Randy Skretvedt, the author of “Laurel and Hardy: The Magic Behind the Movies” posted this on his Facebook page yesterday:
“Whew! At last I can post something about this beautiful, wonderful project that I and others have been working on since October 2018. The films are ASTONISHING. You won’t believe how clear and clean they look, as if they were filmed yesterday. Well, maybe the day before yesterday, but I guarantee you have never seen “Come Clean” or “Hog Wild” or the others in such wonderful quality. As for the eight hours of special features, I have contributed multitudes of material from my own collection, as has Richard W. Bann. There are many exclusives here, such as my filmed interviews with producer Joe Rock, special-effects wizard Roy Seawright and actress Anita Garvin Stanley. Also Babe Hardy’s personal scrapbook of his “Vim Comedy” days in Jacksonville in 1916-17, as well as his own photos from L&H’s 1932 tour of the UK. Marvin Hatley music tracks are here, along with audio interviews with Hal Roach, Richard Currier, Bert Jordan, George Marshall and others. I provided commentaries for 19 movies and Richard for two of them, which give you a guided tour through the production of the films. Photo galleries will take you on both sides of the camera for all of the films, and you’ll see amazing, rare poster art and studio files. Trailers and a *gorgeous* transfer of L&H’s one fully-surviving color film “The Tree in a Test Tube,” as well as the out-takes reel “That’s That” are among the extras. Oh, yes — I almost forgot to mention the video debut of the nearly-complete THE BATTLE OF THE CENTURY, the legendary pie-fight silent film which has existed only in part for nearly 90 years. (It looks great and was worth the wait.) This region-free release is a must-have for every Laurel and Hardy admirer!”
I have spoken with Randy about this and can tell you that most of these transfers are taken from the UCLA restorations and look incredible. THE BATTLE OF THE CENTURY is as complete as is known to exist and SONS OF THE DESERT finally looks and sounds pristine. I believe the street date is sometime in early summer, with preorders going up in May.