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  • DVD Laurel & Hardy: The Essential Collection: October 25, 2011 - October 31, 2011

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Offline falsealarms

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Offline FineBari3

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Re: Laurel & Hardy: The Essential Collection
« Reply #76 on: November 05, 2011, 08:47:45 AM »
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  • From Leonard Maltin's blog:  "A separate commentary for Sons of the Desert features lifelong L&H enthusiasts Chuck McCann and Tim Conway, who know a thing or two about comedy."

    WOW!!!!!!


    Mar-Jean Zamperini
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    Offline metaldams

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    Re: Laurel & Hardy: The Essential Collection
    « Reply #77 on: November 05, 2011, 12:24:51 PM »
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  • Thanks for the Maltin review.  I was just so excited to hear these films were being released I never even thought about the commentary angle, but it appears there are some good audio commentary tracks as well!  It's going to be a happy day when I finally receive this set.

    Offline Seamus

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    Re: Laurel & Hardy: The Essential Collection
    « Reply #78 on: November 06, 2011, 08:39:47 PM »
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  • This is practically a cold purchase for me, but I'm confident enough that I'll love the hell out of these shorts that I pulled the Amazon trigger on this set today.  I ordered a copy of Simon Louvish's L&H biography while I was at it, so looking forward to a Laurel and Hardy crash course over the next few months (much like I did with the W.C. Fields sets last year).

    Offline falsealarms

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    Re: Laurel & Hardy: The Essential Collection
    « Reply #79 on: November 06, 2011, 10:44:33 PM »
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  • I would also HIGHLY recommend Randy Skretvedt's LAUREL & HARDY: THE MAGIC BEHIND THE MOVIES. Used copies are pretty cheap and that book is the perfect companion to the box set. Very detailed info on all the L&H films, silents through ATOLL K.

    http://www.amazon.com/Laurel-Hardy-Magic-Behind-Movies/dp/094041029X

    Offline Seamus

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    Re: Laurel & Hardy: The Essential Collection
    « Reply #80 on: November 07, 2011, 06:09:40 AM »
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  • I would also HIGHLY recommend Randy Skretvedt's LAUREL & HARDY: THE MAGIC BEHIND THE MOVIES. Used copies are pretty cheap and that book is the perfect companion to the box set. Very detailed info on all the L&H films, silents through ATOLL K.

    http://www.amazon.com/Laurel-Hardy-Magic-Behind-Movies/dp/094041029X

    Great recommendation, thanks!  Just added that one to the cart.  (I really need parental controls on my Amazon account.  I've spent enough money there the past month to bail out Wall Street).

    Offline metaldams

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    Re: Laurel & Hardy: The Essential Collection
    « Reply #81 on: November 07, 2011, 07:56:58 AM »
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  • This is practically a cold purchase for me, but I'm confident enough that I'll love the hell out of these shorts that I pulled the Amazon trigger on this set today.  I ordered a copy of Simon Louvish's L&H biography while I was at it, so looking forward to a Laurel and Hardy crash course over the next few months (much like I did with the W.C. Fields sets last year).

    Enjoy the hell out of it, some of those shorts and features are stone cold classics and arguably make me laugh harder than anything else.

    A little birdie yesterday told me I will be getting this set in a couple of months, but until then, I'm watching the set Warner Brothers released 5 years back to hold me over, the one with THE DEVIL'S BROTHER and THE BOHEMIAN GIRL.  Not bad films, but really Laurel and Hardy films where you get the feeling at times they're supporting players in their own films!  Did watch THE DEVIL'S BROTHER last night, and that film is worth it alone for the scene where Stan's about to hang Ollie (unsuccessfully, of course) due to Fra Diavlo's command, and the whole bit about Stan telling Ollie's girl he's Ollie's son had my sides hurting from laughter.

    Still, the classic Laurel and Hardy stuff is contained in this new set.

    Offline QuinceHead

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    Re: Laurel & Hardy: The Essential Collection
    « Reply #82 on: November 07, 2011, 08:02:21 AM »
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  • (I really need parental controls on my Amazon account.  I've spent enough money there the past month to bail out Wall Street).

    I know that feeling all too well, alas...  :-\

    For duty and humanity,
    JohnH aka QuinceHead

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    Re: Laurel & Hardy: The Essential Collection
    « Reply #83 on: November 07, 2011, 08:45:10 AM »
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  • This is practically a cold purchase for me, but I'm confident enough that I'll love the hell out of these shorts ...

