Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|30 Years of Fun|
Actors: Charlie Chaplin, Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Buster Keaton, Harry Langdon
Director: Robert Youngson
Genres: Classics, Comedy, Music Video & Concerts, Educational
Starring Charlie Chaplin, Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Buster Keaton, Harry Langdon, Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, Greta Garbo, Tom Mix, Snub Pollard, King Vidor, Billy Bevan, Edna Purviance, Andy Clyde, Charley Chase, S... more »
30 Years of Giggles
Brent R. Swanson | Crooper, Illinois | 01/05/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Robert Youngson stitched together some excellent documentary/anthology features, including "When Comedy Was King" and "Laurel & Hardy's Laughing '20s." When his best compilations were done, he took the odds and ends and leftovers and, under the pretense of documenting the first years of the motion picture, came up with this trifle.
Like his previous documentaries, "30 Years" is a good introduction to silent comedy for a newcomer; however, it's not as good an introduction as, say "When Comedy Was King." Quite a few of the excerpts, and even the players, go unidentified (and quickly, too--Lloyd Hamilton is on for mere seconds). Quite a bit of the material is funny, but the source elements were in fair to poor condition for some segments. Anyone who has seen the recent restorations of the Chaplin Mutual comedies will shudder at the pale, choppy quality seen here.
The gold of this movie is the all-but-forgotten footage of the early Harry Langdon, Charley Chase, and pre-team Laurel & Hardy. These comedians were hitting high notes even before they hit their stride, and the excerpts from "Smile, Please," "Lucky Dog," and "Bromo and Juliet" show them off splendidly. This helps offset the hokey "storyline" and some of the lesser material.
Chapter stops on this particular DVD are faithful to Youngson's categorization of material, which doesn't make them very useful if you're searching for a particular performer. The overall image quality is okay; again, it doesn't help that some of the source elements were in sorry shape to begin with.
There are worse ways to pass 90 minutes; a better way would be to watch one of Youngson's better collections."