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on 19 February 2015
Very funny laurel and hardy coool
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on 12 May 2009
My interest in 'A Haunting we Will Go' is not in Laurel and Hardy but in Dante, the magician. I saw him in person and wanted to see him on film. The film has its moments but is pretty creaky and the camera tricks outnumber the real tricks. However the DVD is worth having for the levitation which is done straight and as I saw it on stage in 1937.
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on 1 April 2010
Laurel And Hardy Collection Vol. 2 - The Bullfighters/Dancing Masters/A Haunting We Will Go [DVD] I thought the picture quality on these DVDs was very good. I would highly recommend this set to Laurel and Hardy and film fans. Shame that there are no special features to accompany these films.
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Not for the first time, Amazon have bundled reviews for two different DVD issues on the same page. This review refers to 20th Century Fox's three-disc collection including the feature films A-Haunting We will Go, The Dancing Masters and The Bullfighters.

Although their films at 20th Century Fox are widely regarded as the nadir of their career, A-Haunting We Will Go is definitely the best late Laurel and Hardy film. True, it may not stand comparison with even their weakest feature work with Hal Roach, but it's a pleasant little number that allows the boys some room to breathe even if they're at the mercy of scriptwriters rather than working with set pieces handcrafted by Stan. While the title may promise a ghost house comedy, instead it sees the boys run out of town after spending the night as guests of the local police and trying to earn their passage by accompanying a coffin to Dayton. Only the coffin doesn't contain a corpse but a live gangster trying to get out of town past the police, and it inadvertently gets swapped with a prop for Buffalo Bill lookalike Dante the Magician, who takes on the boys as assistants.

If the plot takes rather more setting up than it needs to, the film does provide plenty of room for the boys to throw in some extended set pieces, including a genuinely charming scene with stage phone booths and multiple Laurel and Hardys. There's an emphasis on Fred Sersen's special effects for some of these set pieces, but they're pretty decent effects and there's less of a feeling that the studio are trying to turn Stan and Ollie into their own Abbott and Costello than in earlier films like Great Guns. At times post-production editing leaves the odd slight continuity gap but for the most part this is a decent little comedy with a decent supporting cast, including Elisha Cook Jr., who makes a disturbingly convincing granny, as well as bit parts for Mantan Moreland as a waiter in a cameo improvised on the spot when he came to see the boys at work, Willie Best and a young Terry Moore among the children on the train.

The US NTSC Region 1 DVD includes a decent selection of extras: audio commentary by historian Scott McGillivray, a rare uncut print of their public information short film Tree in a Test Tube, some Movietone News footage and the original theatrical trailer and trailers for Jitterbugs and Great Guns. The Pal version has... er, a menu and that's it.

The Dancing Masters starts off with the ever-delightful sight of Stan and Ollie dancing, albeit separately as dancing teachers at the Arthur Hurry Dancing Academy, but sadly that's the only time they do in a very thin time filler. And it really does feel like they're marking time here, though the film does try the Marx Bros. MGM gambit of giving them a couple to help, and even throws in Marx Bros. straight woman Margaret Dumont without ever giving her much to do as well as an unbilled Robert Mitchum as a phoney insurance salesman in a plot strand that is quickly forgotten before being briefly revived for a flat bit of comic business involving a banana peel and promptly forgotten again. The finale is indicative of the general laziness, being so determined to get its heroes on a runaway bus that it doesn't create a remotely logical reason the driver didn't stop the engine before jumping off. It compounds the error by separating the two, having Ollie on the bus as it gets stuck on a rollercoaster in one of the special effects gags that the boys' Fox comedies seemed so fond of while cutting away to a bored Stan somehow getting pelted in a coconut shy. Even reworking material from their classic shorts does little more than show how much their spark is fading as the auction scene from Thicker than Water is replayed without much enthusiasm as if just to pad out the running time.

The print quality isn't great, with mild tramlines visible despite efforts to minimise them and a couple of breaks in the print, but again the US NTSC release has a good selection of extras: audio commentary by Scott McGillivray, the Ship's Reporter interview with Ollie promoting Utopia/Atoll K and newsreel footage of the boys 1932 tour in England and Scotland that will already be familiar to most fans, the original trailer and trailers for The Big Noise, Jitterbugs and Great Guns. The PAL version just has the films.

The Bullfighters was Laurel and Hardy's final film for 20th Century Fox after the studio decided to stop making B-pictures and concentrate only on A-pictures, and even to the very end, the studio were trying to turn Stan and Ollle into Bud and Lou, most notably in a tit for tat scene with raw eggs that plays so much more like an Abbott and Costello scene than a Laurel and Hardy one that you almost expect Stan to cry out "Hey, Abbott!" Perhaps more out of studio disinterest than anything more noble, Laurel was given more input behind the scenes, even directing a few scenes, yet despite rehashing some elements from earlier shorts and giving them more to do in the plot it starts off watchable but never really goes anywhere before fizzling out with an anticlimactic finale. A good neighbour comedy to play on the boys' popularity with Spanish-speaking audiences that sees Stan mistaken for a famous bullfighter while trying to avoid its promoter who has a very justifiable grudge against them, it's hard to root for them this time since their stupidity led to an innocent man spending five years in jail and having his life ruined. Still, there is a surreal final sight gag that harks back to the more morbid endings Stan Laurel wanted but rarely got in his Hal Roach years and one memorable bit part that sees Hank Worden get the best line in the picture.

