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Joe E. Brown Comedy Collector's Set
Frequently bought together
This collection of films starring Joe E. Brown is one for all who enjoy easy-going, lighthearted humor. On Disc One, The Gladiator, (1938) Hugo Kipp (Brown) is a nerdy type college student who is injected with a super-serum by a mad scientist (Lucien Littlefield). The result causes the normally unathletic Brown to be quite the campus stud who catches the attention of pretty coed Iris Bennett (June Travis). Plus, Wide Open Faces (1938) A fortune has been stolen and every thug in town is looking for it. They all end up staying at a young woman's inn. The crooks all end up jailed thanks to the effort of a naive fountaineer (Brown). On Disc Two, Flirting with Fate, (1938) Dixon (Joe E. Brown), the manager of a third-rate vaudeville cast stranded in a South American country. Penniless, Dixon comes up with a plan to finance the actors' trip home: he'll take out a huge life insurance policy, and then arrange to get himself killed by bandit chieftain Sancho (Leo Carrillo). Plus, Earthworm Tractors, (1936) Alexander Botts (Brown) is a fast-talking salesman who really knows nothing about tractors, trying to push the big sale on the grumpy, unconvincing lumberman Johnson. The sell is not easy, but Botts pushes on with the help of Johnson's daughter. Bonus Features: Trailers| Actors Bios| "Fractured Flickers" Sampler. Specs: 2-DVD9s; Dolby Digital; 274 minutes; B&W; 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio; MPAA - NR; Year - 1936-1938; SRP - $19.99.
- MPAA rating : s_medNotRated NR (Not Rated)
- Product Dimensions : 5 x 5.75 x 0.45 inches; 3.2 Ounces
- Director : Edward Sedgwick, Frank McDonald, Kurt Neumann, Ray Enright
- Media Format : Multiple Formats, Black & White, Closed-captioned, NTSC
- Run time : 4 hours and 34 minutes
- Release date : January 1, 2013
- Actors : Joe E. Brown, June Travis, Guy Kibbee, Dick Foran, Carol Hughes
- Language : English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), Unqualified
- Studio : VCI
- ASIN : B000G0O56E
- Writers : A. Dorian Otvos, Arthur Sheekman, Charlie Melson, Clarence Marks
- Number of discs : 2
- Best Sellers Rank: #113,401 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
- Customer Reviews:
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Three of the four films here are when Brown left Warner Bros. to work for independent producer David Loew; a move that Brown himself said was "bad advice and a disastrous move", for he soon became known as a "B-movie" star at the box office. The production values & scripts occasionally looked & felt second-rate. But despite all this, Brown gave it his all & turned out some pretty good comedies.
"The Gladiator" (1938) is arguably the best of the Loew films; an irresistible comedy casting Brown as a nerdy outcast type at college who's injected with special serum from a campus scientist which transforms him into a super-human athlete! The script mines every comic opportunity as Brown haphazardly breaks furniture, walls, floors, and nimbly leaps over & pushes away players during football games! The big climax is Brown wrestling Man Mountain Dean & must use his brains when the formula wears off!
"Wide Open Faces" (1938) is less successful but extremely pleasant as Brown plays the town soda jerk (Brown displays startling dexterity here doling out drinks & sundaes) who inadvertently captures a notorious crook & becomes famous. Helping to restore an old hotel, crooks from all over converge on it once they discover that the original crook stashed a fortune there. It's climaxed with a daffy chase via car, railway cart, and boat.
"Flirting with Fate" (1938) is a lively comedy with Brown as head of a theatrical troupe coming into South America. Desperate for success--and money--a despondent Brown tries to commit suicide so his troupe can collect on his life insurance, which leads to a series of comic misadventures...trying to shoot himself, drinking ant poison (it's really hard liquor), throwing himself into a lion's den, and asking a dangerous bandit to kill him. Climaxed by a bull chase & an "explosive" ending, it's dizzy fun!
"Earthworm Tractors" (1938) is one of Brown's last comedies for Warner's. A dandy comedy about an independent salesman who invests in earthworm tractors...in spite of the fact he knows nothing about them! Playing a pushy "go-getting" type, Brown manages to be likable/funny without being annoying as he optimistically pushes forward while seemingly oblivious to the comic devastation he leaves in his wake. Highlights include Brown demolishing the countryside (and the would-be investor's truck) during a demonstration; towing the investor's home to a new address (and narrowly missing a train); and another tractor ride through a dynamited, rickety bridged area that goes for thrill comedy.
The menus created for this DVD are quite impressive. It just goes to show that even "B-movie" material can't hold down a great talent like Joe E. Brown!
If you're in tune with the time these films were made, you should have some good laughs.
So, when can we expect to see Volume 2, VCI? I'll be the first to pick it up.