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Mick Curtis (Mick)
Username: Mick

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.177.173.249
Posted on Thursday, June 11, 2009 - 12:19 pm:   

...apart from just me and Ramsey, that is...

Just that this is an absolute bloody bargain:-

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Laurel-Hardy-Collection-21-disc-Box/dp/B0001K2KE8/ref=sr _1_1?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1244715499&sr=8-1

All their sound shorts and the features they did with Roach, on 21 DVDs, for the measly sum of 34 inc. p&p.
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Allybird (Allybird)
Username: Allybird

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 79.70.68.102
Posted on Thursday, June 11, 2009 - 12:28 pm:   

I'm a fan. I like The Marx Bothers and Abbott and Costello too.
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.26.61.140
Posted on Thursday, June 11, 2009 - 12:31 pm:   

Not as funny as Little and Large. Syd was a genius. Seriously underrated. Far better than Stan.

I'm mad.
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Mick Curtis (Mick)
Username: Mick

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.177.173.249
Posted on Thursday, June 11, 2009 - 12:38 pm:   

Indeed!

I'm really not a fan of A&C though...
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Huw (Huw)
Username: Huw

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 218.168.197.230
Posted on Thursday, June 11, 2009 - 12:44 pm:   

I bought that box set when it first came out. There's hours of fun on there.
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Mick Curtis (Mick)
Username: Mick

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.177.173.249
Posted on Thursday, June 11, 2009 - 01:08 pm:   

Me too, Huw - it was originally priced at 200, but I got it for 160, which was good value. Then they changed the packaging slightly and brought it out for arond 50, although the contents are identical.
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Mick Curtis (Mick)
Username: Mick

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.177.173.249
Posted on Thursday, June 11, 2009 - 01:08 pm:   

"arond"?
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Ramsey Campbell (Ramsey)
Username: Ramsey

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 195.93.21.74
Posted on Thursday, June 11, 2009 - 01:16 pm:   

The original set is one of the treasures of my DVD collection. I should just point out that this reissue of the set dispenses with all the booklets that came with the DVDs, but the transfers of the films should be the same, and are splendid.
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Des (Des)
Username: Des

Registered: 06-2008
Posted From: 86.163.171.163
Posted on Thursday, June 11, 2009 - 02:01 pm:   

Yes, 'Grin of the Dark' got me looking at Laurel & Hardy movies again.
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Mark_lynch (Mark_lynch)
Username: Mark_lynch

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.171.129.72
Posted on Thursday, June 11, 2009 - 05:14 pm:   

There are people who understand Laurel And Hardy are the funniest men ever to have put comedy to film, and then there are non-people who are not quite human who don't understand this.

I saw the set you're talking about, Mick, in the Zavii closing down sale for 30-odd quid, but I don't own a DVD player and didn't have the dosh anyway.
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Thomasb (Thomasb)
Username: Thomasb

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 69.236.161.226
Posted on Thursday, June 11, 2009 - 05:32 pm:   

Me! Sadly, there's little available of them in the U.S., only 2-3 DVDs, one of them a bunch of outtakes. Very frustrating. They were the best! Sons of the Desert was still active a few years ago. I went to a couple of their "tents." Are they active over there?
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Mark_lynch (Mark_lynch)
Username: Mark_lynch

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.171.129.68
Posted on Thursday, June 11, 2009 - 06:52 pm:   

Yes. Recently, at Stan's birhtplace in the south of the Lake District, there's beena new statue installed. Members of the society attended its unveiling, I understand.
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Mick Curtis (Mick)
Username: Mick

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.177.173.249
Posted on Thursday, June 11, 2009 - 07:15 pm:   

I've been a member of a 'tent' - Helpmates - for around twenty-five years. There are many in the UK and Europe.
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Mick Curtis (Mick)
Username: Mick

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.177.173.249
Posted on Thursday, June 11, 2009 - 07:16 pm:   

There are people who understand Laurel And Hardy are the funniest men ever to have put comedy to film, and then there are non-people who are not quite human who don't understand this.