    That's how I feel too. I keep saying to myself, I like the stooges, Abbott & Costello and the Marx Bros, so why wouldn't I like L&H?? I definitely need to just go for it and buy this set. $65 is big plunge for me to take, but I'm sure it will be worth it.

    What I'll probably do is see if I can find some shorts or films of L&H online that I can watch for free. I'll watch a handful and if I like them, I'm definitely buying this set.

    Offline Seamus

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    Re: Laurel & Hardy: The Essential Collection
    « Reply #84 on: November 07, 2011, 09:12:12 AM »
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  • That's how I feel too. I keep saying to myself, I like the stooges, Abbott & Costello and the Marx Bros, so why wouldn't I like L&H?? I definitely need to just go for it and buy this set. $65 is big plunge for me to take, but I'm sure it will be worth it.

    What I'll probably do is see if I can find some shorts or films of L&H online that I can watch for free. I'll watch a handful and if I like them, I'm definitely buying this set.

    My (and my wife's) commitment to remaining childless is the main reason I can afford to collect the filmed works of old vaudevillians.  It also keeps me in photography gear.

    Offline metaldams

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    Re: Laurel & Hardy: The Essential Collection
    « Reply #85 on: November 07, 2011, 10:08:59 AM »
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  • My (and my wife's) commitment to remaining childless is the main reason I can afford to collect the filmed works of old vaudevillians.  It also keeps me in photography gear.

    Filmed works of old vaudevillians - now that's a method of birth control they never taught me in sex ed.

    Offline Seamus

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    Re: Laurel & Hardy: The Essential Collection
    « Reply #86 on: November 07, 2011, 10:21:36 AM »
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  • Filmed works of old vaudevillians - now that's a method of birth control they never taught me in sex ed.

    That's because "The Laurel and Hardy Incentive" method has been found to be the second least effective (I'm a rare exception).  Only the "Texas-style Abstinence Only" method is less successful at preventing child birth.

    Offline falsealarms

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    Re: Laurel & Hardy: The Essential Collection
    « Reply #87 on: November 07, 2011, 10:59:26 AM »
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  • Here's a free resource that's invaluable as well -

    http://laurelandhardycentral.com/

    Click on sound shorts and feature films. Great pages on all of them.

    Offline metaldams

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    Re: Laurel & Hardy: The Essential Collection
    « Reply #88 on: November 07, 2011, 11:05:46 AM »
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  • Here's a free resource that's invaluable as well -

    http://laurelandhardycentral.com/

    Click on sound shorts and feature films. Great pages on all of them.

    That site does rock the casbah, no doubt.

    Offline metaldams

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    Re: Laurel & Hardy: The Essential Collection
    « Reply #89 on: November 07, 2011, 11:06:38 AM »
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  • That's because "The Laurel and Hardy Incentive" method has been found to be the second least effective (I'm a rare exception).  Only the "Texas-style Abstinence Only" method is less successful at preventing child birth.

    The most effective method is the pick up line, "Who's your favorite Stooge?"

    Offline metaldams

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    Re: Laurel & Hardy: The Essential Collection
    « Reply #90 on: November 07, 2011, 11:07:37 AM »
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  • So, packaging aside, does anybody have any interesting revelations film wise from this set?  How are you guys who are discovering Laurel and Hardy digging them?

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    Re: Laurel & Hardy: The Essential Collection
    « Reply #91 on: November 07, 2011, 05:42:40 PM »
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  • I was able to watch a couple of shorts online today. The two I just watched were "Towed in a Hole" and "The Music Box."

    They were ok, but in my opinion, I don't think they're as good as the Stooges, The Marx Bros, and Abbott and Costello. When watching, "Towed In a Hole," I was expecting it to be an enjoyable short since the stooges remade this one. But unfortunately I don't think it's nearly as good as "Booby Dupes." There were some funny bits, I'll admit, but overall, I didn't really care for the short.

    "The Music Box," on the other hand, was a much better short but unfortunately I still didn't care for it that much either. My main gripe with L&H is that their comedy doesn't seem to be as energetic as the Stooges, The Marx Bros, and Abbott and Costello. Their style is more mellow and therefore, it doesn't seem to suit my taste. So, with that said, I will have to pass on this set. This is rather disappointing to say as I really wanted to become an L&H fan and buy this magnificent set.

    I hope I didn't offend any L&H fans out there. It is just my opinion. I will not say they suck because they don't. I will just say that they have a unique style of comedy that I don't particularly care for.

