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  • Vitaphone Comedy Coll V2 - Shemp Howard 1933-1937 DVD: February 18, 2014 - February 24, 2014

Author Topic: Vitaphone Comedy Collection Vol. 2 - Shemp Howard (1933 - 1937)  (Read 11536 times)

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Offline metaldams

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Re: Vitaphone Comedy Collection Vol. 2 - Shemp Howard (1933 - 1937)
« Reply #25 on: February 19, 2014, 11:01:39 PM »
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  • Concerning Volume 1, I was a bit disappointed in the fact the majority of the shorts don't feature Shemp much.  Add to the fact I'm not a big fan of most of these old musical numbers and Ben Blue, then I can say the non Arbuckle portion is a letdown.  I understand historically it shows Shemp working his way up and he wasn't an instant star, but a lot of volume 1 did not entertain me.

    The above being stated, I figured before digging into volume 2, I should finally finish volume 1, so I got around to the final three shorts.  Well, if ART TROUBLE is any indication of what volume 2 is going to be like, this set should be a lot of fun.  I see the early reviews seem to be positive.

    ....and my God.  Yes, I did notice a young Jimmy Stewart playing a supporting role in ART TROUBLE, but I did not realize that was his film debut.  Here I am talking about an early Shemp being underused.

    Offline falsealarms

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    Re: Vitaphone Comedy Collection Vol. 2 - Shemp Howard (1933 - 1937)
    « Reply #26 on: February 20, 2014, 02:40:13 PM »
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  • It's good to see this set selling so well. It is currently a top 5 seller (fifth) among all Warner Archive titles at the WA site. I don't remember the first set doing quite that well.

    My copy should arrive tomorrow... I can't wait.

    Offline JazzBill

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    Re: Vitaphone Comedy Collection Vol. 2 - Shemp Howard (1933 - 1937)
    « Reply #27 on: February 20, 2014, 06:23:59 PM »
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  • ....and my God.  Yes, I did notice a young Jimmy Stewart playing a supporting role in ART TROUBLE, but I did not realize that was his film debut.  Here I am talking about an early Shemp being underused.

    That's funny, Shemp Howard getting top billing over Jimmy Stewart. Another familiar face in these Vitaphone shorts is Lionel Stander who played Max on the TV show "Hart To Hart". He was actually a pretty funny guy. 
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    Offline archiezappa

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    Re: Vitaphone Comedy Collection Vol. 2 - Shemp Howard (1933 - 1937)
    « Reply #28 on: February 20, 2014, 07:18:33 PM »
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  • Awesome!  I've been waiting for this.  I can't wait to get it.  I really enjoyed volume one and I'm looking forward to volume two.

    Offline ThumpTheShoes

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    Re: Vitaphone Comedy Collection Vol. 2 - Shemp Howard (1933 - 1937)
    « Reply #29 on: February 21, 2014, 12:56:27 PM »
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  • Getting ready to dive into this set tonight. As used to the bootlegs as I am, watching most of these pictures will be just like the first time for sure!

    Also, somehow in previous viewings of The Blonde Bomber, I missed Johnnie Berkes' impression of Curly Howard:

    "Me take a watchie for my goil, too!"

    Sounds better than Frank Welker's that's fer sure!   :laugh:
    A jerk with a quirk may do the work. Or, a turk with a dirk may stick a clerk! Gut gesagt?

    Offline Seamus

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    Re: Vitaphone Comedy Collection Vol. 2 - Shemp Howard (1933 - 1937)
    « Reply #30 on: February 21, 2014, 01:18:10 PM »
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  • As much as I enjoy the work Shemp did with the Stooges, his solo work was just as good or better. Watching these Vitaphone shorts is like watching Three Stooges shorts that I somehow never saw before.

    I've only seen a handful of these Shemp solo shorts (that'll changes soon now that Volume 2 is in my mitts  :D), but I've seen enough to get a sense that - as great as Shemp was during his second go-round with the Stooges - what we were seeing in those Stooge shorts was a slightly diminished Shemp, a Shemp who was a tad past his peak years as a physical performer.  He still had huge energy and could still deliver those wonderful physical and verbal ad-libs that were his stock in trade, but he was, what, pushing 50 when he rejoined?  I couldn't help but wonder how great he must have been doing that kind of schtick as a younger and quicker man.  I was happy to finally get a chance to see what he'd been doing during the "between Stooges" years when some of his Vitaphone stuff started showing up on YouTube.  Some of his ad-libs, like that weird "razzmatazz" dance he does in Peach of a Pair, are from another planet.