Succinctly put, Mark!
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Hubert (Hubert)
Username: Hubert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 78.22.230.36
Posted on Thursday, June 11, 2009 - 08:12 pm:   

Watch their sketches and films repeatedly and you'll begin to discover Stan and Ollie types everywhere. I mean it.
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Steveduffy (Steveduffy)
Username: Steveduffy

Registered: 05-2009
Posted From: 86.159.105.54
Posted on Thursday, June 11, 2009 - 08:17 pm:   

Comedy demigods, the pair of them, whose happy conjunction makes one supermassive giant comedic deity. Seriously - L&H on the top of their form ("Sons Of The Desert", say, or "Towed In A Hole") make me weep with laughter.
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Huw (Huw)
Username: Huw

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 218.168.178.33
Posted on Thursday, June 11, 2009 - 10:19 pm:   

I remember reading that Buster Keaton regarded Stan Laurel as the best of all the comedians of that era.
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Weber_gregston (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 194.176.105.47
Posted on Friday, June 12, 2009 - 03:22 pm:   

I remember reading that Clint Eastwood is the illegitimate son of stan laurel. Don't know if it's true but there are times when Stan looks like an untoned version of Clint...
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Stephen Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.72.14.113
Posted on Friday, June 12, 2009 - 04:46 pm:   

I think if you read my comments on the Horror Comedies thread you will see I am a lifelong Laurel & Hardy fan.
Been gazing at this set since it was first released and have a mate who paid 200 for it.
If it were pay day tomorrow I'd have ordered it already but will have to wait and pray it is still this cheap come this day fortnight!
Genius is too small a word...
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Mick Curtis (Mick)
Username: Mick

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.177.181.123
Posted on Friday, June 12, 2009 - 07:25 pm:   

I remember reading that Clint Eastwood is the illegitimate son of stan laurel.

Weber, that's just another of those baseless 'facts' that have arisen over the years. Others include, believe it or not, that a) - L&H absolutely hated each other and were at each others throats the entire time, and b) - L&H were both over six feet five inches tall and only managed to work with other actors by judicious use of a combinatio of boxes and trenches...

Stephen - that price has been seen on a few sites so you're probably ok.
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Steve Bacon (Stevebacon)
Username: Stevebacon

Registered: 09-2008
Posted From: 90.210.209.176
Posted on Friday, June 12, 2009 - 09:36 pm:   

I think I'll plump for this - although I am a little concerned about the shipping; will it arrive from Amazon with all the discs scratched and loose inside the cases?

But what a bargain. I have the notion to show my two sons L&H, just to see if they like it. They aren't bothered by watching black and white films, unlike many youngsters.
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Seanmcd (Seanmcd)
Username: Seanmcd

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 86.166.30.24
Posted on Thursday, July 02, 2009 - 12:43 am:   

Yes, I bought this brilliant set in Zavvi for 49 quid about 18 months ago. Best DVD purchase i've ever made. I realise these were reduced due to the omission of the booklets. But it's the films we all treasure so a no brainer if you have the spare dosh!

My 2 sons absolutely loved L&H when they were under 8. My old VHS copies of the BBC2 airings were played to death and they could repeat every line of dialogue.
Now, sadly, at 13 and 16 it's all iPods and WoW.
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Stephen Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.72.14.113
Posted on Thursday, July 02, 2009 - 11:44 am:   

My earliest memory of Laurel & Hardy - and one of my happiest earliest memories period - was of a bunch of us very young kids sat watching 'Way Out West' in my cousin's house (must have been in the late 60s/early 70s) and laughing myself sick at these two incredibly silly men!
The first time I ever experienced tears of laughter running down my face was the famous 'singing at the bar sequence'... it was the start of a lifelong love affair. Anyone here read 'Stan And Ollie : The Roots Of Comedy' by Simon Louvish? It's my favourite biography.

I HAVE TO GET THIS BOX SET!!!!

...and when are they going to bring out the complete 'Sgt Bilko'???
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Simon Bestwick (Simon_b)
Username: Simon_b

Registered: 10-2008
Posted From: 86.24.165.182
Posted on Thursday, July 02, 2009 - 11:46 am:   

Must track this down- haven't seen any Laurel and Hardy in year. Btw, Stephen, have you read of Louvish's fiction? He's a brilliant writer.
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Stephen Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 82.4.20.22
Posted on Friday, July 03, 2009 - 07:39 pm:   

No Simon, I didn't know he wrote fiction but was aware he was a highly respected biographer.
I can't imagine there being a better, more rounded and encyclopedic telling of their life stories than 'Stan And Ollie'.
Also read the much more gushing but still warm and entertaining 'Mr Laurel And Mr Hardy' many years ago. Its been a few years since I've watched them as well as they never seem to be shown on TV anymore - a crying shame that kids today (and adults) are missing out. No matter the generation their comedy is timeless and as close to perfection as we will ever see.
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Mick Curtis (Mick)
Username: Mick

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.176.12.179
Posted on Saturday, July 04, 2009 - 08:16 pm:   

...and when are they going to bring out the complete 'Sgt Bilko'???