    Offline metaldams

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    Re: Laurel & Hardy: The Essential Collection
    « Reply #92 on: November 07, 2011, 05:58:12 PM »
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  • I was able to watch a couple of shorts online today. The two I just watched were "Towed in a Hole" and "The Music Box."

    They were ok, but in my opinion, I don't think they're as good as the Stooges, The Marx Bros, and Abbott and Costello. When watching, "Towed In a Hole," I was expecting it to be an enjoyable short since the stooges remade this one. But unfortunately I don't think it's nearly as good as "Booby Dupes." There were some funny bits, I'll admit, but overall, I didn't really care for the short.

    "The Music Box," on the other hand, was a much better short but unfortunately I still didn't care for it that much either. My main gripe with L&H is that their comedy doesn't seem to be as energetic as the Stooges, The Marx Bros, and Abbott and Costello. Their style is more mellow and therefore, it doesn't seem to suit my taste. So, with that said, I will have to pass on this set. This is rather disappointing to say as I really wanted to become an L&H fan and buy this magnificent set.

    I hope I didn't offend any L&H fans out there. It is just my opinion. I will not say they suck because they don't. I will just say that they have a unique style of comedy that I don't particularly care for.

    You know, I think it would be a cool idea to debate Stooge shorts and similar shorts, like Bobby Dupes Vs. Towed In A Hole.  We could either have formal debates or just threads, but that's a real cool idea, I think.

    I guess Laurel and Hardy just isn't for you, X.  Those are two of their best shorts.

    Offline Seamus

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    Re: Laurel & Hardy: The Essential Collection
    « Reply #93 on: November 07, 2011, 07:21:27 PM »
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  • I was able to watch a couple of shorts online today. The two I just watched were "Towed in a Hole" and "The Music Box."

    They were ok, but in my opinion, I don't think they're as good as the Stooges, The Marx Bros, and Abbott and Costello. When watching, "Towed In a Hole," I was expecting it to be an enjoyable short since the stooges remade this one. But unfortunately I don't think it's nearly as good as "Booby Dupes." There were some funny bits, I'll admit, but overall, I didn't really care for the short.

    "The Music Box," on the other hand, was a much better short but unfortunately I still didn't care for it that much either. My main gripe with L&H is that their comedy doesn't seem to be as energetic as the Stooges, The Marx Bros, and Abbott and Costello. Their style is more mellow and therefore, it doesn't seem to suit my taste. So, with that said, I will have to pass on this set. This is rather disappointing to say as I really wanted to become an L&H fan and buy this magnificent set.

    I hope I didn't offend any L&H fans out there. It is just my opinion. I will not say they suck because they don't. I will just say that they have a unique style of comedy that I don't particularly care for.

    This is fair enough.  I'd venture that L&H and W.C. Fields are less accessible to modern audiences than the others you mentioned (Stooges, Marxes, A&C) for exactly the reasons you gave - pacing and energy.  Slow-burn pacing was what L&H were all about, but it's a style that comes across as a little creaky in an era when slow comedy just isn't done anymore.  Even though the other teams on your list peddle in what a lot of people today would call "dated" comedy styles, their more revved-up delivery lets them get away with it.  No surprise that the Stooges and A&C are way more popular today than L&H or Fields (in as far as any Golden Age comedians can be called "popular" today).

    I got to see this illustrated a couple months ago, when I had the opportunity to see a double-feature screening of Bride of Frankenstein and A&C Meet Frankenstein at the Ohio Theater downtown.  I was wondering between the sets how A&C was going to go over with the a crowd that included a LOT of young people in their teens and 20s.  Turned out to be a hit - had everyone roaring from start to finish, including the groups of kids who looked like they showed up on a whim and were prepared to enjoy it on an "ironic" level.  Wonder if L&H would have gotten the same reaction.

    Offline falsealarms

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    Re: Laurel & Hardy: The Essential Collection
    « Reply #94 on: November 07, 2011, 09:07:45 PM »
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  • As someone who likes L&H, my only real gripe with them is that (at times) they can be TOO slow for me. L&H sometimes waste too much time mugging for the camera and what not - maybe that was done for audience reaction back in the day, but it just isn't effective for people today. The Stooges shorts are paced much more modernly than many of the L&H shorts and that's one reason why the Stooges have had a more enduring legacy. I think it'd be a lot easier to sell a kid today on the Stooges than Laurel and Hardy. The language in some of the L&Hs also has a more dated tone to it.

