Laurel and Hardy HD restorations – Blu-rays coming?

These HD transfers had been prepared in the event of a subsequent Blu-ray release that sadly, has not happened, and I suspect may never occur! 3 Stars

From the BBC:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-34607205

Published by

Kevin Collins

administrator

26 Comments

  1. No, most likely it is the Kirch Group prints that were part of the UK 21 disc dvd set over 10 years ago that were later remastered for the US set released in 2011.

    According to L&H expert Richard W. Bann there is no plans for a bluray release in the near future but all are in HD and available on iTunes.

    "Way Out West" did get a full restoration a few years ago and if this is now going out into theatres, it will be a sight to behold (and minus a very badly timed jumpcut during the song "Trail of the Lonesome Pine" which was in the Kirch version of the movie)

  2. I was under the impression that the UCLA restoration of the talkies would take several years to complete. And I assume it's the Roach talkies, apart from Bonnie Scotland, Fra Diavolo, Babes in Toyland

  3. As a non U.S. Resident, I'll choose this topic to voice my profound disappointment in being denied access to the Laurel & Hardy HD restorations, which can only be accessed via the U.S. version of iTunes! I have no doubt this is due to U.S. only release rights issues, that don't include Canada in the mix! It's the same issue that prevents Turner Classic Movies from airing the bulk of the Hal Roach Film Library on their Canadian feed. Based on what I've heard from a most reliable source, this would require additional sublicensing fees that evidently neither TCM, nor Sonar Entertainment deemed to be worthwhile shelling out for. Thus this situation is by their own choosing, despite what has been posted on the TCM Message Boards, regarding their unsuccessful attempts to acquire Canadian Broadcast rights for the 1937 Hal Roach Cary Grant feature comedy, TOPPER.

    I'll state further that as the shift continues away from importable physical media toward the strictly digital formats, it will likely become ever more difficult to legally obtain titles that are only available internationally, but on digital platforms that can only be accessed by a specific nation's residents. For instance, unlike the UK based Network On Air Blu-ray of the L&H Public Domain title, THE FLYING DEUCES (1939), there's no way for me to order the U.S. iTunes based HD version of WAY OUT WEST as an import! I would if I could!

    CHEERS! πŸ™‚

  4. Ushabye

    Do you know, are the ITunes editions just uprezed versions of the remastered DVD box from 2012?

    The iTunes versions are from the actual HD Transfers that were previously used for the 2011 RHI/Vivendi (Now Sonar Entertainment) release of the 10 DVD set of LAUREL & HARDY: THE ESSENTIAL COLLECTION, for which they were actually downrezzed. These HD transfers had been prepared in the event of a subsequent Blu-ray release that sadly, has not happened, and I suspect may never occur!

    CHEERS! πŸ™‚

  5. Bob Furmanek

    Those HD masters are also available for purchase now on Amazon streaming. I've bought a few and they look great!

    Hi Bob!

    Did you happen to check out SONS OF THE DESERT? If so, does the imaging look less muddy on the HD Masters, or is it essentially the same (Other than the higher resolution, of course!) as on the LAUREL & HARDY: THE ESSENTIAL COLLECTION DVD set?

    CHEERS! πŸ™‚

    Tony

  6. The restorations are being made for the Laurel&Hardy talkies. But on ebay there were three nitrate original prints for silent films of the boys, and onne from Stan Laurel film. Frozen Hearts, Why Girls Love Sailors, You' re Darn Tootie, Big Bussines, Frozen Hearts.

    If I'm right, a restorer from Europe managed to buy the prints and will check if it's better or have missing scenes, or if it's a alternate take version or alternate camera version.

  7. JoeDoakes

    It really hurts when the author compares L&H to Dumb and Dumber.

    He is no doubt referring to his mentality and that is being nice.
    Laurel and Hardy are the greatest comedians of all time. I have almost all of their films on dvd. True masters of comedy.

  8. Just noticed today that a batch of Laurel & Hardy silent shorts are available now for free viewing for Amazon Prime members. They're listed as being from a company named CineAmerica. Looked at one on my phone and it looks pretty good. Will have to wait and see what they look like on my bigger screen when I get home.

    Available are: BIG BUSINESS, HABEAS CORPUS, FLYING ELEPHANTS, DOUBLE WHOOPEE, YOU'RE DARN TOOTIN', DO DETECTIVES THINK?, LIBERTY, THEIR PURPLE MOMENT, THE FINISGING TOUCH and LEAVE 'EM LAUGHING.