    Offline archiezappa

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    Re: Vitaphone Comedy Collection Vol. 2 - Shemp Howard (1933 - 1937)
    « Reply #31 on: February 21, 2014, 05:04:05 PM »
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  • Volume Two has more of the episodes I remember watching late at night on TBS and TNT back in the day.  "A Peach Of A Pair" is one of the best he ever did.  Hilarious!

    Offline metaldams

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    Re: Vitaphone Comedy Collection Vol. 2 - Shemp Howard (1933 - 1937)
    « Reply #32 on: February 23, 2014, 07:53:37 PM »
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  • I've only seen a handful of these Shemp solo shorts (that'll changes soon now that Volume 2 is in my mitts  :D), but I've seen enough to get a sense that - as great as Shemp was during his second go-round with the Stooges - what we were seeing in those Stooge shorts was a slightly diminished Shemp, a Shemp who was a tad past his peak years as a physical performer.  He still had huge energy and could still deliver those wonderful physical and verbal ad-libs that were his stock in trade, but he was, what, pushing 50 when he rejoined?  I couldn't help but wonder how great he must have been doing that kind of schtick as a younger and quicker man.  I was happy to finally get a chance to see what he'd been doing during the "between Stooges" years when some of his Vitaphone stuff started showing up on YouTube.  Some of his ad-libs, like that weird "razzmatazz" dance he does in Peach of a Pair, are from another planet.

    Good to see you again.  Yeah, I agree with everything you said.  I've only watched the first three shorts in vol. 2 so far and have enjoyed them all.  I really do get the impression this set will show Shemp, dare I say, in his prime.  He's awesome as a Stooge, but he does appear more youthful, naturally, in these Vitaphone's, and heading into vol. 2, the shorts, Shemp or no Shemp, do appear to be improving.  I even liked the Ben Blue short this time around!  I am saving the rest for the first week of March, when I will be on vacation and holding off on these will make me look forward to my week off that much more.

    Also, one of the few films I've seen from this volume is PEACH OF A PAIR, and that is a classic.  I'm starting to get the impression the release of these films will be much more exciting to me than watching HELLO POP.

    Offline Seamus

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    Re: Vitaphone Comedy Collection Vol. 2 - Shemp Howard (1933 - 1937)
    « Reply #33 on: February 24, 2014, 11:57:12 AM »
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  • Good to see you again. 

    Thanks man!  Been resigning myself to lurk mode for a while because of a busy schedule.  This new Vitaphone collection got me pumped about Stooge-related matters again, so couldn't resist joining in (I found myself missing our old horror movie chats a few months ago during my annual Halloween movie fest).

    Also, one of the few films I've seen from this volume is PEACH OF A PAIR, and that is a classic.  I'm starting to get the impression the release of these films will be much more exciting to me than watching HELLO POP.

    I remember really enjoying SERVES YOU RIGHT too, when I saw it for the first time about a year ago.  That little transitional scene where Shemp's by himself practicing techniques for serving a summons ruined me.

    Offline Paul Allen

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    Re: Vitaphone Comedy Collection Vol. 2 - Shemp Howard (1933 - 1937)
    « Reply #34 on: March 03, 2014, 10:25:04 PM »
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  • Someone please be kind enough to give a heads-up when Volume 2 goes on $ale.

    WBshop.com is asking full price ($24.95) >> http://www.wbshop.com/product/vitaphone+comedy+collection+volume+2+1000479774.do?sortby=ourPicks&refType=&from=Search
    and
    Amazon.com is asking way too much ($29.99) >> http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Dmovies-tv&field-keywords=The+Vitaphone+Comedy+Collection+Volume+Two

    ~ Thanks! ~

    Offline Seamus

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    Re: Vitaphone Comedy Collection Vol. 2 - Shemp Howard (1933 - 1937)
    « Reply #35 on: March 07, 2014, 12:26:18 PM »
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  • Finally watched the first couple of these last night.

    Gobs of Fun:  What was it about fake dialect humor that '20s and '30s audiences loved so much?  I give Chico a free pass - he generally underplayed the phony Italian schtick and was just so cool and charismatic that he made this avenue of comedy watchable - but watching the two over-the-top faux Europeans ham it up in this short had me wondering what they were serving the public in those speakeasies to put them in the frame of mind to find these "yumpin' yimminy" antics so gut-busting.  Shemp only shows up for a few seconds to deliver a couple of straight lines, and exuded more easy natural humor in his little bit than the two headliners did throughout the entire short.

