17 new-to-DVD silent comedy classics and archival rarities! The first film directed by Charlie Chaplin! The best film by his brother Syd--never before on home video, never on TV, never seen before now! Early screen appearances by Harold Lloyd and Stan Laurel! Billy West, The Cubic-Chaplin-Zirconia of silent film, running amok with Oliver Hardy! Landmark shorts by such comedians as Charley Chase, Snub Pollard, Billy Bevan, and Larry Semon! Sexy comedienne Frances Lee chasing her stolen nightie! PDF reprint of original 1915 Chaplin promotional book!
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(Nov 21, 2006)
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Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed
- 17 new-to-DVD shorts on three discs
- Super secret bonus short
- Audio commentary on the 1915 short "A Submarine Pirate"
- PDF reproduction of 1915 Charlie Chaplin promotional materials (DVD-ROM)
Top Customer Reviews
The stars of this DVD are on the first and third disc while the second disc is mainly obscure comedians. With few exceptions I have found the comedies truly enjoyable.
The DVD cover boasts there are 17 comedies that have never been released to DVD before, but I know of three titles that have been on DVD for quite a while.
1) Charlie Chaplin's "LAUGHING GAS" has been released on LaserLight's "ESSENTIAL CHAPLIN COLLECTION" for years, but this copy is much sharper with nicer contrast. So the upgrade is worth it, however I understand that David Sheppard is busy restoring the Chaplin Keystone Comedies so this upgrade may be out done.
2) Stan Laurel's "SMITHY" has been on at least two Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy Alone DVD releases, one from Alpha Video and another from Passport. In both cases this copy is superior with better contrast.
3) Larry Semon & Oliver Hardy comedy "GOLF" has been released on the Passport Stan Laurel or Oliver Hardy collection, but again this copy is better.
The new music is nice, but I have heard more lively performances to the Chaplin films here that seemed to suit the style of the comedies better. It may just be a matter of taste.
The COMPLAINT DEPARTMENT: (these are rather minor)
The letters "RCDVD" pop up in yellow at the bottom right corner of the picture from time to time to try to copyright these public domain films.Read more ›
All of the films included here are taken from 16mm source materials and while many of the prints are in very good condition, they are not up to the standards set by earlier collections from Kino and Image Entertainment although this title is being distributed by Image. For the serious collector that is more than offset by the raritiy of some of the comedies in this collection. Do the names Eddie Boland, Perry Murdock or Frances Lee ring a bell? There are also complete versions of frequently excerpted shorts such as Larry Semon's GOLF (1922) and the Ton Of Fun's HEAVY LOVE (1926). The Snub Pollard starring vehicle SOLD AT AUCTION (1923) is one of the more amazing silent offerings I've ever seen complete with an astonishing array of imaginative camera tricks. The set is worth it for this comedy alone although Billy Bevan's LIZZIES OF THE FIELD (great title!) from 1924 is not far behind.
Final assessment: AMERICAN SLAPSTICK features an interesting batch of curios from long forgotten or up and coming comedians in mostly good condition with suitable musical accompaniment provided by three different performers. A must for diehard fans of silent comedy but not the ideal set to start off with.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
These are mostly obscure films at early parts of famous actors' careers. Not a classic collection at all. I regret the purchase.Published on September 6, 2008 by S. Watson
Very very good dvd!
The films are very interesting and the images are very sharp!