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4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 6 May 2004
At last a DVD boxset available in the UK containing nearly all the Hal Roach classics from 1926-1940.
Packing is fantastic with silver lettering complementing the black and white drawings of L&H. Each disc has a 3-4 page leaflet with production notes and photos.
20 DVDs of classic shorts and feature films plus a bonus disc containing the rarely seen original 1930s version of Brats and the 1991 documentary.
The B&W versions are the newly restored prints, which are the same as the renowned German Kinowelt series. Also included are colour versions, which although derided by film buffs and L&H historians are not as bad as has been said. Sure the clarity is not as high on the colour versions but some are fine and are certainly not a waste of disc space as has been suggested.
For completists this set is missing the feature films Fra Viavolo, Bonnie Scotland and Flying Dueces and Babes in Toyland. But the 3 of these are I think owned by MGM and did not appear on the Kinowelt boxsets either. Whilst babes in Toyland is far from a L&H classic and is mostly one good scene with musical filler material. If you want to argue that the boxset is not complete then you might as well complain that it contains none of their 1941 -1 954 features.
As it is what you get here is all the material that's worth having in a great package with a documentary bonus disc and rare foreign language versions of Murder Case, Blotto, Laughing Gravy and more which because L&H performed these phonetically contain slightly different scenes from the English spoken ones.
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on 16 January 2009
Anyone thinking of buying this set should be aware that most of the DVD's feature EITHER Stan OR Ollie -but not both! Most of the films were made between 1919 and 1927 before the duo had teamed up. The exceptions are "The Flying Deuces" when the boys were loaned out to Hal Roach; "Utopia" or "Atoll K" made in 1950 after the boys had retired, and "A Lucky Dog" -the first film in which they appear together.A long lost "This is your life" from 1954 is included, and there are some interesting roles, including Ollie as the Tin Man in a version of the "Wizard of Oz"!!
If you want to see the best of Stan and Ollie, buy the other sets Laurel & Hardy - The Collection (21-disc Box Set) [1918]orLaurel & Hardy Volume 3 - Way Out West/Shorts [1937]!!
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on 19 May 2004
This box set is the best collection of films ever to be released on DVD, and really deserves ten stars it is that good.
Being a life long fan I purchased both the original video series by Virgin video and the re-mastered Vision video's a few years later. While the re-mastered editions editions had excellent picture quality the VHS format did not really do them justice. The DVD transfer however makes most of the films look pristine, and it is hard to believe that some of these films are over seventy years old given their picture quality. The sound, particularly on the silents with their stero sound track played by the Dutch band 'Beau Hunks' is truly outstanding. Also the sound on the talkies has been cleaned up to give the best sound quality available.
Why is the set so good?. The simple reason is that with the exception of the features 'Bonnie Scotland', 'The Devils Brother' and 'Babes in Toyland', this box set contains all the Laurel and Hardy starring shorts/features produced by Hal Roach, and that means the very best of Laurel and Hardy. Laurel and Hardy only ever approached the same artistic quality they achieved on one feature away from Hal Roach 'The Flying Deuces'.
As well as the classic films the set has a number of special features such as foreign language and colourised editions. The foreign language editions are worth watching because they are often longer, featuring additional scenes, different casts and best of all Laurel and Hardy actually speaking French, German or Spanish. A lot has been written about the colourised versions, while it is not up to the quality seen in 'Babes in Toyland', it is not really that bad. The only really bad thing about them is that being made for American TV they have a number of annoying scene cuts. Having said that I do not feel that they are a waste of disc space, indeed I know a number of people who will not sit through a black and white film - this may be one way to introduce them to the magic of Laurel and Hardy.
The box set also features a bonus disc featuring a documentary and a number of non - Laurel and Hardy shorts. The best thing on this disc is the Charlie Chase short 'Fluttering Hearts'. Charlie Chase was Hal Roach's top comedian before he was eclipsed by Laurel and Hardy in the late 1920's and today is nearly forgotten, this is a real shame because Chase's films are highly entertaining, as you will see by watching this short. It can only be hoped that Universal's next box set will feature the films of Charlie Chase.
The only real disappointment in the set is the horrible picture quality on 'Along Came Auntie', a Hardy solo effort, much better quality material does exist for this short (see the film on the Stonevision series volume 3). I was also a bit disappointed that the original vitagraph sound tracks were not used on the silents 'Habeas Corpus', 'Angora Love' and 'Bacon Grabbers'. Although I loved the new music, it would have been closer to how the films were originally shown if the surviving disc's had been used.
This is a truly outstanding set and everybody seriously interested in screen comedy, Laurel and Hardy or classic films should not be with out it.
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on 9 January 2008
Just be aware that this is the 'new' version of the boxset. You dont get any of the booklets inside the boxes and the boxes are a cheap black plastic instead of white.

The RRP on this new cheaper set is 99.99 NOT 199.99 as stated on here.

You still get all the films of course but you dont get the info booklets.

