FROM THE ORIGINAL 35mm NEGATIVES! Let's talk about Classic Silent Film Comedy: Mack Sennett's Keystone, Hal Roach's "Lot of Fun," The Weiss Brothers....The Weiss Brothers? Yes, the Weiss Brothers made silent comedies to... more »o, and some good ones! Starring some of the best comics from the Golden Age of Comedy: Ben Turpin, Snub Pollard, Jimmy Aubrey, and Poodles Hanneford. As the Silent Era drew to a close, the Brothers Weiss, low-budget independent producers of westerns and serials, entered the silent comedy business with a vengeance. These two-reel shorts are forgotten little gems of laughter, featuring several genuine comedy greats plying their trades for the last time before talkies came in. See Ben Turpin, the cross-eyed Sennett star without his teeth! See legendary circus clown Poodles Hanneford in a tutu! See Snub Pollard play a two-headed cow! See the delightful "Hairbreadth Harry" comedies, silly spoofs of old-time melodramas! In new, sparkling transfers from the original 35mm camera negatives, these comedies look as fresh and funny as when originally released, with music by top silent film accompanists Philip C. Carli and David B. Drazin, and commentaries by Film Historian Richard M. Roberts. Bonus Features: Scene Selection, Selected Commentaries by Richard M. Roberts, Piano Accompaniment by Philip C. Carli & David B. Drazin, Original account ledgers for selected comedies, Weiss Bros. Bonus Short Subjects: "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" (UK/1923), "Who Is Safe?" (1925), "After Six Days" [Sound Reissue Trailer] (1922). Specs: 2-DVD9s; Silent w/piano accompaniment; 360 minutes; B&W; 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio; MPAA - NR; Year - 1925, 1927 & 1928; SRP - $29.99.« less
William R. from FT WALTON BCH, FL Reviewed on 3/7/2012...
I just want to extend my sympathy to the reviewer who was subjected to all the unfair stereotyping and resulting hurt when watching this DVD. Perhaps he should just watch TV commercials only. This DVD earns top honors here...it was FUNNY!!!
Second Rate Material In A First Class Presentation.
Chip Kaufmann | Asheville, N.C. United States | 09/21/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I love to discover something I know nothing about even if it doesn't always work out. I have never heard of the Weiss Brothers or their production company Artclass Pictures before now. Disc 1 of this 2 DVD set features well known silent comedians Ben Turpin and Snub Pollard at the end of their careers along with Poodles Hanneford of circus fame. I was totally unfamiliar with any of the people on Disc 2 (Hairbreadth Harry, Jimmy Aubrey, and Izzie and Lizzie).
The comics are fine but the material is second rate with ethnic stereotyping and bad taste in I&L that is absolutely jaw dropping. The one exception in this package are the Hairbreadth Harry shorts which poke fun at dated silent movie techniques. By the late 1920s when these were done silent comedy had become quite formulaic with crude slapstick mixed in with situation comedy. One can easily see the effect of Mack Sennett and Hal Roach on these shorts and they point the way to The 3 Stooges who are less than a decade away.
Many of the gags are recycled from previous films which was standard practice back then as no one ever thought that anyone would be watching these shorts over and over again thanks to modern technology. They would probably be amazed ala Buster Keaton that anybody else would care about them at all. It's a shame that all silent material can't look this good as these films come from relatively pristine 35mm sources which means that they were well preserved and probably not viewed very often. The overall look of the shorts is the strongest asset of this set along with the fine piano accompaniment of Phillip C. Carli and David B. Drazin.
WEISS-O-RAMA is definitely worth having if you're a fan of Pollard or Turpin or enjoy silent comedy in general but it's certainly not the ideal place to start. Thanks to VCI and Kit Parker Films for making this set available to give us some idea of what silent comedy could look like and how much it had changed by the time sound was ready to come in."
