Donald Rogers | Seattle, WA United States | 08/28/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Of the ten shorts in this 2-disc release:
1. Two Gun Gussie 2. The City Slicker 3. The Non-Stop Kid 4. Ring Up the Curtain 5. Captain Kidd's Kids 6. From Hand to Mouth (1919) 7. High and Dizzy (1920) 8. Never Weaken (1921) 9. Among Those Present (1921) 10. Now or Never (1921)
The first five are not among those included in the forthcoming New Line set. Given Kino's good track record with rare silent material, this set is recommendable sight unseen, though the 7-disc New Line set is certainly a far more comprehensive view of Lloyd's career.
On November 15th New Line will release three two-disc collections with a MSRP of $29.95 each. All three collections will also be available in a boxed set, The Harold Lloyd Comedy Collection, which will include a bonus disc that will not be available seperately. The boxed set will retail for $89.85. The discs will include the following films:
Volume 1 ======= Disc 1: Girl Shy (1924) Safety Last! (1923) w/ commentary by Leonard Maltin and director Richard Correll An Eastern Westerner (1920) Ask Father (1919) From Hand to Mouth (1919)
Disc 2: The Milky Way (1936) The Cat's Paw (1934) Why Worry? (1923) Featurette "Harold's Hollywood: Then and Now"
Volume 2 ======= Disc 1: The Kid Brother (1927) w/ commentary by Harold Lloyd's granddaughter Suzanne Lloyd, author Annette D'Agostino Lloyd, and Rich Correll The Freshman (1925) w /commentary by Leonard Maltin, Richard Correll and author/film historian Richard W. Bann Bumping Into Broadway (1919) Billy Blazes, Esq. (1919)
Disc 2: Feet First (1930) Grandma's Boy (1922) Dr. Jack (1922) Now or Never (1921) High and Dizzy (1920) "Scoring for Comedy" featurette
Volume 3 ======= Disc 1: Speedy (1928) w/ commentary by Suzanne Lloyd, Annette D'Agostino Lloyd and Richard Correll Hot Water (1924) Never Weaken (1921) Haunted Spooks (1920) w/ commentary by Suzanne Lloyd, Annette D'Agostino Lloyd and Richard Correll
Disc 2: Movie Crazy (1932) For Heaven's Sake (1926) I Do (1921) Among Those Present (1921) A Sailor-Made Man (1921) Get Out and Get Under (1920) Number Please? (1920) "Greenacres" featurette
Bonus Disc ========= Rare, vintage interviews and home movies Tributes and interviews with family, friends and legendary celebrities including Debbie Reynolds, Robert Wagner, Tab Hunter and director John Landis Narrative chronology detailing the life and times of Harold Lloyd, hosted by Leonard Maltin Video bios of many of Harold Lloyd's collaborators and stars of the golden age of cinema Harold Lloyd Academy Award speech USC's Delta Kappa Alpha tribute to Harold Lloyd hosted by Jack Lemmon and Steve Allen 3-D photos shot by Harold Lloyd himself (3-D glasses included) Photo and publicity galleries Radio shows And more!"
Great old films with brand-new music
Donald Sosin | Lakeville, CT USA | 08/29/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"OK, I'm prejudiced. I wrote the piano music for this Kino release. It's all in the style of the late teens and early 20's and I am told it's fun to listen to by itself. So let your ears be your guide as well as your eyes when you enjoy this wonderful set of early Harold Lloyd shorts, including the zany action of TWO GUN GUSSIE, HIGH AND DIZZY, and THE NON STOP KID.
I am sure the New Line set coming in November will be fascinating, but I wouldn't let that stop you from purchasing this one with all new music composed specifically for the films, not just mono needle drops from old 78 transfers."
More Harold Lloyd, at last!
Barbara (Burkowsky) Underwood | Manly, NSW Australia | 10/06/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is yet another fine Kino Video production of a deluxe 2-disc edition featuring more silent comedy by one of the era's foremost comedians, Harold Lloyd. It follows the first excellent Kino Video DVD, "The Harold Lloyd Collection" (Vol 1) which features the one-hour "Grandma's Boy" and seven shorter comedies. In this second volume there is even more to enjoy, with six short pre-1920 comedies on the first disc, and four longer films on the second disc from 1920-21 which show Lloyd's quick development in a few short years; each film being different in its own way, and showcasing the versatility and wide range of themes Lloyd offered his audiences. Although ranked alongside Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton, it was Harold Lloyd who attracted the biggest audiences and box office successes in the early 1920s, and it's high time, therefore, that his films are finally seeing the light of day again.