Hear, hear - I have the 18 episode region 1 set, plus the whole lot on ropey quality video, but it would be wonderful to have the show in its entirety, in good quality.
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Stephen Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 82.4.20.22
Posted on Sunday, July 05, 2009 - 12:55 pm:   

Great to meet a fellow fan Mick!
Bilko is to TV comedy what L&H are to film imho.
Often just the thought of some of the more memorable moments is enough to make me laugh out loud... and its been a few years since I've watched any of them.
It seems there were 4 Seasons of 35, 36, 37 & 36 episodes; 144 in total - a treasure trove!
I saw that "best of" set but deliberately didn't get it as I'm holding out for the complete works.
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Allybird (Allybird)
Username: Allybird

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 79.70.54.232
Posted on Sunday, July 05, 2009 - 02:01 pm:   

That's makes three of us. Love it.
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Stephen Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 82.4.20.22
Posted on Sunday, July 05, 2009 - 05:15 pm:   

Who's your favourite character?
For me even the thought of Colonel Hall's bewildered expression is enough to crease me up.

It is of course the incredible support cast along with Phil Silvers that makes the show. I think it's probably the most sublime cast ever put together on televison - right down to the little incidental characters who would only crop up every now and again.
Attention to detail, the sense of fun they were all having making it, the perfect comic timing from all concerned and most importantly the scripts = pure comic gold.

They're all the same strengths that gave the Laurel & Hardy productions under Hal Roach their timeless appeal as well. Quality will out!!
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Mick Curtis (Mick)
Username: Mick

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.176.12.179
Posted on Sunday, July 05, 2009 - 07:03 pm:   

I think it's such a good ensemble cast that to pick any one character out would be hard - Col. Hall is excellent - my favourite episodes are always changing but I have a soft spot for the early one where Bilko sells the other three sargents a third share each in an empty store. Plus the "Harry Speakup" episode. And the Bing Crosby one. And "The Stomach" etc., etc...
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Mick Curtis (Mick)
Username: Mick

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.176.12.179
Posted on Sunday, July 05, 2009 - 07:06 pm:   

There are a lot of places on the 'net selling the entire Phil Silvers Show, and they make lots of claims about it being 'out of copyright', but I'm not sure it is so bear that in mind if you think of buying them. I'd rather wait for a full release.
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Stephen Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 82.4.20.22
Posted on Sunday, July 05, 2009 - 10:22 pm:   

Favourite episodes!!
Once I start listing them I'll be here all night but off the top of my head: the one where the platoon think they've entered a singing contest but have unwittingly volunteered for certain death in a military experiment - the one where a chimpanzee is accidentally conscripted into the army - the Elvin Pelvin one - the one with the undercover reporter they trick into thinking they are part of a neo-nazi military coup - the I-deedy-deedy-doo one - the one where Grover comes into a fortune and has to be hidden from Bilko - the one where the psychiatrist visits the post and Bilko convinces him they are all insane - oh yes, the Bing Crosby one - the one where Bilko pretends he has only weeks to live (so cold, is that you mother...) - the Bilko's lucky day one (hint of the supernatural there!) - etc, etc, etc...
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Mick Curtis (Mick)
Username: Mick

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.176.12.179
Posted on Sunday, July 05, 2009 - 11:32 pm:   

Stephen - that chimpanzee one is a favourite of mine too - the "Harry Speakup" episode; have to agree with all your choices there!
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Seanmcd (Seanmcd)
Username: Seanmcd

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 86.166.29.192
Posted on Sunday, July 05, 2009 - 11:45 pm:   

The one where Doberman's sister is coming to visit and word gets around that she's a 'looker'. Lol. They all start fawning over Doberman. Tears in my eyes thinking about it !
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Stephen Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 82.4.20.22
Posted on Monday, July 06, 2009 - 01:39 am:   

Something to do with Krapzinger's Law that the uglier the brother the hotter the sister. Doesn't Bilko pass round a photo of Marilyn's brother that has them all recoiling in horror - hilarious!!
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 81.131.110.233
Posted on Monday, July 06, 2009 - 08:01 am:   

Haley Joel Osment looks like a very young Stan Laurel I think.
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Stephen Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 82.4.20.22
Posted on Monday, July 06, 2009 - 09:36 am:   

But can you imagine Haley Joel Osment growing up to be Clint Eastwood...???

