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 Posted:   Aug 31, 2014 - 1:49 AM   
 By:   Richard-W   (Member)

With so many releases to choose from, what are the best editions of their films in the USA? the best as in completeness, picture quality, supplements, etc.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 31, 2014 - 5:08 AM   
 By:   jenkwombat   (Member)

I'm not sure about all their feature-length films, but regarding their sound shorts, "Laurel & Hardy The Essential Collection", a 10-disc set from RHI Entertainment is a great purchase to make (if a little expensive) for those who want their Hal Roach films. These films are classic Laurel & Hardy, when they were in their prime....

Supplements include trailers, film commentaries by L & H experts, etc.


ADDED: Actually not as pricey as I initially thought. It's available on Amazon for about $60.00 now. SRP was about $100.00.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 31, 2014 - 11:43 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

The silent L&H shorts, as well as numerous silent shorts made individually by Laurel or Hardy before they became a team, are best found in the nine individual DVDs that go under the title of THE LOST FILMS OF LAUREL AND HARDY. This now OOP series was issued by Hal Roach Studios.

 
 Posted:   Sep 1, 2014 - 9:30 AM   
 By:   Ray Faiola   (Member)

The longtime owner of the Laurel and Hardy silents passed away late last year. It will be interesting to see if his son takes the library in a more accessible direction. The out-of-print DVD's are expensive to come by. Alternately, the silents can be found on the Region 2 box set, which also includes all the Roach-controlled talkies but in inferior versions than the domestic ESSENTIALS collection.

Even the ESSENTIALS are not fully restored. UCLA is undertaking a restoration project, but without funding from the rights-holder. So Gosh only knows if we will ever see their restorations via any venue other than an on-site screening.

I have all the Boys' films in 16mm, including an original Kodachrome full-length print of A TREE IN A TEST TUBE.

And yeah, I'm a Son of the Desert. Our tent: http://www.themtharhills.org

 
 Posted:   Sep 1, 2014 - 11:35 AM   
 By:   Stefan Huber   (Member)


I have all the Boys' films in 16mm, including an original Kodachrome full-length print of A TREE IN A TEST TUBE.



Including "Hats Off" and "Rogue Song" smile

 
 Posted:   Sep 1, 2014 - 2:55 PM   
 By:   Ray Faiola   (Member)

HATS OFF - no (but I do have the 1936 Grand National feature HATS OFF).

ROGUE SONG - yeah, I have the three minute clip with the bear in the cave ("Where did you get the fur coat?") and Tibbett singing up a storm (literally).

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 6, 2014 - 8:42 AM   
 By:   Richard-W   (Member)

Thanks for your replies, everyone.

I had to drop this for awhile but I'll pick up on it again now and start building my Laurel & Hardy
collection.

Bob, I'll start looking for Hal Roach Studios' THE LOST FILMS OF LAUREL AND HARDY dvd's. It's
just my luck to find out about a DVD series after it's gone out of print.

Ray, you must be a serious collector of the boys to have all their films in 16mm. Is that Kodachrome
title on DVD?

I don't suppose you met Mr. and Mrs. Stan Laurel when they were receiving occasional visitors in
the L.A. apartment?

themtharhills.org looks congenial ...



French poster for Them Thar Hills (1934).

 
 Posted:   Dec 6, 2014 - 11:32 AM   
 By:   DavidinBerkeley   (Member)



...that Ray Faiola would "own" this thread. big grin

 
 Posted:   Dec 6, 2014 - 2:11 PM   
 By:   Ray Faiola   (Member)

Thanks for your replies, everyone.

Ray, you must be a serious collector of the boys to have all their films in 16mm. Is that Kodachrome
title on DVD?

I don't suppose you met Mr. and Mrs. Stan Laurel when they were receiving occasional visitors in
the L.A. apartment?

themtharhills.org looks congenial ...



We're very congenial. We have BABES IN TOYLAND on the screen tomorrow. I never got to know Stan (I was nine when he passed away) but I did know Ollie's widow and I know Stan's daughter Lois.

THE TREE IN A TEST TUBE is on DVD. There is also an official US Agriculture Dept. print on youtube:




The film was shot in 16mm, so this is as good as it looks.

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 8, 2014 - 4:36 AM   
 By:   paulhickling   (Member)

We too are showing Babes in Toyland at our meeting here in the UK Brats Tent of Sheffield this evening, much to the annoyance of our Grand Sheik! It will be preceded by the silent short Big Business, and followed by The Fixer Uppers.

