I am delighted, delapidated and embalmed to bring you this great news on the Sony DVD boxed set. I just hung up with a publicity man for Sony Home Entertainment and he has confirmed that the first set of chronilogical ordered shorts are being produced for DVD. However, they will not be released on September 18th as posted on Amazon.com. In fact, the earliest release date is the end of October, according to Sony's publicity department. The set will contain all shorts from 1934, 1935 and 1936. The actual title of the set has not been finalized as of yet. There will be bonus features included on this upcoming release. Some that are finalized are a Moe Howard bio; pop up Stooge trivia (on selected shorts); audio commentary (on selected shorts); interviews of surviving female supporting players that were part of a recent convention.
I asked if he can confirm whether or not the shorts will be fully restored versus the remastered video in earlier DVD's. He was not able to confirm as the publicity department does not handle the making of the product. He did state that they will be in black and white only, unlike the last few DVD's that offered the Chromachoice option. He did state that it is Sony's policy to configure all DVD's to high definition, so the likely hood of the shorts being restored to the quality on the Chromachoice discs are a good bet.
Additionally, I asked if he knew of missing scenes, such as in a previous "Three Little Beers" release, will be restored. I also inquired if spliced dialogue would be corrected (as in "Micro Phonies", when Christine McIntyre was explaining her desire to be a radio singer in the control booth). The Sony rep had no idea what I was talking about here. Apparantly, us Stooge fans know more about the product than employees of the studio. Hopefully, they have someone helming this project who is familiar with the films.
Future sets are in the works and a bio on Larry, Curly, Shemp and Joe Besser will appear on future volumes. How far they will go into releasing all 190 shorts was not confirmed. Depending on how well the sets sell will be the ultimate decision, I'm sure. From a general market place point of view, the Curly sets will sell more than the Shemp sets. The Shemp sets will sell more than the Joe Besser set. True blue Three Stooges fans will, of course, support them all. I only hope there are enough of us to have all the shorts deemed worthy to be issued.