    That Ben Blue Thing: The second I clapped eyes on Ben Blue dancing around in a tu-tu doing his forced man-child bit at the beginning of this one, I instantly felt a much warmer regard for Parkyurkarkus and Biddle from the prevoius short.  It's interesting to see guys like Ben Blue and Larry Semon (the guy who did the silent version of Wizard of Oz and turned it into a vehicle for his extremely dubious comedy talents) working the same general comedic area as Stan Laurel but failing so miserably at it.  But man, Shemp kills it in this one.  The highlight is undoubtedly Shemp stalling for Blue during the handcuff trick, and that's the stuff I signed up for when I bought this DVD.  You get the feeling that the script just left a big open space labeled "Shemp stalls," pointed the camera at him, and let him cut loose with that thing he does.

    Offline falsealarms

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    Re: Vitaphone Comedy Collection Vol. 2 - Shemp Howard (1933 - 1937)
    « Reply #36 on: March 07, 2014, 06:15:04 PM »
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  • I thought GOBS OF FUN was a lot of... fun. I didn't care for George Givot in ROAST BEEF & MOVIES, but have enjoyed his work with Charles Judels in Vitaphone shorts like GOBS and HOW'D YA LIKE THAT (v 1). It's a fun short that moved well, with Shemp's brief cameo the cherry on top.

    Aside from the handful of shorts I mentioned early in this read, some other standouts were PUNCH & BEAUTY, THE BLONDE BOMBER, THE CHOKE'S ON YOU and SO YOU WON'T T-T-TALK.
     
    This collection is Shemp at his best, with or without the Stooges.

    Offline metaldams

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    Re: Vitaphone Comedy Collection Vol. 2 - Shemp Howard (1933 - 1937)
    « Reply #37 on: March 07, 2014, 07:00:08 PM »
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  • Count me in as somebody else who enjoyed GOBS OF FUN.  The dialect comedy I can give or take, but what I enjoyed was the overall sleaziness of the plot.  Interesting little short there.  As far as dialect comedy, this was common going back to Vaudeville and this short was taking place in a world where white European Americans still heavily linked themselves to their European roots, unlike today.  I mean, my nephew is 1/16th Hungarian, for example, while my American born mother is 100 percent Greek.  Even in the 60's and 70's, my grandparents did not approve of my mother dating non Greeks.  It was a different world back then, and as somebody who has seen more comedy from the teens through forties than any rational human being should, I guess I see dialect humor without giving it a second thought.

    As far as Ben Blue, his style of comedy is linked to Harry Langdon, who did the man-child thing much better.  There's a real fine line you have to cross when working with that type of character.  It can be hilarious or creepy.  But yeah, Shemp is great in this short, playing a W.C. Fields like carnival shyster.  Seamus, the shorts get even better as the disc goes on, you're in for a treat.  I'm two shorts into disc two myself.

    Offline Seamus

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    Re: Vitaphone Comedy Collection Vol. 2 - Shemp Howard (1933 - 1937)
    « Reply #38 on: March 08, 2014, 07:19:47 AM »
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  • I did actually enjoy GOBS overall, for the reasons you guys mentioned - well paced, fun short.  I just think it might have worked better with a little less OTT characterization from the two leads (for some reason I'm imagining what it would have been like with Shemp and Jack Haley as the two leads).  And anyway, even "dated" comedy routines and characters are fascinating to watch with the historical perspective in mind, even if some of the humor itself doesn't resonate today the way it did at the time.

    This collection is Shemp at his best, with or without the Stooges.

    I already agree with this, even though I've only seen a small handful.  I had to watch Shemp's carny barker routine in the Ben Blue short twice, it was such a thing of beauty.  It's kind of a shame that he didn't get to showcase that style of performance more often with the Stooges.  Seems he had to modify his signature style a bit to conform to the Stooges run-around hitting-and-poking format.


    Offline falsealarms

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    Offline Shemp_Diesel

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    Re: Vitaphone Comedy Collection Vol. 2 - Shemp Howard (1933 - 1937)
    « Reply #41 on: June 07, 2014, 03:18:56 PM »
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  • Well, I finally got mine off a 3rd party seller from Amazon. I think I overpaid a bit, but I'm cool with it; enjoying the shorts so far. Things don't get off to a great start with Gobs of Fun--apparently, dialect comedians were all the rage back in these days, which might explain El Brendel, but so far I've made it up to A Peach of a Pair, which is by far the best short so far in the collection.

    Stooge fans should appreciate "Peach" since it spawned the all time classic, An Ache in Every Stake and there's even an "alum" scene which inspired the alum punch from No Census, No Feeling....

    Can't wait to dive into the rest of the Shemp solos....   [cool]
    Now you ask me if I believe a man can become a wolf. Well, if you mean can he take on the physical characteristics of an animal, no, it's fantastic. However, I do believe that most anything can happen to a man in his own mind.

     


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