Laurel and Hardy Classics!
s_hall | WV, United States | 06/07/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is the first Laurel and Hardy DVD that I have ever purchased and I am very impressed. Not only are the films great but they are high quality material as well. Usually films from this time tend to be rather worn, but these prints, even though some seem worn at times, are probably the best quality that can be found from material from the late 20's. The DVD includes : "Should Married Men Go Home?" (Silent) "Unnacustomed As We Are" (Sound), "With Love and Hisses" (Silent), "Sailors, Beware!" (Silent), Mixed Nuts (sound), and "Double Whoopee" (Dubbed Sound) . Probably my favorite film on this volume is "Should Married Men Go Home?" In my opinion it is one of their greatest films. From Stan wreaking the Hardy's peaceful Sunday, to Stan and Ollie's trip to the golf course and eventual mud throwing free-for-all, the film is packed full of great Laurel and Hardy comedy. I would also recommend "With Love and Hisses" and "Sailors, Beware!" which give us a good look at Laurel and Hardy working together for laughs before they were even considered a team. This DVD also has a great version of 1929's "Unnacustomed As We Are", which has the soundtrack restored and sounds much clearer than any version of this film I have seen (or heard) before. I would highly recommend this DVD to any Laurel and Hardy fan!"
templefamily | USA | 06/09/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This Volume Includes: Unaccustomed As We Are (1929, 21 min., Sound), Should Married Men Go Home? (1928, 22 min., Silent), the Jack Barty/Billy Nelson short Mixed Nuts (1934, 18 min., Sound), Sailors Beware (1927, 26 min., Silent), Double Whoopee (1929, 19 min., Sound), and With Love And Hisses (1927, 24 min., Silent). Great video quality with great music background on all shorts and some rarely seen shorts (I've been waiting 10 years to see With Love And Hisses & Should Married Men Go Home?) in this collection make it a must have for DVD owners and L&H fans!"
Great L& H Material But Filler Less So
Robert M. Fells | Centreville, VA USA | 11/14/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Earlier volumes in this fine series supplemented the L&H films with some neglected gems starring Charley Chase or provided examples of solo work by Stan or by Babe Hardy. Volume 7 supplements the five L&H films with a 1934 Hal Roach "All Star" musical short called MIXED NUTS that has no stars and isn't even funny. It is instructive to see how the same comedy theories that made the L&H, Our Gang, and the Chase films so inventive, fall flat with less creative talent at the helm.That said, the five L&H films are a joy to behold. For years, their first talkie, UNACCUSTOMED AS WE ARE, was unavailable because the surviving sound tracks were in bad shape. Fortunately, another source for the discs turned up - as explained in some microscopic liner notes - and we have a virtually rediscovered film. Despite the primitive technique of this early talkie, L&H seem to take dialogue in stride but Laurel's limited talk suggests there may have been some concern with audience reaction to Stan's British accent. They need not have worried.SHOULD MARRIED MEN GO HOME? is a variation of the reciprocal destruction gag used in TWO TARS, YOU'RE DARN TOOTIN", among others. Here, instead of ripping cars apart or people's pants off, a golf outing turns into a mud-flinging melee. Yet for some reason, it just doesn't work very well. The boys never revisited the idea even though they more or less re-enacted many of their silent screen gags in their talkies.This DVD offers us the novelty of a latter-day "talkie" version of their 1929 silent, DOUBLE WHOOPEE, with a memorable walk on by a young Jean Harlow. This version was made in the 70s and has L&H impersonator Chuck McCann doing the voices of Stan and Ollie. It's a cute effort but the silent version is fine on its own terms so the question becomes, "Is this version needed?" My vote is NO.The final two films are early L&H when their familar characters were still forming: SAILORS BEWARE and WITH LOVE AND HISSES, an Army comedy that gives more time to Jimmy Finlayson than to the boys. At the time, Fin was regarded as a star equal to L&H so he could not have been very pleased when he spent his later years playing a supporting role in their films. As they say, that's show biz!Some of the films use parts of the original 35 mm. camera negative yielding absolutely stunning pictorial quality. In fact, when shots switch back to lesser material, the effect is quite noticeable. Highly recommended overall."