For those who don't already know: Harold Lloyd is pretty much an ordinary guy - unlike Chaplin whose trademark was his clown-like Tramp image, for instance, and his style is less slapstick than Chaplin and Arbuckle, but like Keaton and other silent film comedians, his strength also lies in athletic and even acrobatic ability. Being silent films, early comedies relied heavily on physical action and gags, and Harold Lloyd set a pace to rival Keaton and others, especially in the action-packed films on disc 2 like "High and Dizzy" and "Never Weaken". Some of the scenes taking place on high-rise ledges and scaffolding kept me on the edge of my seat holding my breath, while at the same time admiring the skills required to do such thrilling scenes in the early 1920s. There are many other thrills and surprises, and I particularly appreciate Kino Video's choice of films, presenting great variety on each disc: from barroom action in a Western ("Two Gun Gussie") to backstage antics in "Ring Up the Curtain" and adventures on the high seas on an all-girl pirate ship in "Captain Kidd's Kids". All of these films have the classic silent comedy formula of a boy, (Lloyd) a girl (Bebe Daniels in the early films, then Mildred Davis) and a third person; either a rival or a bad guy, and while this format is usually predictable, the rest of the plot is always a surprise. All these films are a real pleasure to watch all these decades later, especially due to very good picture quality and outstanding original piano score by Donald Sosin, whose silent film accompaniment is always a cut above the rest.
From slapstick to comedy
Francois Massarelli | La Roche Sur Yon, France | 09/23/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Indeed, why bother buying this release when 28 films by the late Harold Lloyd are just about to be released, complete with seal of approval by Suzanne Lloyd? Well, the antics of the somewhat dated duet Pollard/lloyd are certainly not up to standard with the tightly-scripted, gorgeously-photographed and carefully-preserved features New Line is about to provide us as part of their impressive 7-DVD set, yet this massive offering was obviously conceived as a tribute to the stellar aspect of the comedian career, and the crude beginnings of his bespectacled persona have been carefully ignored. This Kino release shows us how Lloyd evolved from the madness of his post-sennettian style to the more subtle touch of his first three- and four-reelers; as such, and while it is admitted that the box set is indeed indispensable, this is a slice of history, not tampered with, for better and for worse."
Treasure Trove of Wonderful Visual Humor
Robert Morris | San Francisco | 01/04/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This two volume collection of Harold Lloyd shorts and "short features" (made between 1918 and 1921, just prior to his shift to full feature length movies) illustrates the emergence of the comedian as a highly original and major creative force, equaling, if not surpassing, the skills of Chaplin and Keaton. Indeed many of the gags or situations in these films suggest those that would later be used by the other two. There was no doubt a great deal of mutual cross-fertilization among the 3 comic greats during this period, as each refines and builds upon the gags introduced by the others. Still, one cannot escape the impression that it was Lloyd that during this period was the most prolific creator of new comic ideas. In From Hand to Mouth (1921), for example, there are scenes that suggest Chaplin's The Kid (Homeless Harold befriends an equally homeless waif) and Keaton's Cops (Harold is chased by a large numbers of cops).
None of the films in the collection stand out among the others as being far superior in quality; they all are consistently entertaining, fun to watch and instructive to fans of Lloyd's more mature features of the later 1920s, insofar as they show the hard work that went into refining and perfecting the stories, the "glasses" character, and the visual timing of the gags. The earlier character, as illustrated in the one-reeler The City Slicker (1918) tends to be more outwardly brash and self-confident, as his character sets out to modernize a rural hotel whose lobby is occupied mostly by elderly locals. He flirts with Bebe Daniels, his love interest, by snuggling up next to her on the front desk as she is registering. There are many amusing sight gags (also suggesting Keaton) including an push-buttoned hotel room.
By 1921, in High and Dizzy and Never Weaken, Lloyd starts to develop the daredevil-based humor that was to be perfected in Safety Last. His glasses character also starts to become more complex, less self-confident, more shy and full of personal frailties that need to be overcome by his stubborn determination in order to win his beloved Mildred. The visual gags also are less slapstick-based and more purely visual -- for example, the disguises Harold the doctor dons in High and Dizzy to convince his lone patient that he is successful are absurdly funny. By the time of Among Those Present (1921) the visual humor has been refined to social satire, as Harold's character demonstrates that the clueless upper crust can be easily conned by a clever impostor. The main highlight is Harold's telling of increasing absurd hunting stories, involving foxes, bears and lions, as he becomes increasingly drunk on the host's wine. By the time of Now or Never, the latest film in the collection, Harold has clearly graduated to feature length stories that develop plot and character.
This collection is a treasure trove of wonderful visual humor, and a glimpse into the comedy laboratory in which Harold Lloyd refined his genius."