Everyone tends to forget what a dark character Stan could be though: all that vicious tit-for-tat that Ollie always got the worst of - "aren't ya gonna hang 'im?" - "I'm going to find a horse" - and chasing Ollie with that hatchet in the amateur dramatics one, with every intention of using it! And what kind of a mate would close Ollie in the closet for seconds of blind terror with that flying ghost in 'Murder Case'.
A clown yes but also a very dangerous character to have around!!
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Steveduffy (Steveduffy)
Username: Steveduffy

Registered: 05-2009
Posted From: 86.159.105.54
Posted on Monday, July 13, 2009 - 11:49 pm:   

It's my father's eighty-second birthday next week, and as soon as I read about this special offer I knew what I was going to buy him. The big box from Amazon arrived today. I now have a week to watch twenty-one DVDs... purely to make sure they're all undamaged, of course!
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Mick Curtis (Mick)
Username: Mick

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.177.112.217
Posted on Tuesday, July 14, 2009 - 12:39 am:   

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Allybird (Allybird)
Username: Allybird

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 79.70.118.211
Posted on Tuesday, July 14, 2009 - 08:58 am:   

I'll expect some stories out of all that watching, Steve.
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Steveduffy (Steveduffy)
Username: Steveduffy

Registered: 05-2009
Posted From: 86.159.105.54
Posted on Tuesday, July 14, 2009 - 11:05 pm:   

Shame, that. Stories were what you might have had were I NOT watching Laurel and Hardy for a straight week of evenings after work!
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Stephen Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 82.4.20.22
Posted on Tuesday, July 14, 2009 - 11:46 pm:   

You jammy git!!

I am buying this box set come hell or high water next pay day and will watch every minute in the order they were made 2 a week as my own personal double bill treat every Friday night (probably just home pissed from the pub) until I've seen them all - and Friday nights will never have been so good.
Haven't seen any of them for too many years... and this is a project I will relish like none other!
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Steveduffy (Steveduffy)
Username: Steveduffy

Registered: 05-2009
Posted From: 86.159.105.54
Posted on Thursday, July 16, 2009 - 01:17 am:   

The problem's going to come when I have to hand them all over to the old fella... do you think he'd probably sooner have socks for his birthday?
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Seanmcd (Seanmcd)
Username: Seanmcd

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 86.153.165.64
Posted on Thursday, July 16, 2009 - 01:20 am:   

No. He'd much prefer some hard boiled eggs and nuts !
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Seanmcd (Seanmcd)
Username: Seanmcd

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 86.153.165.64
Posted on Thursday, July 16, 2009 - 01:21 am:   

Or maybe a jigsaw.
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Mick Curtis (Mick)
Username: Mick

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.177.118.49
Posted on Thursday, July 16, 2009 - 01:44 am:   

Hard boiled eggs and nuts! Why, you know he can't eat that!
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Steveduffy (Steveduffy)
Username: Steveduffy

Registered: 05-2009
Posted From: 86.164.32.111
Posted on Friday, July 17, 2009 - 01:35 am:   

I would have bought him a box of candy, but they cost too much, and he never paid me for the last box I bought him...
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Mick Curtis (Mick)
Username: Mick

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.179.199.19
Posted on Sunday, September 13, 2009 - 08:53 pm:   

Seems like the right thread - the brewery in Ulverston gives its beers unfornames from L&H films -

5
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Mick Curtis (Mick)
Username: Mick

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.179.199.19
Posted on Sunday, September 13, 2009 - 08:54 pm:   

"unfornames"? Been drinking too much of their beer, obviously...
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Allybird (Allybird)
Username: Allybird

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 80.47.90.63
Posted on Sunday, September 13, 2009 - 09:04 pm:   

Seems like they were always on the telly. Really liked them. People probably moaned and now nothing but THE MUMMY night after night after night etc. What is happening. Feels like Goundhog Day..
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Frank (Frank)
Username: Frank

