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When Comedy Was King [DVD]

Charlie Chaplin , Laurel & Hardy , Robert Youngson    Universal, suitable for all   DVD
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
Price: 12.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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When Comedy Was King [DVD] + Days of Thrills & Laughter [DVD] [US Import] + 30 Years of Fun [DVD] [US Import]
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Product details

  • Actors: Charlie Chaplin, Laurel & Hardy, Buster Keaton, Harry Langdon, Fatty Arbuckle
  • Directors: Robert Youngson
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Cornerstone Media
  • DVD Release Date: 1 Mar 2010
  • Run Time: 82 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002Q12UQS
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 72,525 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Take a fun filled trip back to a bygone era with the greatest silent comedians of all time. Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Laurel & Hardy, Ben Turpin and Snub Pollard were just a few of the comedic geniuses who spread laughter and happiness to millions accross the world. Without having to speak a single word, their crazy antics had us in stitches. Theirs was a world of zany situations, uproarious sight-gags, fast-paced car chases and elaborately staged pranks. Director Robert Youngson chose from hundreds of hours of vintage film clips to bring you the funniest scenes from these comedy greats.

Product Description

When Comedy Was King

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An essential film 25 Jan 2012
An essential film

This is the second of 8 compilations constructed by Robert Youngson in the late 1950s and 1960s for cinema release. These films plundered a neglected archive (Laurel and Hardy, Buster Keaton, etc.), and far from being a mere recycling exercise, they beautifully showcase a very special part of Hollywood history. More than that, however, they are key part of the Laurel and Hardy story, helping as they did to build a renaissance of their work.

Without Youngson's passionate love of vintage comedy, many early Laurel and Hardy movies would have been lost forever. It was with his efforts that films such as 'The Battle of the Century', which contains a glorious mass-fight deploying 3000 pies, were saved: when Youngson found the negative, much of the second half of this historic movie was close to ruin. Other films were better preserved, and Youngson took care always to use the original negatives. Since most had lain unseen in decades, the freshness and pristine quality of the prints all contributed to the serious critical re-evaluation of Laurel and Hardy's work. Their magnificent two reel films from the thirties were also playing to large audiences on television, and suddenly Stan and Ollie were stars again. This much-deserved upsurge in their fortunes included a long overdue honorary Academy Award.

'When Comedy Was King' also features essential work by Chaplin, Keaton, Harry Langdon, the Keystone Cops, Charlie Chase, Edgar Kennedy, the Mack Sennett Girls and the wonderful Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle. Youngson's style was to carefully blend forgotten classics mixed with the lesser known and even downright obscure. This DVD is currently pretty rare considering its quality, and anyone with a keen interest in Hollywood's golden age should buy it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Silent Comedy, Lousy DVD Version 2 Jun 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
THE FILM: This is an expert 1959 compilation of little-seen silent comedy by the late Robert Youngson, showcasing Laurel and Hardy in "Big Business", Snub Pollard in "It's a Gift", Roscoe Arbuckle, Billy Bevan, Edgar Kennedy, Wallace Beery, Mabel Normand and others from the Keystone/Mack Sennett studios plus Chaplin, Keaton in "Cops" and Harry Langdon. The commentary is too talkative but otherwise this is great stuff.

THE DVD: The picture definition on my 40 inch screen was poor with the horizontal lines very noticeable. Was this transferred from an old video tape master used for VHS cassettes? There are no extras and only six scene points on the menu. I'm keeping my copy for the sake of the film but I hope a better version comes along soon.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars When Comedy was King 15 Dec 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I saw this fim when I was young and couldnt stop laughing then, couldnt stop laughing now :) If only todays comedy could be as simple as this.
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5.0 out of 5 stars When I was Young, son.... 4 Mar 2014
By R. A. Caton TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I think the attitude to silent comedy is different now. We appreciate we are looking at an artform aimed at people who lived loved and existed in a world very different from our own. We study comedy films looking for sociological background, we try and see the most complete and restored versions....
This Robert Youngson film was put together in another world just as different to our own, where people still remembered these movies when they were new, and so a compilation of mirthquakes from the roaring 1920s gently nudging smiles of recognition worked. This was my introduction to slapstick comedy, at a time when 20's silents were judged fit for cheap 8mm cutdowns, when no-one worried about running a silent at 24fps rather than stretchprinting to achieve correct speed (not that with the undercranking that went on for comic effect it matters that much). An interesting point... when you see a model T Ford abruptly change direction, they have strange gear arrangements that mean they could do just that in real life.

Watch this film and laugh like a child again.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dissatisfaction 25 April 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I discovered this DVD to be very disappointing. I had ordered it after a recollection of seeing, when I was very young, a compilation of silent movies at the cinema.

However, this DVD is a travesty of what 'silent' movies ought to be since there is a constantly irritating narrative 'voice over' from beginning to end. I cannot imagine what has prompted the producer to allow this other than making an overall assumption that most people may be too dumb to be able to appreciate the subtleties and nuances that form the very essence of silent movies.

Frankly, I would prefer a refund against this purchase or a suitable Amazon credit against future orders.
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