18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Laurel & Hardy Volume 11 - Saps At Sea/Music Shorts [DVD] (DVD)
Like all the Laurel and Hardy discs in this series, this DVD presents some of their best work in top-quality restored versions. The main feature, though, isn't the best thing on it -'Saps at Sea' was Laurel and Hardy's last production for the Hal Roach studios, is largely a rehash of earlier work and plays like an extended short rather than a genuine feature, but it's still highly entertaining, and features an inspired cameo by Ben Turpin. The silent short, 'You're Darn Tootin', is a beatifully restored print of one of their earliest films as a team, but the main reason for buying this disc must be 'Below Zero', presented here in three different versions. (This is the film where they are scraping a living as street musicians in a rough neighbourhood in the depths of winter.) The regular version, once again, is a pristine print, but of even greater interest is the Spanish version, which includes extra scenes that enrich some of the gags and flesh out the story a little. It's fascinating to watch the boys speaking their own dialogue in Spanish. (In the early days of sound movies, before dubbing, it was common practice to make foreign-language version of films in parallel with the English versions.) It's curious that many of their films exist in longer versions in other languages. My only complaint is that, since many of the dialogue scenes in the Spanish version don't appear in the English one, one would think that subtitles would not have been asking too much.
The low point of the disc is the colourised version of Below Zero. Like all the colourised films on these discs the image quality is distinctly poorer, and this one suffers from about five minutes of inexplicable cuts. Otherwise, this is another fine disc they've gotten themselves onto.