Registered: 09-2008
Posted From: 213.158.199.91
Posted on Sunday, September 13, 2009 - 10:08 pm:   

I'm a big fan. Received a Laurel and Hardy DVD for my birthday. Saving it for Xmas.
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Mick Curtis (Mick)
Username: Mick

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.179.199.19
Posted on Sunday, September 13, 2009 - 10:21 pm:   

You have more willpower than I, Frank! Which was it?
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Friday, November 05, 2010 - 12:08 pm:   

I got it last night!! Still can't quite take it in... all those shorts, quite a few I haven't even seen before, and loads I haven't seen since I was a child. They're in my house now, waiting for me!
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Friday, November 05, 2010 - 12:12 pm:   

And Season 1 of Bilko is on its way as well... Sweet Jesus!!!!
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Hubert (Hubert)
Username: Hubert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 78.22.237.21
Posted on Friday, November 05, 2010 - 12:44 pm:   

I'm a big fan, mostly of their shorter sketches. I think it'll be hard to find anyone who doesn't like L & H. And the ladies were simply gorgeous in those days!
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Friday, November 05, 2010 - 01:10 pm:   

By my reckoning there are only four feature films, from their classic years, not in this box set:

'Fra Diavolo' (1933)
'Babes In Toyland' (1934)
'Bonnie Scotland' (1935)
'The Flying Deuces' (1939)

I'll have fun tracking these down. While everything from 'Great Guns' (1941) on is best forgotten about.
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Mbfg (Mbfg)
Username: Mbfg

Registered: 09-2010
Posted From: 212.219.63.204
Posted on Friday, November 05, 2010 - 01:44 pm:   

Last summer (2009) I saw a play about Laurel and Hardy, it was superb, so relaistic it was almost spooky becuse it ws as if the Great Ones had actually come back to life.

Yes I absolutely love and adore Laurel and Hardy.

Mmm-hm.

Cheers
Terry
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Frank (Frank)
Username: Frank

Registered: 09-2008
Posted From: 85.222.86.21
Posted on Friday, November 05, 2010 - 02:27 pm:   

I love the pair also, but I guess Mick and Ramsey are the biggest fans on here.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Friday, November 05, 2010 - 03:33 pm:   

I think if you grew up watching L&H as a child, as I did, then you can't help but love those guys. Comedy doesn't, in fact it can't, get any funnier imo. Every time I've caught one of their shorts or a movie over the years they just get more and more funny. I spot or appreciate something new every time. There are just so many levels to the humour - the broad slapstick, the verbal interplay, the visual inventiveness, the anything goes lack of sentiment, the incredible depths of subtlety in the performances (that provide the richest laughs) and all those wonderful support players. I plan to work out the chrono order, going right back to their solo silent films, and watch them all - back to back with Bilko (No. 2 for me) - over the months to come. Sheer bliss!
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Mick Curtis (Mick)
Username: Mick

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.182.157.170
Posted on Friday, November 05, 2010 - 05:04 pm:   

Stevie - as far as I'm aware that lovely box set only has stuff from the Roach studios. Pretty much all the other features are available, even ATOLL-K.
The ones you list are indeed available.

Three on Region 1:-

hf

jkg

...and one on Region 2:-

jhhgfc
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Mick Curtis (Mick)
Username: Mick

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.182.157.170
Posted on Friday, November 05, 2010 - 05:05 pm:   

Whoops:-

jf
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Friday, November 05, 2010 - 05:38 pm:   

Thanks, Mick. I've done a check on Amazon and see they are all cheaply available in the UK:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Laurel-Hardy-Bogus-Bandits-DVD/dp/B0002WYS8Q/ref=sr_1_2? ie=UTF8&qid=1288974189&sr=1-2

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Laurel-Hardy-March-Wooden-Soldiers/dp/B00004CZU8/ref=sr_ 1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1288974257&sr=1-1

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B003LYIRHU/ref=s9_simh_gw_p74_d0_i3?pf_rd_m=A 3P5ROKL5A1OLE&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=0MV988HCNWKVKRKRWKF9&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p= 467128533&pf_rd_i=468294

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Flying-Deuces-DVD-Stan-Laurel/dp/B0000CAPX0/ref=sr_1_2?s =dvd&ie=UTF8&qid=1288974343&sr=1-2

I've seen most of their post-Roach 40s movies and the sudden decline in quality was heartbreaking. Do you rank any of them, Mick? I couldn't bring myself to watch 'Atoll K' at all, would find it too painful.

