Just worth adding a couple of comments based on my experience of this set. Firstly, I have a `region 2' Sony RDR-HXD710, about 5 years old and `as was' new out-of-the-box, so I thought I'd take a risk on buying this set as I particularly wanted to see the rare `cameo' clips. I'm pleased to say it that even though it's technically a Region 1 set it plays on my DVD player with no problems!
Second point is on the "Added Attractions" documentary on the second disk. Even though it is a strange choice to include and a bit of a `filler', you do get the brief Laurel and Hardy cameo clip from "Wild Poses" included (about 15 minutes in) which I don't think has ever been included on any other Laurel and Hardy DVD release? So given that Laurel and Hardy appeared in about 105 cinema shorts or features and 83 of them can be found on the 21-disc "Laurel and Hardy Collection" then you effectively get another 7 films represented across this 2-disc set... or at least 2 full films plus all of the Laurel & Hardy parts known to exist from another 5 films, to be exact!
So well worth the money if you're trying to fill in the gaps in your Laurel and Hardy collection!
This is an excellent 2-Disc Dvd set of two Laurel & Hardy feature films...Fra Diavlo (AKA: The Devil's Brother) and Bonnie Scotland.
The films are really enjoyable and have beautiful picture and sound quality.
Disc 1 has the two films, with the original trailers and commentary tracks featuring Leonard Maltin, which are very informative. It's good to finally have a commentary on some of Laurel & Hardy's work.
Disc 2 features a documentary, excerpts from Laurel & Hardy appearances of the time and more.
Overall a quality package.
Both discs come in a fold out type case, which fits inside an outer slipcase. Recommended.
The movie Fra Diavolo is based on an Opera but I cannot imagine that the Opera was as funny as this movie. It is the story of the feared bandit Fra Diavolo. Stan & Ollie are the comedy element. The storyline is basically that they want to become bandits so that they can "start at the top and get to the bottom without working hard". Because they have not much luck, they pretend, that Ollie is Fra Diavolo. Unfortunatelly, the person they want to rob turns out to be Fra Diavolo himself. First he wants to hang both of them, but then he says that he will give Stan another chance, if he hangs Ollie. While he is trying to do this, Stan asks Ollie if he wants to be buried or should stan have him stuffed. In the end, Stan & Ollie end up as Fra Diavolo's servants. I don't want to spoil the ending for antbody, so I'm going to stop here. I hope that you found this information useful.
A region 1 (USA) 2 disk set only playable here in the UK with a multi-region dvd player. A real treat for Laurel + Hardy fans though, if you have the great UK 21 disk set and want to fill the gaps heres a great start.
This set has
Disk 1 - THE DEVILS BROTHER (aka FRAU DIAVALO) .... this film is already available here in the UK on dvd. The other film on this disk is BONNIE SCOTLAND .... currently unavailable in the UK. Both movies have commentaries by Leonard Maltin and Richard W. Bann (L+H aficionado..apparently). TCM host Robert Osbourne does an introduction to each movie.
Disk 2 - Added Attractions .... a feature length documentary about cinematic shorts, encompassing L+H, Our Gang, Three Stooges and many other things. Not strictly of huge interest to L+H fans (bit of a filler to be honest) but still worth seeing.
Also on this second disk (and this is worth getting the set alone for) is the scenes featuring Laurel and Hardy from a few films they made cameo appearances in...you dont get the whole movies, just the parts with Laurel and Hardy which is fair enough as the rest of the movies arnt really worth seeing. These are...
HOLLYWOOD REVUE OF 1929 - Magic act segment HOLLYWOOD PARTY - 2 segments including egg segment with Lupe Velez PICK A STAR - 3 segments, including Harmonica Duel, mexican bandit scene and Olly/Stan being knocked out with bottles (superb)
..There is also the rare fragment found from the lost colour film ROGUE SONG. Throw in some theatrical trailers and...well nice set!!!
To complete your collection check out the two 20th Century Fox collections available here in the UK, the KINO release of FLYING DEUCES and the double bill dvd NOTHING BUT TROUBLE/AIR RAID WARDENS (both DEUCES and the double bill dvd will need a multi-region player).
This is one of Laurel and Hardy rarer musical feature length films and a real treat, similar to other feature length musicals like Bohemian Girl and Swiss Miss but somewhat better and reportedly one of the boys favourites. It a brilliantly constructed film with laughs a-plenty when Stan & Ollie are on screen, my only gripe being that they just weren't given enough genius time to shine together on screen and too much of the films running time was lent to the sub-plot and musical interludes but that said when they appear they are show us why they are THE best comedy duo ever presented to the world. The 'drinking' scene and 'laughter' scenes are pure class and show us the true gifted nature of their comedy genius and the magnificent chemistry between the boys. A must have for any fan as this is not part of the 20 disc Laurel and Hardy DVD box set, my personal favourite remains Way out West but don't dismiss this, you'll roll around in laughter at some of the moments in it. Long live Laurel and Hardy - the greatest comedy team the world has or will ever see.
A great story set in Northern Italy, an unusual venue for Laurel & Hardy films, but has all the comedy of a great comic pair, especially when trying to be bandits for the first time and being outclassed by their victim in the woods. Only a Laurel & Hardy film can make such a sketch so masterful. The inclusion of Thelma Todd as the lead female and avenue of Fra Diavolo's affections at the expense of her husband (James Finlayson), makes this film essential viewing for all ages. One of my favourite Laurel & Hardy films, and forever a gem in my movie library.
The technical quality is acceptable even if not perfect. This is possibly the very best Laurel & Hardy movie, maybe with exception of the piano delivery. The nostalgic value is high with memories from my childhood, but "neezie-earsie-nosie" and "finger wiggle" have stayed in my memory better than the actual story.
This is one of the best L & H films in my opinion and made me laugh so much when I first watched it and still does. The only other version you will need is the remastered version on Blu-ray if they ever get round to it. If you like L & H then buy this film now.
This was my Mums favourite film. OK, so some of the editing is quite rough, the acting isn't faultless and, the story has whiskers but.... Early, kneesy nosey is just fantastic on its own! Very dated, massive fun! Treat yourself.