    As for THE MUSIC BOX - I like it, but it isn't one of my top L&H shorts. At 29 minutes, it would have benefited from losing 5-10 minutes. Offhand, I like HOG WILD, HELPMATES, BUSY BODIES, HOOSE-GOW, COUNTY HOSPITAL, and BLOTTO more. TOWED IN A HOLE is another one I like, but not as much as most people. It's a little overrated for me - give me COME CLEAN or CHICKENS COME HOME over it.

    Moe compares the pacing of the Stooges and L&H in this interview -- skip ahead to about 8 min and 20 sec in:

    [youtube]wL9OYDqdG3c[/youtube]

    Offline FineBari3

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    Re: Laurel & Hardy: The Essential Collection
    « Reply #95 on: November 08, 2011, 08:06:44 AM »
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  • This is practically a cold purchase for me, but I'm confident enough that I'll love the hell out of these shorts that I pulled the Amazon trigger on this set today.  I ordered a copy of Simon Louvish's L&H biography while I was at it, so looking forward to a Laurel and Hardy crash course over the next few months (much like I did with the W.C. Fields sets last year).

    That's great!  That is how I 'get into' things as well; total immersion!  My last was Buster Keaton...

    The first L&H book I bought was the Louvish book, and I don't really like it that much.  L&H started it all for me and films, when I was probaby in 6th grade.  I took out the same book over and over at the library then. 
    Mar-Jean Zamperini
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    Offline FineBari3

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    Re: Laurel & Hardy: The Essential Collection
    « Reply #96 on: November 08, 2011, 08:10:12 AM »
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  • Great recommendation, thanks!  Just added that one to the cart.  (I really need parental controls on my Amazon account.  I've spent enough money there the past month to bail out Wall Street).

    When you buy used copies, it's OK!!! Barnes & Noble has a very good used selection as well.  I bought the big Keaton coffee table book (the one Eleanor wrote) for under $8.00 a few years ago.
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    Offline FineBari3

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    Re: Laurel & Hardy: The Essential Collection
    « Reply #97 on: November 08, 2011, 08:12:30 AM »
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  • Filmed works of old vaudevillians - now that's a method of birth control they never taught me in sex ed.

    Hey, I like filmed works of old vaudevillians too!!!

    I'm sure you have the two Vitaphone sets then, Seamus?
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    Re: Laurel & Hardy: The Essential Collection
    « Reply #98 on: November 08, 2011, 08:39:13 AM »
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  • Yeah, falsealarms hit the nail on the head. That is what my main gripe is with L&H. The pacing is too slow. “Booby Dupes” is 3 minutes shorter than “Towed In A Hole,” yet the stooges were able to perform a lot more gags in that shorter period of time. That’s why I always like the stooges. They never let a second go to waste.

    Maybe if I give it more time, I can become an L&H fan. I’m sure they’re the kind of comedy team that will grow on you as you keep watching their films. But when I watched my first film of the stooges, The Marx Bros, and Abbott & Costello, I was immediately hooked and became an instant fan. I guess I expected L&H to have the same effect. I’m willing to give L&H a chance. I’ll continue watching more L&H films online during my spare time and hopefully one day, I’ll become a big fan.

    Offline metaldams

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    Re: Laurel & Hardy: The Essential Collection
    « Reply #99 on: November 08, 2011, 09:00:47 AM »
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  • Yeah, falsealarms hit the nail on the head. That is what my main gripe is with L&H. The pacing is too slow. “Booby Dupes” is 3 minutes shorter than “Towed In A Hole,” yet the stooges were able to perform a lot more gags in that shorter period of time. That’s why I always like the stooges. They never let a second go to waste.

    Maybe if I give it more time, I can become an L&H fan. I’m sure they’re the kind of comedy team that will grow on you as you keep watching their films. But when I watched my first film of the stooges, The Marx Bros, and Abbott & Costello, I was immediately hooked and became an instant fan. I guess I expected L&H to have the same effect. I’m willing to give L&H a chance. I’ll continue watching more L&H films online during my spare time and hopefully one day, I’ll become a big fan.

    The whole point of Laurel and Hardy is not how many gags one can cram into a film, it is about milking a single gag for a while and their character reactions.  I think even Moe Howard admitted in an interview later in life the main difference between The Three Stooges and Laurel and Hardy is the rhythm, The Stooges are obviously much quicker paced.

    To me, "Towed In a Hole" is one of the great Laurel and Hardy films while "Booby Dupes" is a very average Three Stooges short, there's almost no comparison.  But if you're going to appreciate Laurel and Hardy, you definitely have to go in with a different mind set than The Three Stooges.  It's not about gags per minute.

     


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