One of the best books I ever read was the masterful biography 'Stan And Ollie' (2001) by Simon Louvish - a magical emotional rollercoaster ride that I can't recommend enough for any true fan.
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Mick Curtis (Mick)
Username: Mick

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.182.157.170
Posted on Friday, November 05, 2010 - 06:49 pm:   

The Louvish book is very good, I think. As for later films, I have them all on DVD but more for the sake of completeness than anything else; I'm not really a fan of any of them, although most do have a moment or two here and there that raise a smile. ATOLL-K is just painful to watch, though - Laurel was very ill during filming, so when he falls over you really feel it.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 82.17.252.126
Posted on Friday, November 05, 2010 - 10:36 pm:   

My thoughts exactly, Mick. 'Saps At Sea' (1940) was their last truly satisfying comedy. After that, and the split from Hal Roach, the material they were given to work with was increasingly unsympathetic to their gifts, and their lack of enthusiasm was painfully obvious. But what a period of miraculous quality came before that... fourteen years of sustained genius that defined comedy forevermore imho. Owning this box set - at long last - is the closest I'll ever come to finding the Holy Grail.
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Mick Curtis (Mick)
Username: Mick

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.182.157.170
Posted on Saturday, November 06, 2010 - 02:13 am:   

I'm sure I've mentioned this on here before, but back in 1986 I was extremely lucky to get to the National Film Theatre to see Hal Roach being interviewed. He was about 96 then; it was amazing to get to see someone who actually knew these comedy heroes of mine. I feel the same seeing, as I have several times now, Galton and Simpson being interviewed - they worked with Hancock, another comedy hero of mine.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 82.17.252.126
Posted on Saturday, November 06, 2010 - 03:29 am:   

You actually saw Hal Roach in the flesh! There's just no answer to that... I thought I was cool once having worked with a bloke who knew a guy who recalled his father having seen Laurel & Hardy on the stage in Belfast in the 50s!!

I have the entire Hancock & Steptoe collections on DVD as well, Mick... including the four films. They represent the peak of British situation comedy for me - the scripts and performances are just sublime. I'd consider 'Steptoe & Son' the most perfect mixture of comedy, drama and pathos that has ever been made.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 82.17.252.126
Posted on Saturday, November 06, 2010 - 03:36 pm:   

Just settling down to watch 'A Tribute To The Boys' and some silent Hal Roach shorts I've never seen before. Happy as a clam...
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 82.17.252.126
Posted on Saturday, November 06, 2010 - 06:25 pm:   

Despite the excellence of the clips that documentary was hard to take. Talk about cheesy and over-the-top! I never realised quite what a prat Dom DeLuise was, sheesh... Also that's all I'll be watching of the colorised versions - truly hideous.

I don't know if I'm convinced by this constant harping on, usually from Hollywood, about the warm sentimental side of L&H being what "made them so great". I always found the humour wonderfully cruel and unsentimental, with a no-holds-barred subversive streak that showed life to be just as ridiculous and futile as we always suspected it was. The only way to get through it was to keep on keeping on... and these guys stuck together more because they were too inept and afraid ever to have made it on their own. The exasperation was real but so was the clinging together. Like children afraid of the dark, they didn't always get on, and positively loathed each other at times, but they felt more secure in each other's company than otherwise. That's my theory of their timeless appeal anyway.
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 81.96.253.77
Posted on Sunday, November 07, 2010 - 12:18 pm:   

Forgot about this thread...yep, I love L&H, too. Priceless stuff. Might treat myself to that box set next year.
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Ramsey Campbell (Ramsey)
Username: Ramsey

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 195.93.21.68
Posted on Monday, November 08, 2010 - 03:00 pm:   

My favourite film comedians - the ones I rewatch most often.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Monday, November 08, 2010 - 03:40 pm:   

Amen to that!

I've only watched the documentary and that Hal Roach short 'Prudence' (1927) so far. I thought it was marvellous, even though all the characters and performers were new to me. That old comedy staple of faking paralysis in an accident to get a big claim never fails. Loved the courtroom scenes and that slow pan along the faces of the jury was hilarious. Simple, charming, refreshingly direct and still very funny. I never cease to be amazed by the visual invention and energy of those old silent comedies - wonderful stuff!