"Golden Age of Comedy ... Weiss-O-Rama ... VCI Home Video (2
J. Lovins | Missouri-USA | 09/11/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"VCI Entertainment presents "WEISS-O-RAMA" (2007) (360 mins) (Fully Restored/Dolby Digitally Remastered) --- now in Glorious Black and White --- VCI has released from the original 35mm negatives a 6 hour comedy collection --- featuring Ben Turpin, Snub Pollard, Poodles Hanneford, Hairbreadth Harry, Jimmy Aubrey and Izzi & Lizzie from the Kit Parker Collection.
Let's talk about Classic Silent Film Comedy Mack Sennett's Keystone, Hal Roach's "Lot of Fun", The Weiss Brothers and The Weiss Brothers?
Yes, The Weiss Brothers made silent comedies too -- and some good ones --- starring some of the best comics from the Golden age of Comedy --- Ben Turpin, Snub Pollard, Jimmy Aubrey and Poodles Hanneford.
As the Silent Era drew to a close, the Brothers Weiss, low budget independent producers of westerns and serials entered the silent comedy business with a vengeance --- These two reel shorts are forgotten title gems of laughter --- featuring several genuine comedy greats plying their trades for the last time before talkies came in --- See Ben Turpin the cross eyed Sennett star without his teeth --- See legendary circus clown Poodles Hanneford in a tutu --- See Snub Pollard play a two headed cow --- See the delightful "Hairbreadth Harry" comedies, silly spoofs and old time melodramas.
In new, sparkling transfers from the original 35mm camera negatives, these comedies look as fresh and funny as when originally released --- with music by top silent film accompanists Philip C. Carli and David B. Drazin --- and commentaries by film Historian Richard M. Roberts --- Compilation of the best silent era comedies produced by the Weiss Bros., selected by Richard M. Roberts --- "Alibi Alley" --- "Better Behave" --- "Big Shot" --- "Bum's Rush" --- "Circus Daze" --- "Cockeyed Family" --- "Fare Enough" --- "Fearless Harry" --- "Fire!" --- "Ham and Herring" --- "Heave a Heart" --- "Keep Smiling" --- "Movie Mania" --- "Once Over" --- "Rudolph's Revenge" --- "She Said No" --- "Sign Them Papers" and "Why Babies Leave Home" --- Also, three Weiss Bros. non comedy shorts "Hunchback of Notre Dame" and "Who is Safe?"
BIOS 1. Ben Turpin Date of Birth: 19 September 1869 - New Orleans, Louisiana Date of Death: 1 July 1940 - Santa Monica, California
2. Poodles Hanneford (aka: Edwin Hanneford) Date of Birth: 14 June 1891 - Barnsby, Yorkshire, England, UK Date of Death: 9 December 1967 - Kattskill Bay, New York
3. Hairbreadth Hary (aka: Earl McCarthy) Date of Birth: 1906 - Fort Wayne, Indiana Date of Death: 28 May 1933 - Los Angeles, California
4. Jimmy Aubrey Date of Birth: 23 October 1887 - Liverpool, England, UK Date of Death: 2 September 1983 - Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California
5. Izzy Goldberg (aka: Georgie Chapman) Date of Birth: Not Available Date of Death: Not Available
6. Lizzie O'Connor (aka: Margery Meadows) Date of Birth: Not Available Date of Death: Not Available
SPECIAL FEATURES: 1. Scene Selection 2. Selected Commentaries by Richard M. Roberts 3. Piano Accompaniment by Philip C. Carli & David B. Drazin 4. Original account ledgers for selected comedies 5. Weiss Bros. Bonus Short Subjects: 6. "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" (UK/1923) 7. "Who Is Safe?" (1925) 8. "After Six Days" [Sound Reissue Trailer] (1922)
Hats off to VCI Entertainment President Robert A. Blair, for the wonderful restored versions featuring some of the best comics from the Golden Age of Comedy --- the reason is VCI had access to the original 35mm film elements so they were able to supervise the films transfer and restoration --- perfection was the result, order your copy now from Amazon where there are plenty of copies available on DVD --- if you enjoyed this title, why not check out VCI Entertainment where they are experts in releasing long forgotten films and treasures to the collector.