Still a bargain if your not bothered about the books.
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on 4 December 2010
As the real gems of this collection are not so very much the feature films but the two-reelers between 1928-1934, I have made a list of all films included in this collection with disc-reference (bracketed) and in order of the first release date:

Thundering Fleas (21) 04.07.1926
Along Came Auntie (9) 25.07.1926
45 Minutes from Hollywood (12) 26.12.1926
Duck Soup (12) 13.03.1927
Slipping Wives (10) 03.04.1927
Jewish Prudence (21) 08.05.1927
Love 'Em and Weep (8) 12.06.1927
Fluttering Hearts (21) 19.06.1927
Why Girls Love Sailors (16) 17.07.1927
With Love and Hisses (7) 28.08.1927
Sugar Daddies (8) 10.09.1927
Sailors Beware (16) 25.09.1927
The Second 100 Years (12) 08.10.1927
Call of the Cuckoo (12) 15.10.1927
Do Detectives Think? (20) 20.11.1927
Putting Pants on Philip (15) 03.12.1927
The Battle of the Century (19) 31.12.1927
Leave 'Em Laughing (2) 28.01.1928
Flying Elephants (17) 12.02.1928
The Finishing Touch (14) 25.02.1928
From Soup to Nuts (1) 24.03.1928
You're Darn Tootin' (11) 21.04.1928
Their Purple Moment (13) 19.05.1928
Should Married Men Go Home? (7) 08.09.1928
Early to Bed (8) 06.10.1928
Two Tars (16) 03.11.1928
Habeas Corpus (20) 01.12.1928
We Faw Down (13) 29.12.1928
Liberty (20) 26.01.1929
Wrong Again (20) 23.02.1929
That's My Wife (9) 23.03.1929
Big Business (12) 20.04.1929
Unaccustomed As We Are (7) 04.05.1929
Double Whoopee (14) 18.05.1929
Berth Marks (6) 01.06.1929
Men O'War (16) 29.06.1929
Perfect Day (2) 10.08.1929
They Go Boom! (2) 21.09.1929
Bacon Grabbers (20) 19.10.1929
The Hoose-Gow (19) 16.11.1929
Angora Love (20) 14.12.1929
Night Owls (12) 04.01.1930
Blotto (18) 08.02.1930
Brats (5/21) 22.03.1930
Below Zero (11) 26.04.1930
Hog Wild (14) 31.05.1930
The Laurel-Hardy Murder Case (6) 06.09.1930
Another Fine Mess (1) 29.11.1930
Be Big! (18) 07.02.1931
Chickens Come Home (8) 21.02.1931
Laughing Gravy (10) 04.04.1931
Our Wife (4) 16.05.1931
Come Clean (8) 19.09.1931
Pardon Us (19) 15.10.1931
One Good Turn (3) 31.10.1931
Beau Hunks (4) 12.12.1931
On the Loose (9) 26.12.1931
Helpmates (4) 23.01.1932
Any Old Port! (16) 05.03.1932
The Music Box (14) 16.04.1932
The Chimp (17) 21.05.1932
County Hospital (2) 25.06.1932
Scram! (12) 10.09.1932
Pack Up Your Troubles (15) 17.09.1932
Their First Mistake (15) 05.11.1932
Towed in a Hole (16) 31.12.1932
Twice Two (5) 25.02.1933
Me and My Pal (4) 22.04.1933
The Midnight Patrol (20) 03.08.1933
Busy Bodies (14) 07.10.1933
Dirty Work (14) 25.11.1933
Sons of the Desert (13) 29.12.1933
Oliver the Eighth (6) 13.01.1934
Going Bye-Bye! (20) 23.06.1934
Them Thar Hills (2) 21.07.1934
The Live Ghost (16) 08.12.1934
Tit for Tat (2) 05.01.1935
The Fixer Uppers (10) 09.02.1935
Thicker Than Water (3) 16.03.1935
The Bohemian Girl (9) 14.02.1936
On the Wrong Trek (13) 18.04.1936
Our Relations (5) 30.10.1936
Way Out West (3) 16.04.1937
Swiss Miss (17) 20.05.1938
Block-Heads (7) 19.08.1938
A Chump at Oxford (1) 25.01.1940
Saps at Sea (11) 29.04.1940

(if there's a mistake in the list please let me know)

Not included in my list are:
- Hats off (only stills)
- documentary
- all the spanish and french versions which are quite interesting, since they often vary strongly from the original version, but unfortunately they are not subtitled.

