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American Slapstick, Vol. 2

4.0 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • American Slapstick, Vol. 2
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  • Harold Lloyd - Lost Comedy Classics: All Aboard (1917) / Ask Father (1919) / Bumping Into Broadway (1919) / Chop Suey & Co. (1919) / Don't Shove (1919) (Silent)
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Editorial Reviews

They were the bad boy superstars of the Jazz Age. They told jokes without words, with punch-lines made from brickbats and cream pies. At a time when pop culture was in its infancy, they made movies that would last for ages. They dressed in drag, wore crazy moustaches, showed a complete disregard for private property, and drove way too fast. This 3-disc collection is their legacy, a deluxe sampler of silent comedy rarities, B-sides, and one-hit wonders. Brace yourself for: Comedians in skirts (some of 'em girls!), the nut who used too much glue, the Frenchman with a mouthful of marbles, Charlie Chaplin comedies that don't have Charlie Chaplin in them, the girl everyone thought was crazy, the incomparable Snub Pollard goes looking for trouble, famous brothers doing their thing, and a portrait of Harold Lloyd as young man.
These never-before-on-home-video comedy shorts have been mastered from archival elements and rare collections, some of them previously thought lost altogether, and are presented with new musical scores. Hold on to your porkpie hat here comes AMERICAN SLAPSTICK VOLUME TWO!

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Harold Lloyd, Louise Fazenda, Oliver Hardy, Bebe Daniels, 'Snub' Pollard
  • Directors: Hal Roach, Alfred J. Goulding, William Watson, Al Christie
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Black & White, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Facets / All Day Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: July 22, 2008
  • Run Time: 440 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001889C8E
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #233,428 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Annie Van Auken TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 27, 2008
Prominent in this assortment of silent comedies are Harold Lloyd and his brother Gaylord, along with the usual cast of Hal Roach players. Charle Chaplin doesn't appear here, but is represented by imitators like Billy West. Also, his half-brother Syd stars in three of these. There's a few with female headliners, some from Lloyd Hamilton Corp (Educational Studios), and several nearly-forgotten Hal Roach releases. Two 1930s sound shorts complete the program.

Due to this material's obscurity, AMERICAN SLAPSTICK, Vol. 2 will best appeal to silent movie fans looking to give their collections depth. For anyone just starting a silent comedy library (and who prefer DVD multi-packs), recommended are the more mainstream artists available on these 'budget' sets: THE BUSTER KEATON COLLECTION, SMILES & SPECTACLES - The Harold Lloyd Treasury, CHARLIE CHAPLIN - 51 Features, or LOST AND FOUND: The Harry Langdon Collection.

CONTENTS:

HAROLD LLOYD:
Bliss (1917) - Harold Lloyd/'Snub' Pollard/Bebe Daniels/Billy Evans
By the Sad Sea Waves (1917) - Harold Lloyd/'Snub' Pollard/Bebe Daniels/Billy Fay/Fred C. Newmeyer
Don't Shove (1919) - Harold Lloyd/Bebe Daniels/Bud Jamison/Noah Young/Fred C. Newmeyer/'Snub' Pollard
Hey There!
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With the major output of Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd, Harry Langdon and, to some degree, even Roscoe Arbuckle now being available on the home-video market in their own exqusite DVD sets, one could think that securing the pearls of silent comedy for future generations was a mission accomplished. However, one thing anyone who holds these clowns holy (or close) can confirm, is that silent comedy is an obsession that can literally last for life; once you think you've seen it all, Laughsmith Entertainment releases yet another set consisting of rarities which puts beyond doubt that such is not the case! Volume 2 of AMERICAN SLAPSTICK is in several ways even more pleasing than the first volume, and should hence satisfy buffs of silent comedy longing for more laughs.

Consisting of three discs in all, the show begins with five of Harold Lloyd's earliest film appearances as the "Glasses character," as well as an excerpt from an older "Lonesome Luke." Naturally, Lloyd was at the very beginning of his mature process as a performer at this point, and the lovely, "regular boy" of his later films is not that lovely here; he's pretty one-dimensional, as is the universe that evolves around him, but no less are these films interesting to watch as documentation of the early, often neglected point of his movie career, and they do also provide quite a few worthwhile gags. The next film, DODGE YOUR DEBTS, is one of the few available films starring Harold's real-life brother Gaylord Lloyd, displaying him as yet another unfortunate tax-collector in the history of silent comedy. This short is not only fun to see for observing the physical resemblances between the two brothers, but is quite a worthwhile comedy in its own right, with a solid performance from Gaylord and plenty of funny gags.
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I just received my copy of the three-disc set. I like the general way in which they have presented the material. Excellent musical scores composed for each film are worth noting. The organizing of each section is also thoughtful: by studio, star or genre. The quality of most of the films is not first rate however. When compared to the quality of KINO or Image Entertainment or even Lobster Films, these films are slightly out of focus and look like copies from videos at times. I'm no expert in this area, but like the first box they put out, the quality is only fair. On the other hand they have some real gems assembled, few if any of which are to be found on other discs (though I do have some on VHS).
This is a nice filler for the collector, with Gaylord Lloyd, Alice Howell and Anne Cornwall among others to be discovered and enjoyed. just wish I didn't have to squint a tad to do it!
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As said before by other reviewers, this set doesn't present the best of silent comedy, but obscurities of interest mainly for collectors and already silent film fans. As such, it deserves the five stars.

Said that, the set presents films which, with some isolated exceptions, are truly hard to find and which have never been before on DVD. One of the exceptions is Harold Lloyd's "Don't Shove", already on "Smiles & Spectacles - The Harold Lloyd Treasury" DVD. Prints are mostly fine, considering the rarity of these items, and in some cases fragmentary. An odd case, however, is Paul Parrott's brilliant short "POST NO BILLS", which appears here in a badly shaped and slightly truncated print (the beginning and the end are missing, along with some scenes in the middle). This is worth noting becausa a complete and sharp print of this short is already on DVD on Lobster's outstanding collection "Retour de Flamme" (Saved from the flames), VOL.6. This sole fact makes me doubt if some of the not so good prints here do exist in pristine form in some archive, but probably not even the producers of this DVD would be able to answer to that. In any case, we must be thankful for the effort of giving us so many rare items, many of which are also, besides its interest for collector, very funny films indeed.

The Sidney Chaplin shorts are very interesting to watch, as well as his feature "Charley's Aunt", which appears here in a complete and sharp print.

Fragmentary are the rare Harold Lloyd's Luke comedy "Luke Joins the Navy" (1916), the obscure Snub Pollard item "Whirl o' the West", on which Pollard appears with clean face! and the fake Chaplin "Oh! Shoot" (1923).

The rest of the set had already been commented.
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