Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Laurel and Hardy Collection Vol 1 |
Great Guns / Jitterbugs / The Big Noise
Actors: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Vivian Blaine, Robert Bailey, Douglas Fowley
Directors: Malcolm St. Clair, Monty Banks
Genres: Comedy, Television
Episode Description: Disc 1 "Big Noise": Rating: NR Audio: English: Mono & Stereo Subtitled: English and Spanish Special Features: Commentary by Randy Skredvedt, Photo Gallery, Theatrical Trailer, Laurel and Hardy Theatre:... more »
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Five stars for making these available. This pre-release revi
Scott MacGillivray | Massachusetts, USA | 01/19/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Fox is releasing three of its Laurel & Hardy features on DVD: GREAT GUNS (1941), JITTERBUGS (1943), and THE BIG NOISE (1944). These are among the team's later works, and Laurel & Hardy collectors and completists should welcome this boxed set.
GREAT GUNS is Fox's topical answer to Abbott & Costello's hit "Buck Privates," with awkward rookies Stan and Ollie in the army. The script is rather lame, but there are some choice moments (you'll howl when Laurel stashes a live crow down Hardy's pants during inspection). Watch for Alan Ladd in a bit part.
JITTERBUGS is an engaging comedy with music, with Stan and Ollie as zoot-suited bandleaders who get mixed up with swindlers, and who right the wrong by adopting disguises for a sting operation. Vivian Blaine sings three songs, radio actor Bob Bailey is fine as the stingmaster, and Stan and Ollie are in good form (and fun to watch when they're in disguise). This is the glossiest Laurel & Hardy movie from this period, with a notable supporting cast.
THE BIG NOISE is a matter of taste. Some viewers regard it as merely a humdrum rehash of old routines, while others enjoy it as a virtual textbook of tried-and-true Laurel & Hardy material. Either way, it's loaded with vintage gags. The boys are janitors-turned-detectives, who safeguard a gadget-crazy inventor and his new high explosive. Watch for young Robert Blake as a mischievous brat. First-time viewers should enjoy it; if you know Laurel & Hardy you'll certainly recognize the jokes: an upper-berth scene with drunken Jack Norton is a highlight.
This DVD set also includes bonus material, including vintage coming-attractions trailers, and audio commentaries by author Randy Skretvedt. A special treat is REVENGE OF THE SONS OF THE DESERT, Alexander Marshall's Emmy-winning featurette about the international Laurel & Hardy society (founded by L & H biographer John McCabe).
Picture and sound quality in these DVDs should be excellent, based on the studio's former VHS releases in this series.
1940s features aren't so bad!
David Foe | E. Lansing, MI USA | 03/01/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The 1940s Laurel & Hardy movies have gotten a real bum rap in several books about the team, but in truth, few people have actually watched these pictures in the past 40 years. They may not be classics, nor the "best" work of L&H, but they're amusing comedies and perfect family entertainment, especially compared to the "comedies" of today.
One of the movies in this set, "The Big Noise," has been listed as one of the worst movies of all time, but in no way is that really true. It's in fact a great introduction to Laurel & Hardy for kids. I recently showed this picture to some kids and they loved it. I thought it had a lot of laughs as well.
"Great Guns" was very successful when it came out and when I saw it recently, I laughed so hard I cried. I haven't seen "Jitterbugs" in about 30 years, but I thought it was funny when I saw it on TV in the '70s.
So, give this set a chance and you'll be glad you did! And I can't wait for Part II. And then let's reissue the two 1940s MGM L&H movies as well.
Some more L&H on American DVDs -- at last!!
Steven Bailey | Jacksonville Beach, FL USA | 02/22/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Laurel and Hardy -- and especially Laurel -- would have been the first to admit that the movies they did for 20th Century-Fox in the 1940's were not their greatest work. That said, they did a lot of misfires for Hal Roach, too. (Watch BONNIE SCOTLAND, due out on DVD in April, and you'll see what I mean.) And the paucity of *any* L&H DVDs is so sad that even the announcement of Fox's DVD release of three of their middling L&H movies is cause for at least minor joy.
Of the trio being released, the one with the best reputation is JITTERBUGS, mainly because of its high production values and its hilarious L&H impersonations (Ollie as a windbag Kentucky colonel, Stan as a fuddy-duddy British aunt). It has its share of fits and starts but is funny enough.
The movie with the worst rep is THE BIG NOISE, long regarded by L&H buffs as their worst-ever movie. It rips off a lot of their old routines and has somewhat leaden pacing, but even this movie has its moments. (For total L&H character assassination, wait until Fox releases THE DANCING MASTERS.) The movie also stars a young Robert ("Bobby") Blake, six decades before his own notoriety with a deadly weapon.
GREAT GUNS was L&H's first Fox movie and the first indication that things were awry in Stan-and-Ollie Land. The movie is an obvious rip-off of Abbott & Costello's then-current Army comedy BUCK PRIVATES, with L&H forced into war hijinx when the rich youngster they caretake goes in for the draft. But again, L&H manage to overcome the so-so script and create some comedy out of nothing (particularly Stan with his charming pantomime).
Laurel & Hardy are national treasures in my book, and the lack of DVDs of their best work (currently owned, and doled out sparely, by Hallmark Home Entertainment) is appalling. So pick up the Fox set, uneven as it is, and discover how even these in-and-out comedies play better than much contemporary stuff."
An excellent set, beautifully packaged, with great commentar
Jeffrey E. Ford | Terre Haute, IN United States | 04/12/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As one who has never believed that Laurel and Hardy's Fox films were worthy of their terrible reputations (A-HAUNTING WE WILL GO excepted), I was anxiously awaiting this set, combined with much apprehension upon hearing that author Randy Skretvedt -- who positively ripped the Fox films in his nevertheless excellent book -- was going to do the audio commentaries. I expected the worst. Well, surprise, surprise, or to quote another Laurel and Hardy title, "Wrong Again!" Skretvedt's commentaries are knowledgable, enjoyable, and actually very apologetic as compaired to what he wrote so many years ago. Particularly in regard to THE BIG NOISE -- which I've always considered an undervalued masterpiece anyway -- Skretvedt does an about-face to his written words and now declares it to be his second favorite (after THE BULLFIGHTERS) of all the Fox films. He's even brave enough to admit that he wasn't able to actually see the Fox films when he wrote his book, and relied on memory to write he comments, something that always leads to problems. Regardless, no matter what one thinks of the films, Fox Video has put out a beautiful package, with excellent transfers, a documentary, and trailers. There are even liner notes by Silvia Stoddard, who writes like she never even heard of Laurel and Hardy before she wrote the notes. Even with that blot, it's a beautiful package, and I look forward to Vol 2."