There's Something "Lost" In These Lost Films
Alex Udvary | chicago, il United States | 06/21/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I think like most people my first introduction into Laurel & Hardy's films were through the "talkies". By watching short subjects like "Brats", "The Music Box", "Me & My Pal", & "Helpmates". And their feature films like "Way Out West" "Sons of the Desert", "Swiss Miss", & "Pardon Us". Growing up Laurel & Hardy were my childhood heros, and I don't know what that says about me as a person. I would watch their movies religiously. I knew all the gags. I could see them coming a mile away, but I always laughed. And even to this very day, after some 15 years once in a while I'll still watch them. And that was what made them so special. The characters they played were so likeable. You didn't mind watching them over and over. Even if you knew the bits, you just still liked to take some time out of your day and watch these two characters. I personally think of Laurel & Hardy as the greatest comedy team in history. What other comedy team has managed to still make of laugh for the past 80 some odd years? And who still have fans all over the world? The only other team I can think of is The Marx Brothers. Someone let me borrow this dvd knowing how much I enjoy their comedy. I've seen very very few silent Laurel & Hardy comedies. On this dvd there are 6 short subjects, 5 on which star Laurel & Hardy. "Mixed Nuts" made in 1934 does not include them, therefor I will not review it. I will go through each short individually. "UNACCUSTOMED AS WE ARE" (1929) - This is billed as their first talking picture. The chemistry is in place but the piece feels rushed. It's 21 minutes and it doesn't allow "the boys" to go into their facial expressions..ie Stan's blank stare Oliver's disgusted look as he stares at the camera suggesting "Do you see what I have to put up with?" Had this one been made a little later it could have been better. ** 1\2 out of ***** "SHOULD MARRIED MEN GO HOME?" (1928) - It took me awhile to appreicate this one. At first it thought it was OK now it think it's a little better. The beginning moments are the best. A gag involving a door is very funny and would later be used in their talking short "Come Clean". Here though the gag works best. Also you'll notice to "15 cents" gag as "the boys" find out they do not have enough money to buy 4 drink. It would later be used in "Men O' War" but the dialogue is needed to make the piece truly funny. The usual characters are not here but it doesn't matter. That chemistry is there. I feel the end is a bit disappointing but it the piece does have it's highlights. *** out of ***** "SAILORS BEWARE" (1927) - "The boys" do not have many scenes in this one together, Infact it's Stan Laurel and Stan Laurel only who is the star. It's very funny to watch and at times reminded me of a Harold Lloyd short. Stan had enough presense to him to carry the short. There is one very funny scene involving Stan and baby and a dice game. Just watch and see. *** out of ***** "Double Whoopee" (1929) - Originally release as a silent someone got the "bright" idea to add sound to this piece. As one could imagine this becomes not only distracting but annoying. All of the male voices are done by Chuck McCann. As with some of the pieces here pacing and chemistry are in place but I felt the piece didn't really go anywhere. Also of note is the fact that Jean Harlow is in this. Not one of "the boys" best but OK. *** out of ***** "WITH LOVE AND HISSES" (1927) - "The boys" are not playing their usual chatacters in this one and have a few scenes together. To be honest the piece kind of bored me. The ending though is comedic brilliance. If not a little risque. ** out of ***** So there you have it. I would not recommend this as an introduction into Laurel & Hardy's work. I personally wouldn't show this to young kids or older people who have never heard of Laurel & Hardy or are not familiar with their work. This is for the fans. It's fun to watch these early pieces and see how infact the chemistry did grow and how they wold become one of the greatest comedy teams in history. Bottom-line: Early collection of Laurel & Hardy shorts. I would say is really just for the fans. Shows how the team grew. Some highpoints but nothing really shows the team at their best."