I'm sitting here in work and all I can think about is getting home to watch some more. Hopefully Bilko will be waiting for me as well.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 82.17.252.126
Posted on Tuesday, November 09, 2010 - 01:52 am:   

The Our Gang & Charley Chase shorts on DVD 21 were just sensational. I mean truly inspirational visual comedy that had me laughing out loud like a loon. Incredible stuff - and I haven't even got to L&H yet!!

Also 'Sgt Bilko' has arrived. I may well have exploded by the weekend.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 82.4.19.77
Posted on Tuesday, May 24, 2011 - 10:53 pm:   

To offset the depressing news from CBS re Season 2 of 'Sgt Bilko' it's time to concentrate on the greatest film comedians who ever graced our screens.

I recently worked out the chrono order of the mouth wateringly brilliant 21 Disc Laurel & Hardy box set and have been watching them one-a-week.

So far watched all the silent solo and related shorts; 'Thundering Fleas' (Our Gang), 'Along Came Auntie' (Hardy), '45 Minutes From Hollywood' (both unteamed with Glenn Tryon), 'Jewish Prudence' (Max Davidson), 'Fluttering Hearts' (Charley Chase & Hardy), 'Call Of The Cuckoo' (both unteamed with Davidson, Chase & Finlayson!) & 'Slipping Wives' (both unteamed with Priscilla Dean).

So far the funniest and least dated have been 'Fluttering Hearts' & 'Call Of The Cuckoo' imo with neither of the lads settling into their well known personas as yet and Ollie rather overshadowing Stan as a support comedian.

Just about to watch 'Love 'Em And Weep' (1927). It's like watching history in the making.
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Mick Curtis (Mick)
Username: Mick

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.178.81.136
Posted on Tuesday, May 24, 2011 - 11:36 pm:   

All excellent stuff, Stevie! Not sure I'm that bothered about the "colorised" versions though.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 82.4.19.77
Posted on Tuesday, May 24, 2011 - 11:46 pm:   

That was great - the funniest yet! At last Stan got a leading role in his classic bowler hatted persona, although it was strange to see him on his own, with Ollie "out of character" and given very little to do. The interplay between Stan, Mae Busch & James Finlayson was really very funny and still amazingly fresh.

What stood out for me was how strong and intimidating all the female characters were. From the terrifying battle-axe wives to the psychopathic blackmailing ex and the seriously creepy figure of the snooping neighbourhood gossip - I swear that wide-eyed, hunched and skeletal figure was like something from a horror movie lol.

The chemistry is starting to spark... next up 'Why Girls Love Sailors'.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 82.4.19.77
Posted on Thursday, May 26, 2011 - 01:27 am:   

Oh, bugger... I'm gonna watch it now!

There's fuck all else on decent at the minute and last night's glimpse of the genius to come is too much to hold back.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 82.4.19.77
Posted on Thursday, May 26, 2011 - 02:01 am:   

That one was memorable and very funny for the first long, though "out of character", sequence with Stan & Oliver together and striking sparks off each other brilliantly, with Stan in drag and Ollie fancying him/her. Also notable for spooky forward echoes of one of their funniest shorts (imo), 'The Live Ghost', and for the casual ease with which several characters are sent to a watery grave and one has his head blown off by a jealous wife!! They really liked their comedy dark in those days...
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 82.4.19.77
Posted on Saturday, June 04, 2011 - 12:46 am:   

'With Love And Hisses' was sublime. The first time I've found myself helplessly laughing out loud since starting to watch this box set. Stan really came into his own in this one and was genuinely hilarious as the effeminate child-man conscripted into a tough man's army and causing unintentional mayhem with always a gormless smile or a fit of finger pointing tears to pull him out of trouble. James Finlayson, as the crotchety colonel, has never been funnier, in my opinion, and the scenes where he and Stan cross swords are models of comic timing at its simplest and most instinctive. Ollie was effective as the bullying sergeant character but still has to fit into the character we all know and love, and it was disconcerting to see him mistreating Stan with real enmity for once. The virtually plotless and anarchic nature of the comedy reminded me more of a Marx Brothers movie or the Keystone Cops than classic Laurel & Hardy but that just goes to prove what instinctively great comedians they were - and hats off to Fred Guiol for the quantum leap forward in fast paced direction and editing. This one was a real joy to see for the first time.

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