Laurel and Hardy Collection Volume One, The (Cinema Classics Collection)

Posted in: Disc Reviews by David Annandale on April 10th, 2006

(out of 5)

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1 Comment

  1. Rob from Detroit
    05/02/2006 @ 6:39 pm

    Sylvia Stoddard’s liner note commentaries are completely idiotic. It’s one thing to put a positive spin on the nightmare that was Stan and Ollie’s 20th Century Fox experience (and the character stereotypes they were forced to devolve into), it’s quite another to revise history. Truth be told, Fox wanted nothing more than for the Stan and Ollie to rehash old gags practically verbatim, and the duo’s (esp. Stan’s) lack of enhusiasm is apparent. These were cheap films rushed through the Fox mill. Stan’s creative genius was the guiding force of Laurel and Hardy. He was made impotent at Fox by producers and directors who were clueless as to what made Laurel and Hardy’s comedy work. I find it truly sad that Stoddard’s commentary reads as if she knows what she’s talking about. Terrible scripts by hacks(which Stoddard praises) are what ruined Laurel and Hardy’s style and timing and made these Fox films so awful. Amazing that Stoddard is ignorant enough about her subject to state that Laurel and Hardy were falling into B-movie status at Hal Roach Studios (not to mention putting them in the same category as the Keystone Cops!). Nothing could be further from the truth. Fox blew it the first time when they ruined Laurel and Hardy by assuming to know their comedy better than they did (and treating their legend stars VERY POORLY, and now they add insult to injury by rereleasing them with these absurd comments by Stoddard to an unknowing public. For those who don’t know, Stan wished these films were never made, he was embarassed by them, but he had signed a contract and was forced to endure the Fox incompetence. I’m, thankfully, unfamiliar with Stoddard’s other work, but I assume that, like her Fox predecessors, she is also an incompetent hack at her chosen profession.

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