Picture and sound are good. Packing is very good (slimcase).
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on 25 January 2007
As an American, I purchased a region-free DVD player for two specific purposes: to attain "The Comic Strip Presents Complete" and this set. Only a handful of Laurel & Hardy films are available on DVD stateside. Half of those are the cinematic abominations produced at MGM and 20th Century Fox in the '40s and the other half are poorly-transferred television edits of some of the films you'll find here. However, the movies HERE have been beautifully restored and are presented uncut. THIS is the collection you want/need. The films are silent and sound shorts produced at the Hal Roach Studios throughout the '20s and '30s and they are as hilarious today as they were then. There a few minor omissions (films in the public domain which are also available in decent versions on DVD - namely "The Devil's Brother" and "Bonnie Scotland"). If you love comedy, do yourself a favor and but this immediately. Universal did this up right!
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on 23 October 2006
I really discovered Laurel & Hardy for the first time about 15 years ago on televison. I had already heard of them before that but I had always harbored some kind of "immature prejudice" that I wouldn't like them. They were from so far back early in the century, I guess I thought no one was funny from a time so long ago. I was wrong though. They are genuinely funny personalities and the give and take chemistry between the two is perfect.

I live in the United States but simply could never find enough of their material on DVD -- still can't, really.

It was quite by accident that I found a humor forum on the internet and read someone's post about this collection he bought via Amazon in the UK and how all you need is a dvd player that is capable of playing region 2 dvds.

So, I came here, found the collection, purchased it gratefully and now I am able to watch this prodigious treasure trove of certainly most (if not all) of L&H's materials.

I feel it worth mentioning that the box itself is of a sturdy and superior design -- perfect for storing all those dvds!

Every few weeks I will pull the box out of my closet and watch the whole collection from first disk to last; then the next time I watch it, I do it in reverse, starting with the last disk first. There is so much material in the collection that it is always a fresh enjoyable viewing experience.

I am very happy.

This is undoubtedly one of the single best purchases in my somewhat long life.

I recommend this collection to anyone anywhere.
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on 17 September 2010
I have just bought this box set from Amazon and although the picture is correct unfortunately the contents description of the Amazon.co.uk Review above does not match.

Here are the actual contents of the 8 Disc Box Set I received which I hope may help with your decision to buy it.

Disc 1
Flying Deuces (L&H were loaned outby Hal Roach to RKO to make this film).

Disc 2
Utopia (Also known as ATOLL K - the last film L&H made after five years retirement)

Disc 3
Wizard Of Oz (stars Larry Semon with Oliver Hardy as the farmhand/woodsman four years before he was linked with Stan Laurel) SILENT with music

Disc 4 to 8 are silent shorts with music .
L&H appear separate in each film except Lucky Dog which was their first film together. Disc 8 also contains the This is Your Life Laurel and Hardy TV Special

Disc 4
Enough To Do
Along Came Auntie
Hustling For Health
Oranges And Lemons

Disc 5
Should Sailors Marry
Yes Yes Nanette
Roughest Africa
Four Wheeled Terror

Disc 6
Home Wrecker
Crazy Like A Fox
Soilers
Hop To It Bell Hop

Disc 7
Paper Hanger's Helper
Short Kilts
Fluttering Hearts
West Of Hot Dog

Disc 8
Crazy To Act
Lucky Dog, A (LH FIRST FILM TOGETHER)
Bromo And Juliet
On The Front Page

This is Your Life Laurel and Hardy TV Special
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on 6 August 2009
Having always been a Laurel and Hardy fan (watching them on TV as children and laughing so much we fell off our chairs) that I was thrilled to be able to introduce my young family to them, with this boxed set.
There are three DVDs in the set, all of them feature films, and the first, 'Flying Deuces' is the best in my opinion. My young daughter loved it right from the start and we have seen it over again to the point that she now quotes and acts out parts of it. What innocent family fun, no need for all these high-tech precocious films they make today which I don't think are half as clever or life-enhancingly funny.

The second film, 'Utopia' is also brilliant, although I didn't enjoy it quite as much as 'Flying Deuces', possibly because the quality of the actual recording was not as good and it seemed to drag on a little towards the end, but anyway, still fantastic fun and loved by the family.

I was a bit disappointed with the third film, 'Wizard of Oz' because it only featured Oliver Hardy (as a very young man) and it is a silent film.
It is a piece of history and well made (for its day) but I had expected Laurel and Hardy together, hence I gave the overall rating of four stars instead of five because the packaging is misleading.
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on 1 October 2006
I'll agree with the others that this is the best box set ever. This has EVERY short the boys did together as a team, minus the lost "Hats Off" which there are stills for on the dvd. It also has all the Hal Roach movies, except Babes In Toyland (widely available already) and Bonnie Scotland and The Devils Brother (both in the TCM set).

Almost all of the sound shorts have the option of viewing them in color. The colorized versions get a lot of hate, but I happen to think they were done pretty well. The only reason I don't watch them is because they were edited for TV and leave stuff out.

A flaw: the colorized version of "Way Out West" only plays 10 minutes into it, then starts over.

As for complaints... I think I would have rather had everything in chronological order instead of grouped by theme. But that's a small price to pay for finally being able to own this great body of work.

The biggest problem I have with this set is that the foreign language stuff doesn't have any subtitles. The english versions do have english subtitles so I don't get why they didn't do it.

But even with those problems, this set still gets 5 stars. I'm a relatively young fan and I never thought I would get to see most of this stuff.
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