts, so after seeing some more, I'll post my two cents on who I think is better, but right now Keaton is easily my favorite silent comedian.
     
  12. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

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    I recorded around 20 Fatty shorts from TCM back in April and have slowly been watching them. There's no way I'd put him in the same league as Chaplin, Keaton, Lloyd or even Chase. I still plan on picking up the set but I found quite a few of the shorts pretty bad. It seemed the best were around 1915 and the stuff with Keaton but the later films seemed like they weren't even going for laughs. The feature LEAP YEAR was also pretty bad IMO.

    I wasn't too fond of Lloyd but his style eventually grew on me so I'm hoping the same is true with Fatty.
     
  13. Tory

    Tory -The Snappy Sneezer- -Red Huck-

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  14. Eric Peterson

    Eric Peterson Cinematographer

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    I don't believe that I've ever seen any Charley Chase, so I'm looking forward to checking that set out. Is that coming from the same company that released the Arbuckle set?

    Nevermind! I just saw your link and discovered that it's a Milestone release.
     
  15. Elijah

    Elijah Supporting Actor

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    I was reading through this thread yesterday and was interested as admittedly I have had very little contact with early comedy (pre 40's)

    Last night I was watching Bewsters Millions from Netflix with John Candy, and Richard Pryor, and in the Production Notes of the disc, it was talking about how this was the 3rd or 4th remake of this film, with the first being a Fatty Arbuckle film. Its a small world afterall eh' [​IMG]

    Anyway, has anyone seen this one? Id be interested in buying/watching a couple of individual titles, are they available as such, or are the boxed sets our only DVD look at these films?
     
  16. Tory

    Tory -The Snappy Sneezer- -Red Huck-

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    I don't think Roscoe's version of Brewster's Millions is available on DVD yet, the recent boxset does not include it and the only other releases with him are the Keaton team ups from either Kino or Image, Image and The Cook and other treasures which is a single disc release but only 3 shorts, 2 with Roscoe Arbuckle and one with Harold Lloyd. He also appears in Image's Slapstick Encyclopedia, a 5 disc boxset. The first Brewster's Millions did not star him though, that was the second, the first was in 1914 and Directed by Oscar Apfel and Cecil B. DeMille seven years prior.
     
  17. BrianRi

    BrianRi Stunt Coordinator

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    Arbuckle's version of Brewster's Millions isn't available anywhere yet; it's considered a lost film.
     
  18. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    Actually, Arbuckle's 1921 version is at least the 2nd version of the play Brewster's Millions. The first, also lost, was directed in 1914 by none other than Cecil B. DeMille:

    http://www.silentera.com/PSFL/data/B...lions1914.html

    While this is down as "Lost" on the Silent Era website, Arbuckle's version is listed as "status unknown" so there may be reports of existing prints somewhere. Considering the "lost" Arbuckles that have reappeared in the last few years, such as "The Cook" and "Love" I wouldn't completely give up hope on it.
     
  19. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

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    Thanks for the info on the Chase set. Didn't Kino release a Chase set last year along with the Lloyd set?

    Didn't Fatty make most (all?) of his films at Paramount? If so, how are these titles being released by someone else? Also, does Paramount still hold any of the negatives to some of these films? People are talking about BREWSTER'S MILLIONS, which would be a Paramount release I think.
     
  20. Tory

    Tory -The Snappy Sneezer- -Red Huck-

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    I think everything before 1922 is Public Domain but don't quote me on that. After that if someone didn't renew the copyright on certain things after something like 28 years or if the company went bankrupt they become Public Domain. Now most PD titles are ignored by the big name studios but companies like Kino, Lobster, Image & Milestone, and Laughsmith & Mackinac put concentrated efforts into restoring and representing these ignored classics in a positive light.

    Charley Chase has a single disc collection from Kino with Mum's the Word,Long Fliv the King, April Fool, Mighty Like a Moose, Crazy Like a Fox, and All Wet. In Region 2 France there is a 2 disc collection from the same people that made the Charley Bowers release that came to the US. In Region2 UK on the Laurel & Hardy 21 disc box there are about 3 Chase shorts, one a talkie, and a few appearances in Laurel & Hardy films like Sons of the Desert. And the upcoming Region 0 US 10 disc Laurel & Hardy The Definitive Edition will feature every surviving Charley Chase film featuring Stan Laurel or Oliver Hardy included in amongst the mix, all in Chronological Order.

    Charley Chase can be seen on The Forgotten Films of Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle in Leading Lizzie Astray.
     

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