Total Time: 360 mins on DVD ~ VCI Home Video. ~ (8/28/2007)"
Outstanding and most welcome
James L. Neibaur | 11/03/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Silent comedy barely survives, and those few films that do still exist are an important part of our cinematic heritage. These old comedies were indeed made for a production company that paled next to Sennett or Roach. But the films collected here, in beautiful remastered prints from the original 35mm negatives, feature an abundance of clever ideas and hilarious moments from unfairly forgotten comedians such as Ben Turpin and Snub Pollard. Some viewers may indeed be taken aback by the occasional ethnic stereotyping, but its inclusion does allow a historical perspective as to what was considered harmlessly funny during the first half of the 20th century. In an era when political correctness has caused the old Tom and Jerry cartoons on DVD to be heavily edited, it is actually refreshing to find that this collection is warts-and-all, not santized, presented as they were originally released, and therefore maintaining their historical significance. Ben Turpin, a top star with Sennett who invested wisely early in his career and only performed when he wanted to by this time, did some of his best work while "slumming" at Weiss productions. The Weiss-O-Rama collection features three of his funniest and least known films from this period. Old time circus clown Poodles Hanniford has some of his classic routines captured on film here, while Snub Pollard teams with Marvin Lobeck as a small time verison of Laurel and Hardy. No fancy camera angles, no messages, but a lot of truly inspired comedy moments from some wonderfully talented people. Silent comedy is not defined only by the legendary masters like Chaplin, Keaton, Lloyd, Langdon, and Arbuckle. There are several interesting and hilarious bypaths that offer a great deal of fun if one chooses to venture down any of them. These Weiss-produced comedies are a good example, and I hope the fact that this set is labeled "volume one" means there are more to come. As a PS, I should add that the musical accompaniment is terrific. So often when silent films are put on DVD, the distributor slaps on some twenties jazz that serves as little more than a distraction. This time, the music is played specifically for each film by two top musicians and the results are wonderful."
Great Prints, Bad Post Production
frankebe | redwood city, ca United States | 11/26/2009
(1 out of 5 stars)
"As usual, the music can make or break a silent film. In this case we have a little of both. David Drazin's piano work is terrible. He just doodles around and does not follow the action at all, or even try to fit the general mood. Very, very, VERY amateur. Some of his soundtracks are so bad you'll want to turn off the sound completely to get through the movies. On the other hand, Philip Carli's work is borderline brilliant. BUT!!!! The soundtracks are NOT ALWAYS IN SYNC! I was trying to figure out why his accompaniment seems to be so good, but doesn't quite work. Well, turn on DVD #1 and look at the best comedy of the set, the Poodles Hanneford "Circus Daze". You will notice right off that the music STARTS 5-1/2 SECONDS LATE... Well, guess what? It is 5-1/2 seconds LATE ALL THE WAY THROUGH, so all of Carli's CAREFULLY-INFLECTED comedic music emphasis is LATE every time!!!!!
JEEZ VCI !!@@! Do you pay ANY attention to your products??? I can say little else about this set until you CORRECT THE SYNCHRONIZATION OF SOUND TO FILM and re-release these DVDs!!!
Imagine taking perfectly good original scores and still ruining the films!!!! I find this just unbelievable incompetence! I suggest you all write to VCI and ask for replacement DVDs with the sound corrected!
By the way folks, the SAME PROBLEM exists with the Robert Israel soundtrack to Kino's recent The General (The Ultimate 2-Disc Edition) (1926) (1927). See my review there, amongst all the glowing reviews by deaf people I guess...
**UPDATE** I wrote Weiss about the sync problem, so they sent me another DVD. It was unchanged, so they don't even know how to read. Unbelievable laziness and carelessness."