Once again decent extras on the US NTSC version: audio commentary by Scott McGillivray, new featurette Laurel and Hardy - The Fox Years; giving a rather more upbeat view of the boys tenure at the studio than most film historians or fans would go along with, the original theatrical trailer; and trailers for The Big Noise, Jitterbugs and Great Guns. Nothing on the PAL version, though.
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on 6 January 2014
Laurel and Hardy collection Vol 2

Here we have the second of the box sets featuring L&H 20th Century Fox films. As I mentioned in my review of Vol 1 I had put off watching these Fox films due to their poor reputation, but as with Vol 1 I was pleasantly surprised by them.

This set consists of 3 films The Dancing Masters, A Haunting We Will Go, and The Bullfighters. All 3 films come in their own individual cases with good artwork on the DVD covers.
I was impressed with the quality of the transfer to DVD on A Haunting We Will Go and The Bullfighters both had excellent picture and sound. For some reason the quality of the print used for The Dancing Masters was nowhere near up to the standard of the others but the sound was good.

A Haunting We Will Go
This is probably the weakest of the 3 films in this collection, Stan and Ollie get mixed up with gangsters and a magician whilst transporting a coffin across the country by train. This film is ok while L&H are on screen but 20th Century Foxes obsession with gangsters in L&H films is tedious, and the films drag when the dull gangsters are on screen. Stan and Ollie need a James Finlayson, Billy Gilbert or a Walter Long to pit their wits against.

The Dancing Masters
I enjoyed this film a lot despite their being no real plot, in fact the film seems to have been loosely botched together with no thought of a proper storyline. We see Stan and Ollie at the beginning in their dance studio where they encounter some gangsters (yawn) selling insurance, then their is a nice little scene in a auction room and next the boys help out an inventor with his ray gun and finally after Ollie's failed attempt to break Stan's leg (for the insurance) we see the boys take a roller coaster ride. I think my description of the film encapsulates the chaos of the story , but Stan & Ollie did have some good moments and it led to an enjoyable 60 odd minutes.

The Bullfighters
L&H last film for Fox and their last film made in the USA, they made only 1 more film together after this. So I think this was quite a fitting send off for probably the best comic duo ever. Stan and Ollie play 2 detectives who head off to Mexico City to catch a petty (pretty) thief. Only Stan bears a striking resemblance to a Spanish Matador who is supposed to be performing in town, in true L&H style one thing leads to another and Stan gets roped into a spot of bullfighting! I really enjoyed this film, Stan and Ollie had some great moments having a water fight with an innocent bystander and an excellent scene with some eggs and the thief Larceny Nell. Even the supporting cast in this one were better and showed enthusiasm.

These films are enjoyable in their own way, but try not to compare them to when L&H were at their brilliant best, if you do you will probably be disappointed.
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Although their films at 20th Century Fox are widely regarded as the nadir of their career, A-Haunting We Will Go is definitely the best late Laurel and Hardy film. True, it may not stand comparison with even their weakest feature work with Hal Roach, but it's a pleasant little number that allows the boys some room to breathe even if they're at the mercy of scriptwriters rather than working with set pieces handcrafted by Stan. While the title may promise a ghost house comedy, instead it sees the boys run out of town after spending the night as guests of the local police and trying to earn their passage by accompanying a coffin to Dayton. Only the coffin doesn't contain a corpse but a live gangster trying to get out of town past the police, and it inadvertently gets swapped with a prop for Buffalo Bill lookalike Dante the Magician, who takes on the boys as assistants.

If the plot takes rather more setting up than it needs to, the film does provide plenty of room for the boys to throw in some extended set pieces, including a genuinely charming scene with stage phone booths and multiple Laurel and Hardys. There's an emphasis on Fred Sersen's special effects for some of these set pieces, but they're pretty decent effects and there's less of a feeling that the studio are trying to turn Stan and Ollie into their own Abbott and Costello than in earlier films like Great Guns. At times post-production editing leaves the odd slight continuity gap but for the most part this is a decent little comedy with a decent supporting cast, including Elisha Cook Jr., who makes a disturbingly convincing granny, as well as bit parts for Mantan Moreland as a waiter in a cameo improvised on the spot when he came to see the boys at work, Willie Best and a young Terry Moore among the children on the train.

The US NTSC Region 1 DVD included a decent selection of extras: audio commentary by historian Scott McGillivray, a rare uncut print of their public information short film Tree in a Test Tube, some Movietone News footage and the original theatrical trailer and trailers for Jitterbugs and Great Guns. This UK Pal version has... er, a menu and that's it.