This is the set I plumbed for:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Laurel-Hardy-Complete-Collection-Features/dp/B00PKEZUE2/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1418040538&sr=8-2&keywords=laurel+and+hardy+silents

which was out before the ESSENTIALS set, but the UK one was already out. My main reason for getting this at the time was the way it is set out. The UK set is all over the place with everything mixed up into themes, including the dreadful early attempts at colourization. On this Dutch set, all the silents, all the sound shorts and all the (Roach) features in their own collections. For me, the best way to do it. The features are a mixed bag quality-wise here leading to me replacing one or two, but having all the shorts and silents together is great. Each of the three sets were available separately, which would be great if you just wanted the silents. Possibly a little more searching may yield good results.

Anyway Ray, enjoy your evening. We will. Question is though, will you be screening the b/w or colourized version of Babes? We put this one to the vote every year for our Christmas meeting. Sometimes the kids win! And I do feel this is THE one film the boys themselves would appreciate being shown in colour, hence my getting the Legend release. And it is our Christmas meeting...

'Twas Christmas Day in the Poorhouse
And the Boys Were Feeling Blue
The Boys in Grey Were Fighting
A Merry Christmas to You!

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 8, 2014 - 7:13 AM   
 By:   Richard-W   (Member)

Hmmm. Thanks for the link. The Dutch box-set is nicely organized:



I like the chronological organization. American companies never learn to do that.

But the set is locked in PAL, region 2. That means it will speed up in region 1, and play 4% faster in our American players, raising the Boys' voices into high falsettos and ruining their comic timing. Otherwise I'd buy it in a heartbeat.

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 9, 2014 - 3:20 AM   
 By:   paulhickling   (Member)

I never thought about the speeding up thing. This means then that my US sets which include the best available versions of Fra Diavolo, Bonnie Scotland and The Flying Deuces must be slowed down. Never noticed.

Yes, it's the ordering that's so nice about my set. All in chronological order. The films have Dutch subtitles which can be disabled. And each of the three sets were available separately, which at the time was better for me financially. The wonderful bastamusic.com, where I got mine from not only sent me the extras disc, which was supposedly only available if you sent in tokens from the three sets' booklets, but also the bigger box for all the sets with my last purchase. It's out of stock there now. But they do have the two lovely compilation cds of classic L&H music, as well as Our Relations complete score, performed by the excellent Beau Hunks.

The real downer is the features. Fra Diavalo (or 'Bogus Bandits'), Bonnie Scotland and Flying Deuces are all pretty poor quality.

All the sets have nice booklets with photos and notes culled from Randy Skretvedt's 'Magic Behind the Movies book, sadly in Dutch.

And am I not correct in thinking if you could get The Silents set on it's own, the timing would be less of an issue? If so, keep looking. I was surprised to see the complete box to be honest.

 
 Posted:   Dec 9, 2014 - 6:43 AM   
 By:   Ray Faiola   (Member)

Question is though, will you be screening the b/w or colourized version of Babes?

Our tent is one of the remaining tents that almost exclusively runs 16mm. My 16mm print of BABES IN TOYLAND is the complete, unedited MGM release (I was responsible for unearthing the nitrate fine grain back in 1989 but that's a long story).

Whether on film or video, B&W or colorized (the unauthorized Legend re-colorized version is actually better than the original Goodtimes atrocity), BABES IN TOYLAND is a great, great holiday treat.

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 9, 2014 - 7:33 AM   
 By:   Richard-W   (Member)

Is there a complete and uncut BABES IN TOYLAND on DVD / blu-ray?




paulhickling
I never thought about the speeding up thing. This means then that my US sets which include the best available versions of Fra Diavolo, Bonnie Scotland and The Flying Deuces must be slowed down. Never noticed.
.....
And am I not correct in thinking if you could get The Silents set on it's own, the timing would be less of an issue? If so, keep looking. I was surprised to see the complete box to be honest.


The timing would still be an issue because motion is speeded up as well the audio. When people move unnaturally fast, it's always an issue. Some viewers say they never notice the 4% speed-up, but it affects how the brain receives a film whether viewers consciously realize it or not. I've spent so many hours of my life editing news and film at high and slow speeds that I know instantly when motion is amiss.

The Dutch set has me salivating but I'd have to pass even it were still available.

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 9, 2014 - 8:06 AM   
 By:   paulhickling   (Member)

I envy you Ray.

