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The Stan Laurel Collection (Slapstick Symposium)


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Frequently Bought Together

The Stan Laurel Collection (Slapstick Symposium) + The Stan Laurel Collection 2 (Slapstick Symposium) (2 disc) + The Oliver Hardy Collection (Slapstick Symposium)
Price for all three: $50.79

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Product Details

  • Actors: Stan Laurel, James Finlayson, Julie Leonard, Lew Meehan, Grant Gorman
  • Directors: Stan Laurel, Clarence Hennecke, George Jeske, Harry Sweet, Joe Rock
  • Writers: Al Giebler
  • Format: Multiple Formats, NTSC, Silent
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Kino Lorber films
  • DVD Release Date: August 3, 2004
  • Run Time: 357 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002CHIDS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #142,192 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Stan Laurel Collection (Slapstick Symposium)" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Before his famous teaming with Oliver Hardy, Stan Laurel was for eight years one of the most important Hollywood comics of his time, competing at the same level with Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton. These very rare 16 films, shot between 1923 and 1925 and restored to their original versions, enable the audience to discover the hidden side of this immense genius of slapstick comedy. rom the parodies of popular films from the 1920 ("Roughest Africa," "The Soilers") to the hilarious social ("Frozen Hearts," "Short Kilts") or familial ("Mother's Joy," "yes, Yes, Nanette") satires, ending with real jewels of the slapstick genre ("Oranges and Lemons," "Postage Due"), Stan Laurel is irresistible. His understanding of storytelling and charming humor have stood the test of time.

Amazon.com

The great Stan Laurel was 37 years old when he definitively teamed up with Oliver Hardy in 1927. So what had he done up till then? The Stan Laurel Collection valuably fills in a gap, with 17 comedy shorts Laurel made for producer Hal Roach between 1923 and 1925. Laurel was already a veteran vaudevillian, with many previous stabs at film work, when he embarked on this series for Roach. The comic personality on display will not be instantly familiar to Laurel and Hardy fans. In a frantic piece like Oranges and Lemons, Laurel is much closer to the acrobatic mischief of Chaplin than to the slow-burning simpleton he perfected opposite Hardy. Laurel was a busy gag-writer and worked on story and direction as well, and it says something about his imagination that these shorts range all over the planet for their settings: Frozen Hearts parodies Russian melodrama (and allows Stan a wonderfully daft Russian dance), Roughest Africa spoofs the African travelogue, with Laurel battling lion and elephant. Movie parodies were a Laurel specialty; Dr. Pyckle and Mr. Pride is a send-up of a certain Robert Louis Stevenson story, with Laurel's monster an unexpected demonic treat. The final short on disc 2 is Yes, Yes, Nanette, co-directed by Laurel and starring Jimmy Finlayson, a frequent stooge in these shorts. In a supporting role, there's "Babe" Hardy, pointing the way toward greatness. These shorts are fun, but Laurel and Hardy needed each other. --Robert Horton

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
5 star
36%
4 star
55%
3 star
9%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
See all 11 customer reviews
I recommend this two disc set very highy.
Robert Badgley
Many of the gags are brilliant and the situations quite funny but they go on far too long.
Chip Kaufmann
James Finlayson and Oliver Hardy are the stars of this film.
John Profetto

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Chip Kaufmann on August 20, 2004
Format: DVD
This new 2 DVD set from Kino from their SLAPSTICK SYMPOSIUM series showcases the talents of a pre-Oliver Hardy Stan Laurel and it's definitely a mixed bag. Laurel (born Arthur Stanley Jefferson) began as an English Music Hall comedian who was Chaplin's understudy when they came to America. While Chaplin quickly went on to fame and fortune, Stan labored for a number of outfits as a gag writer, director and performer. This collection features his work for Hal Roach in the early 20's and his own series of Stan Laurel comedies from the mid 20's.