The Dancing Masters starts off with the ever-delightful sight of Stan and Ollie dancing, albeit separately as dancing teachers at the Arthur Hurry Dancing Academy, but sadly that's the only time they do in a very thin time filler. And it really does feel like they're marking time here, though the film does try the Marx Bros. MGM gambit of giving them a couple to help, and even throws in Marx Bros. straight woman Margaret Dumont without ever giving her much to do as well as an unbilled Robert Mitchum as a phoney insurance salesman in a plot strand that is quickly forgotten before being briefly revived for a flat bit of comic business involving a banana peel and promptly forgotten again. The finale is indicative of the general laziness, being so determined to get its heroes on a runaway bus that it doesn't create a remotely logical reason the driver didn't stop the engine before jumping off. It compounds the error by separating the two, having Ollie on the bus as it gets stuck on a rollercoaster in one of the special effects gags that the boys' Fox comedies seemed so fond of while cutting away to a bored Stan somehow getting pelted in a coconut shy. Even reworking material from their classic shorts does little more than show how much their spark is fading as the auction scene from Thicker than Water is replayed without much enthusiasm as if just to pad out the running time.

The print quality isn't great, with mild tramlines visible despite efforts to minimise them and a couple of breaks in the print. Wheren the US NTSC release has a good selection of extras: audio commentary by Scott McGillivray, the Ship's Reporter interview with Ollie promoting Utopia/Atoll K and newsreel footage of the boys 1932 tour in England and Scotland that will already be familiar to most fans, the original trailer and trailers for The Big Noise, Jitterbugs and Great Guns, the UK PAL version just has the film.

The Bullfighters was Laurel and Hardy's final film for 20th Century Fox after the studio decided to stop making B-pictures and concentrate only on A-pictures, and even to the very end, the studio were trying to turn Stan and Ollle into Bud and Lou, most notably in a tit for tat scene with raw eggs that plays so much more like an Abbott and Costello scene than a Laurel and Hardy one that you almost expect Stan to cry out "Hey, Abbott!" Perhaps more out of studio disinterest than anything more noble, Laurel was given more input behind the scenes, even directing a few scenes, yet despite rehashing some elements from earlier shorts and giving them more to do in the plot it starts off watchable but never really goes anywhere before fizzling out with an anticlimactic finale. A good neighbour comedy to play on the boys' popularity with Spanish-speaking audiences that sees Stan mistaken for a famous bullfighter while trying to avoid its promoter who has a very justifiable grudge against them, it's hard to root for them this time since their stupidity led to an innocent man spending five years in jail and having his life ruined. Still, there is a surreal final sight gag that harks back to the more morbid endings Stan Laurel wanted but rarely got in his Hal Roach years and one memorable bit part that sees Hank Worden get the best line in the picture.

Once again Fox have dropped all of the extras from the US NTSC Region 1 set (Laurel & Hardy Collection 2 [DVD] [1929] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]), which were a decent selection: audio commentary by Scott McGillivray, new featurette Laurel and Hardy - The Fox Years; giving a rather more upbeat view of the boys tenure at the studio than most film historians or fans would go along with, the original theatrical trailer; and trailers for The Big Noise, Jitterbugs and Great Guns. With nothing at all on the PAL version, aficionados will want to seek out the US set.
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on 1 March 2009
Excellent, Great Quality, Trailers for all 3 films, Language and Scene Selection. The Later FOX Comedies werent as good as the Hal Roach comedies but is doesnt mean they werent funny. IN ORDER OF GREATNESS:

The bullfighters

A haunting we wiull go

The dancing masters
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on 2 November 2008
Not Bad. Not Bad Atall. The Laurel and Hardy Collection, Vol 2 is much better than Vol. 1 . The Best of the lot is Dancing masterrs followed by the Bullfighters and A Hauntning we will go. Ok, there no Sons of the desert or Bonnie Scotland but the bad reputation they have shouldnt stop you from buying. I have now seen every single Laurel and Hardy feature length except Utopia (I Dont Dare as it is so badly reviewed) and every single short and silent. If these 3 are the only 3 you ahvent seen then get it simply because it will finish off your colection but they arent bad. I have all of the Laurel and Hardy Vol 1 - 21 with all the Hal Roach ones but it dissapointed me when the fox ones werent on the colection. buy it - its got colour and special features but its not to everyones expectations it your expecting a flying deuces or Music box
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on 3 September 2011
Amazon has done it again!!! The price on this set was fantastic and never beaten anywhere else I looked. Shame on you HMV!!! A great set to have. I purchased this to complete my collection of all the films that the boys did together and I was glad i did. Some great moments, although the films are not the boys best work they are still good to see. Wonderfully received as well thanks to the Amazon packaging!
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on 26 April 2013
I got this to replace my old videos, I wanted this set mainly for the haunting we will go with Dante.
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