Laurel & Hardy: The Essential Collection
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
The films look as good as movies from 1929 to 1940 can reasonably be expected to look. Included in the boxed set are seven foreign-language films (six in Spanish, one in French), shot in order to keep the duo popular in overseas markets, before dubbing made that goal easier. Fascinatingly, these films often extend the English-language films they are ostensibly adapted from, with different gags and plot turns--and it's fun to hear Stan and Ollie speaking in another language. Special features include a ho-hum 40-minute tribute with testimonials from fellow comedians (especially talkative are Dick Van Dyke and Jerry Lewis); an ""Interactive Map"" with Los Angeles location sites from their movies; three Roach shorts in which L&H pop up in cameos; and a 1942 short produced for the Department of Agriculture (another L&H cameo). A few (not many) films have commentaries that include the informed Laurel and Hardy buff Richard W. Bann; Sons of the Desert has a track with Tim Conway and Chuck McCann, who don't seem to know how a commentary track works but have a nice time watching the movie. --Robert Horton"
Additional films of Laurel & Hardy guest appearances
Collectible, book, style packaging incorporating film guide
L&H Trailers: Pack up your troubles, A chump at Oxford, Saps at Sea
ON LOCATION WITH THE BOYS: TOUR FILMING LOCATIONS WITH INTERACTIVE MAP
A TRIBUTE TO LAUREL & HARDY
Top Customer Reviews
This 10-disc set includes most of Laurel & Hardy's talkie shorts and features produced by Hal Roach between 1929 and 1940. These are among the funniest comedies ever made, as many vintage-film buffs will agree. Laurel & Hardy were often capable of carrying the action almost entirely by themselves: BRATS has Stan and Ollie as themselves and their own sons (with giant sets and trick photography); THE MUSIC BOX is the Oscar-winning featurette with the boys as the world's worst piano movers; HELPMATES has Stan helping Ollie to clean house after a wild party; THEIR FIRST MISTAKE has our heroes adopting a baby; TOWED IN A HOLE has them rehabbing a boat; BUSY BODIES turns them loose in a carpentry shop. You'll see dozens of examples of how inventive they were with pantomime and dialogue. Their short subjects were so successful that they branched out into full-length features, including their famous hits WAY OUT WEST and SONS OF THE DESERT, the prison comedy PARDON US, the "gypsy" comedy THE BOHEMIAN GIRL, the hour-of-sight-gags BLOCK-HEADS and SAPS AT SEA, and several others, including both versions of A CHUMP AT OXFORD (the standard 63-minute print of 1940, and the 42-minute, differently edited "streamliner" released in 1943). The supporting casts read like a who's-who of familiar faces: Edgar Kennedy, Billy Gilbert, Charlie Hall, James Finlayson, Mae Busch, Anita Garvin, Walter Long, Harry Bernard, Eddie Dunn, Daphne Pollard, and a host of others. You'll be laughing through 58 L & H comedies.Read more ›
This set has many of their greatest films, and is accurately called "The Essential Collection" but not "The Complete Collection".
A complete collection at this point in time is impossible, as a small handful of earlier L&H films are missing or partially missing.
The rights to L&H films are owned by various companies, and two of their full-length features "The Flying Deuces" and "Utopia" are in the public domain and owned by everyone.
To obtain as complete a collection of L&H films as is currently possible, I highly recommend buying, in addition to this set:
> The Lost Films of Laurel and Hardy, Volumes 1 - 9 (Out of print but available used; consists of all existing silent L&H films, plus numerous solo films)
> TCM Archives: The Laurel and Hardy Collection (The Devil's Brother / Bonnie Scotland)
> March of the Wooden Soldiers (Colorized / Black & White)
> The Flying Deuces (Restored Edition)
> Laurel and Hardy Collection, Vol. 1 (Great Guns / Jitterbugs / The Big Noise)
> ...Read more ›
Aside from that little caveat, I highly recommend this set. As a lifelong Laurel and Hardy fan, I couldn't be happier with the quality of these prints. Incidentally, I have purchased all of the available Laurel and Hardy films over the years, on every format from VHS to Laser Disc to DVD, and I can assure you, Laurel and Hardy have never looked better on home video.
The films themselves - all from the Hal Roach Library and long cherished by at least three generations of fans - surely need no further validation. Owning them in uncut, restored editions has been a lifelong dream for devotees all over the world. Some of the early shorts, particularly NIGHT OWLS, BRATS and ONE GOOD TURN, are only marginally improved. (Apparently the original elements are in pretty bad shape. As with the Chaplin Keystones and Essanays, the producers did the best restoration possible with the prints available.) But most are pristine, comparatively; it's like watching them for the first time.
In addition to ALL the talkie shorts and most of the features (more about that later), you also get some rare foreign language versions. These fascinating oddities often feature gags and business not seen in the more familiar domestic releases, and I STRONGLY encourage fans not to skip them. Who knew, for instance, that POLITIQUERIAS (CHICKENS COME HOME) included priceless footage of Hardy ballroom dancing, and singing in Spanish - as well as an extended magic act with a Spanish-speaking James Finlayson? Even better, statuesque Anita Garvin is even more smoking hot when she's speaking French (in LES CAROTTIERS)!Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I am a big laurel and Hardy fan and had to have this set. The prints are pretty clean and the sound seems ok to me. Read morePublished 10 days ago by Leigh W
Timeless comedy. What Laurel and Hardy did was funny and special because they were the first ones to do it. Read morePublished 10 days ago by Frank Robles
was advertised as 'everything L&H ever did. not true at all. however, this IS the 'essential' collection, if you have not been introduced. Read morePublished 10 days ago by Laurie Overbey
Some of the best work from this greatest comedy team of all time.Published 1 month ago by david jason
Great fun at parties and for viewing to pick up the spirits when you are down and out. What fun! Brings back the memories of the younger days and the fill in programs on TV before... Read morePublished 1 month ago by JEFF SMITH
I purchased this as a birthday present. Set arrived timely & was packaged carefully, but there was a problem with the discs. They froze & the picture pixelated. Read morePublished 1 month ago by S. Claessen