Tony, I hear ya!
All this talk makes me think how lucky Stooge fans are. No major footage lost, all the films beautifully restored and easily available, always have been. The Stooge fan in me is fortunately spoiled, and the few crumbs hard to come by are likely cameo footnotes.
Laurel and Hardy? Prints have varying quality, a major early film like HATS OFF is lost (imagine not having MEN IN BLACK), this whole fiasco with the BATTLE OF THE CENTURY, and it took years for the films to be properly released.
Buster Keaton has missing footage in THE FROZEN NORTH and I've always wondered if I'll ever see a version of THE BOAT where some of the frames aren't literally deteriorating.
If any Stooge fan is reading this who is not into many other older comedians we are talking about, realize you are truly blessed.
I for one, am glad all of the Stooges Starring / Co-starring vehicles are extant!
if only every newly found Film, such as HELLO POP! (1933), was released in a reasonably timely fashion (IE. Under 12 months!), instead of the real life lunacy surrounding Laurel & Hardy / Hal Roach found footage! No matter how justified, the seemingly continuous tug of war between "X company (Who has the Home Video rights!) try to claim actual Film ownership" vs "But I OWN the Film (Who can only release on non Home Video viable 16mm Film Stock!) and you can't have it!" type nonsense just leaves me cold! Can't these people EVER get their $#!? together and release this new found footage in a reasonably timely fashion?
It's been 15 months and counting, and apparently STILL not even a 16mm print struck of THE BATTLE OF THE CENTURY (1927) Complete Reel 2, let alone ANY kind of Home Video release on the Horizon ANYWHERE!
Oh, and regarding the status of certain "lost" Hal Roach Films, don't take that to the bank, either! There's at least ONE out there, and that's from a source I consider most reliable! Unfortunately, to get this title, he's had to agree to keeping the utmost secrecy! No screenshots, no reviews, NOTHING!
Let me make myself clear in stating that if a Film is rightly considered lost, it's lost. However, what I can't stand are people who knowingly hold prints of Films that otherwise don't "exist" and either refuse to release them, or hold them at such a high ransom, NOBODY can afford to buy them! What really bothers me though, is when these people pass on, their "Rare Treasures" are liable to disappear forever, for real!