  9. battlebeast

    The Only One I really want to see is BATTLE OF THE CENTURY.

    Unfortunately, that one's tangled up in ownership/release rights HELL! :angry:

    I know that it's titled THE BATTLE OF THE CENTURY, but why does the struggle to get the near complete version released on Home Video have to live up to the bloody title? :angry::angry:

  10. Tony Bensley

    Hi Bob!

    Did you happen to check out SONS OF THE DESERT? If so, does the imaging look less muddy on the HD Masters, or is it essentially the same (Other than the higher resolution, of course!) as on the LAUREL & HARDY: THE ESSENTIAL COLLECTION DVD set?

    CHEERS! πŸ™‚

    Tony

    Just a repeat of the unanswered question above that I asked almost 2 years ago.

    CHEERS! πŸ™‚

  11. Fries Film Archief, who with Lobster Films, restored the 1924 Stan Laurel short DETAINED (Including the complete hanging scene, and the long lost second part of the film!), and has made it available for viewing on YouTube:

    In keeping with part of the topic theme, the above is presented in 720p, or entry level HD. :thumbs-up-smiley:

    CHEERS! πŸ™‚

  12. battlebeast

    The Only One I really want to see is BATTLE OF THE CENTURY.

    cinemiracle

    I have that short on DVD -released by UNIVERSAL studios.

    Sounds like you might mean the 21-disc set released by Universal in the UK several years back. If so, it wouldn't include the restored version with the newly-found missing sections.

  13. Just to provide further clarification, the existing home video editions of THE BATTLE OF THE CENTURY (1927) contain the following:
    Reel One:
    – Opening Titles
    – Fight Scene
    (Followup Insurance scene with Eugene Palette is missing.)

    Reel Two:
    – Consists of less than 4 minutes of footage from the condensed pie fight footage, lifted from Robert Youngson's THE GOLDEN AGE OF COMEDY (1957) silent comedy compilation feature.
    (More than half of Reel Two is missing.)

    In contrast, the unreleased near complete version of THE BATTLE OF THE CENTURY (1927) includes the following:
    Reel One:
    – Opening Titles
    – Fight Scene
    (Followup Insurance scene with Eugene Palette is missing.)

    Reel Two:
    – Now complete. Includes lead in footage of Stan and Oliver walking down a street, that precedes the tripping on the Banana Peel which leads to the now complete massive Pie Fight sequence; plus Oliver's long unseen final exchange with a cop, following the messy proceedings.

    In my opinion, the continued absence of the near complete edition of THE BATTLE OF THE CENTURY (1927) on home video is a crime against humanity. The rights holders seriously need to get their act together and make this comedy gem available to the masses in some form, if not on physical media, then at least in the form of digital downloads / streaming that's not limited by the exclusion of non U.S. territories, if that is even possible. Continued isolated presentations at festivals and conventions over 2 and a half years on just doesn't cut the mustard anymore!

    CHEERS! πŸ™‚

  14. Paul Penna

    Sounds like you might mean the 21-disc set released by Universal in the UK several years back. If so, it wouldn't include the restored version with the newly-found missing sections.

    BATTLE OF THE CENTURY came with a 5 dvd pack released in Australia. The DVD was listed as being disc 19 so I imagine it was part of a much larger dvd set released in both the UK and Australia.

  15. Konstantinos

    Arrow had said they're looking into it I think…
    A set of these films and shorts would be wonderful!

    Arrow? Criterion? Heck, I so want to see the near complete edit of THE BATTLE OF THE CENTURY (1927), that I'd even accept a Hallmark DVD release, at this stage! πŸ˜€

    CHEERS! πŸ™‚

  16. I have seen the restored Battle of the Century several times now, thanks to the TCM and San Francisco Silent Film Festivals. What's interesting is that Youngson actually shortened some of the existing shots when he excerpted the pie fight scenes. In the restoration you can quite clearly see a jump in quality mid-scene when the existing shortened footage (from 35mm ) is spliced to the 16mm footage found on the collector's print, resulting in longer shots in the original cut of the film, along with the missing scenes.

    UCLA is continuing with their project to restore and protect the sound shorts and features photochemically on 35mm film.. Work has now begun to digitize and clean up the film elements. Here is a comparison between the current DVD version of Hog Wild with the new, digital clean-up from the 35mm elements :

Leave a Reply