Our Brats Tent's first meeting was back in the late 80s, and I moved house in '93 having several years break from meetings. I started attending again post 2000, by which time we had moved to a new venue. But back in the 80s/90s we had several visits per year from an old couple who gave us a 16mm movie show for the evening. To say the difference was amazing is an understatement, especially considering in those early days we were watching vhs on tv most months!

Yes I agree it's a great film, and one I remember being shown around Christmas on tv (along with many L&H films) when I was a kid. I always remembered the Bogey Men and the toy soldiers. Quite why our Grand Sheik hates it so much is beyond me, except it always leads to much mirth on the night. To be fair I'd say the operettas are the least popular for showing. And we VERY rarely screen post-Roach films.

In answer to you Richard I believe this is the best available Babes, not forgetting Legend always include a spruced up b/w 'original' along with their colorizations:

http://www.amazon.com/March-Wooden-Soldiers-Blu-ray-Laurel/dp/B003XSTS4K/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1418150661&sr=8-1&keywords=march+of+the+wooden+soldiers+blu+ray

unless of course Ray knows better...

 
 Posted:   Dec 9, 2014 - 2:31 PM   
 By:   Ray Faiola   (Member)

Legend messed with the film. The most authentic release is from MGM Home Video. It originally came out in a tri-pack with BISHOP'S WIFE and POCKETFUL OF MIRACLES:

http://www.amazon.com/Classics-Collection-Soldiers-Pocketful-Miracles/dp/B000TJBNH6/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1418164162&sr=8-6&keywords=march+of+the+wooden+soldiers

Later MGM released "Soldiers" in a solo box.

But don't be misled by the title. It is, in fact, BABES IN TOYLAND. Complete from the MPPDA code emblem to the original End Title.

 
 Posted:   Dec 9, 2014 - 2:34 PM   
 By:   Ray Faiola   (Member)

By the way - one of my most extraordinary memories was when I took a reduction negative of the first reel from the nitrate TOYLAND to a friend's film lab in New Jersey. Two fellow Sons/Collectors went with me and we were like three kids on Christmas when the work print came out of the soup and we ran it through the projector. We were the first people in more than 50 years to see the original MGM titles to BABES IN TOYLAND.

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 9, 2014 - 8:23 PM   
 By:   Richard-W   (Member)

I bought this one:




It includes the monochrome, the colorized, and the 3-D conversion colorized on three discs.

Next month I'll get the MGM edition.

There were some Laurel and Hardy shorts that are so gracefully executed, they're among the finest comedies ever attempted. Like all movies, shot in bits and pieces, so that you can't see how they'll pull together, but once put together, they're impossibly good. Certainly THE MUSIC BOX (1932) achieves perfection.

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 9, 2014 - 9:39 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

BABES IN TOYLAND got its MARCH OF THE WOODEN SOLDIERS moniker when it was re-released around 1948-50 by Lippert Pictures. "Formerly Babes In Toyland" said the ads. At some point (the 1970s says one source), it was shown under the title REVENGE IS SWEET. "(March of the Wooden Soldiers)" said the ads. While the Lippert release changed the film's title card to read MARCH OF THE WOODEN SOLDIERS, I suspect that the REVENGE IS SWEET title appeared on only the advertising.

 
 Posted:   Dec 10, 2014 - 2:02 PM   
 By:   Ray Faiola   (Member)

Okay, I'll try to make this quick and painless.

Roach sold the picture to William LeBaron (who, when at RKO, had wanted to make the film in 1930 with Wheeler and Woolsey in Technicolor) and Borris Morros, who had recently formed Federal Films. They wanted to remake the film but ran into many problems with the censors AND with the Victor Herbert estate who retained title and remake rights. So they sold the picture to Joseph Auerbach. Auerbach licensed the film to Robert Lippert for US reissue as REVENGE IS SWEET. However, just before reissue they changed the name to MARCH OF THE WOODEN SOLDIERS (my print still has REVENGE IS SWEET in the panel leaders of the portions that came from the reissue negative). Auerbach prepared a British Territories release under the title Laurel and Hardy in TOYLAND. I believe the titles that follow the main title on that release are from the REVENGE IS SWEET titles and they have a different background design than the SOLDIERS titles but the lettertype and spelling mistakes are identical.

WPIX-TV bought the film outright from Auerbach in the early 1960's. Pix/Tribune later sold it to Samuel Goldwyn Studios and it was then acquired with the other Goldwyn properties by MGM.

 
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