The biggest problem with many of these shorts especially the later ones is that Stan had yet to find a character that worked for him and he had yet to develop his comic timing. Since we don't identify with his character, he wears out his welcome way too soon. Many of the gags are brilliant and the situations quite funny but they go on far too long. The best shorts are the parodies such as THE SOILERS, ROUGHEST AFRICA, and especially DR PYCKLE AND MR PRYDE which is a truly hilarious send-up of the 1920 John Barrymore film. Others indulge in ethnic humor (SHORT KILTS, NEAR DUBLIN) and a few are downright bizarre and very hard to follow (HALF A MAN, THE SLEUTH).

As good as he was, Stan needed someone to play off of and his teaming with Oliver Hardy allowed his comic genius to reach its full potential. A lot of the material on display here and many of Stan's mannerisms would be put to much better use in the L&H comedies. And so despite the 3 star rating I recommend this set for the Hal Roach shorts and for the opportunity of watching Stan honing his craft. Most of the shorts are in good condition considering how rare they are and the piano accompaniment by Neil Brand is a perfect fit. By the way you can catch Ollie (billed as "Babe" sans mustache) in the last short YES YES NANETTE where he's directed by Stan.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Robert Badgley on February 2, 2005
Format: DVD
1923 to 1925 to Stan Laurel was a period of transition for one of the greatest comedians/gag men of 20th century film.
Starting out with one foot still firmly planted on the vaudeville stages of the United States and Canada Stan Laurels' films of this period made first for film producers Hal Roach,then Joe Rock then back to Roach would see him in the end stay in the film medium for good.
Watching these films reveals a comedian of the first order.He displays his skills with an ease and aplomb that equalled or excelled Chapln,Keaton and Lloyd.And there certainly were very few who could equal his mastery of the gag which he is responsible for throughout most of these films.
Most of these films have been previousy released on video and DVD but these transfers are for the most part quite superior to anythng I've seen before.They are for the most part quite crisp and clear which make them a joy to watch and own.
This Stan Laurel is not the Stan of Laurel and Hardy(which was less than two years away) but in these films are definite signs of the future persona that the public would come to know and love.
And this was unfortunately the crux of the question of why Stan didn't become a "hit" before his future teaming with Oliver Hardy.He didn't have a standout "hook" or persona that grabbed the publics' attention like Keaton or Chaplin had.
This ultmately caused Stan to move from in front of the camera to behind it where he was quite happy to write and direct until fate kindly brought he and screen veteran Oliver Hardy together in front of the camera where the two would go on to make film history as the greatest film comedy team of all time.
The Stan Laurel Collection is essential film history.I recommend this two disc set very highy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John Profetto on March 17, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
He was no match for his former acting school roomate Charlie Chaplin,but Stan did a pretty good job on his own,prior to teaming up with Oliver Hardy.This DVD set is worth viewing.There are many memorable shorts.James Finlayson appears in many of them.Including one of my favourites,Roughest Africa.Pete the Dog,of Little Rascals fame even appears in Dr.Pyckle And Mr.Pride and a few others.The last film in this set,Yes Yes Nanette,was directed by Stan,but he does not appaer in it.James Finlayson and Oliver Hardy are the stars of this film.
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By Anyechka on December 2, 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I've been a Laurel and Hardy fan since July of 1996, when I was sixteen years old, and was delighted to find this collection of Stan's earlier solo work, esp. since he's always been my fave of the two (his character is so endearing and easy to relate to). Still, there just feels like something missing without his partner. There are quite a number of funny moments, but overall they're just not as laughter-inducing as when he and Ollie were together. I agree that part of the reason is because, while brilliantly-written and acted, Stan just hadn't developed into the character he later became. In most of these shorts he plays the well-meaning kind-hearted simpleton we know and love, but that character isn't as developed or concrete as it is in the Laurel and Hardy shorts. I like him because the character he played onscreen is so easy to relate to and like, but that persona just isn't there to relate to in some of the shorts, however well-crafted, and when it is there, it just isn't as constant, well-honed, and perfected as it was later to become. Still, on the whole these are really enjoyable shorts, only I wouldn't recommend them to a new fan.
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The Stan Laurel Collection (Slapstick Symposium)
This item: The Stan Laurel Collection (Slapstick Symposium)
Price: $29.95 $18.84
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com