"W.C. Fields Comedy Collection"-- anyone viewed it yet?

Discussion in 'DVD Video' started by G. M. Watson, Nov 13, 2004.

  1. G. M. Watson

    G. M. Watson Guest

    Anyone viewed this collection yet? I'm wondering how the print quality is.
    I'm also wondering why the hell "Never Give a Sucker an Even Break" wasn't
    included, while "International House", which is as much a Burns/Allen
    picture as a Fields, was. Great to have this material on DVD all the same,
    especially "It's a Gift"-- been a long time coming. But I would like to hear
    from someone who's got the set, so I have an idea of what to expect
    qualitywise...
    G. M. Watson, Nov 13, 2004
    #1
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  2. G. M. Watson wrote:
    > Anyone viewed this collection yet? I'm wondering how the print quality is.
    > I'm also wondering why the hell "Never Give a Sucker an Even Break" wasn't
    > included, while "International House", which is as much a Burns/Allen
    > picture as a Fields, was.


    Given that "Million Dollar Legs" (also on Uni's Fields catalog) wasn't
    on there either, safe guess--like their Abbott & Costello sets--this was
    meant to be in pieces, and there'd be a Set 2 [Poppy, Man on the Flying
    Trapeze] if this one sells.

    (And if so, I can throw out "International" and "You Can't..." to make
    room for "Never" and "Legs", and consolidate.)

    > Great to have this material on DVD all the same,
    > especially "It's a Gift"-- been a long time coming.


    Having DVD-R'ed my old VHS copy, it's a rewarding feeling to throw it
    out for the "real" version.

    > But I would like to hear
    > from someone who's got the set, so I have an idea of what to expect
    > qualitywise...


    Came out on the same Universal assembly line as the Marx Brothers set,
    so no major difference--
    Crisp looking prints, good subtitles, no extras to speak of except for
    trailers...Nothing on the Warners' vintage level, but one for the shelf.

    Derek Janssen (capital D, small e...well, you know the drill)
    Derek Janssen, Nov 13, 2004
    #2
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  3. On Sat, 13 Nov 2004, Derek Janssen wrote:

    > G. M. Watson wrote:
    > > Anyone viewed this collection yet? I'm wondering how the print quality is.
    > > I'm also wondering why the hell "Never Give a Sucker an Even Break" wasn't
    > > included, while "International House", which is as much a Burns/Allen
    > > picture as a Fields, was.

    >
    > Given that "Million Dollar Legs" (also on Uni's Fields catalog) wasn't
    > on there either, safe guess--like their Abbott & Costello sets--this was
    > meant to be in pieces, and there'd be a Set 2 [Poppy, Man on the Flying
    > Trapeze] if this one sells.
    >
    > (And if so, I can throw out "International" and "You Can't..." to make
    > room for "Never" and "Legs", and consolidate.)



    Does it have The Bank Dick on it? It'd be just like Universal to repeat a
    title that's already been made available (oh well, my Criterion should
    fetch a few bucks, if that's the case).

    I can understand including International House...a slightly lesser title
    to fill out the set and leave some other anticipated classics for vol. 2.
    Besides, I *like* International House, for what it's worth. It's You're
    Telling Me! and Man on the Flying Trapeze that I'm waiting for...

    Just watch, they'll include The Big Broadcast of 1938 in the next
    set...although I wouldn't mind Mississippi.

    > > But I would like to hear
    > > from someone who's got the set, so I have an idea of what to expect
    > > qualitywise...

    >
    > Came out on the same Universal assembly line as the Marx Brothers set,
    > so no major difference--
    > Crisp looking prints, good subtitles, no extras to speak of except for
    > trailers...Nothing on the Warners' vintage level, but one for the shelf.


    I'm still grumbling about the Marx set. I might have been better off just
    finding the two Image/Universal snappers I didn't have. There's probably a
    ton of them on eBay now. Anyone compared the transfers of the new set with
    the old discs from a decade ago?

    swac
    Grumble grumble...college widow scene...grumble mumble...
    Stephen Cooke, Nov 13, 2004
    #3
  4. G. M. Watson

    Card53 Guest

    >> G. M. Watson wrote:
    >> > Anyone viewed this collection yet? I'm wondering how the print quality

    >is.
    >> > I'm also wondering why the hell "Never Give a Sucker an Even Break"

    >wasn't
    >> > included, while "International House", which is as much a Burns/Allen
    >> > picture as a Fields, was.

    >>
    >> Given that "Million Dollar Legs" (also on Uni's Fields catalog) wasn't
    >> on there either, safe guess--like their Abbott & Costello sets--this was
    >> meant to be in pieces, and there'd be a Set 2 [Poppy, Man on the Flying
    >> Trapeze] if this one sells.


    Also "The Old Fashioned Way," which I think ranks among his greatest. "You're
    Telling Me" is right up there as well.

    >>
    >> (And if so, I can throw out "International" and "You Can't..." to make
    >> room for "Never" and "Legs", and consolidate.)

    >
    >
    >Does it have The Bank Dick on it? It'd be just like Universal to repeat a
    >title that's already been made available (oh well, my Criterion should
    >fetch a few bucks, if that's the case).


    Yup, "Bank Dick" is in the set and the print looks to be the same (or at least
    the same quality) as the Criterion edition.

    >I can understand including International House...a slightly lesser title
    >to fill out the set and leave some other anticipated classics for vol. 2.
    >Besides, I *like* International House, for what it's worth. It's You're
    >Telling Me! and Man on the Flying Trapeze that I'm waiting for...
    >
    >Just watch, they'll include The Big Broadcast of 1938 in the next
    >set...although I wouldn't mind Mississippi.


    If there is a next set, I'll be a happy man if it includes "You're Telling Me,"
    "The Old-Fashioned Way," "The Man on the Flying Trapeze," and "Never Give a
    Sucker an Even Break."

    As for "Mississippi," the film is now in copyright limbo. If you taped the
    film off of AMC years ago, hang on to your copy.

    >> > But I would like to hear
    >> > from someone who's got the set, so I have an idea of what to expect
    >> > qualitywise...

    >>
    >> Came out on the same Universal assembly line as the Marx Brothers set,
    >> so no major difference--
    >> Crisp looking prints, good subtitles, no extras to speak of except for
    >> trailers...Nothing on the Warners' vintage level, but one for the shelf.

    >
    >I'm still grumbling about the Marx set. I might have been better off just
    >finding the two Image/Universal snappers I didn't have. There's probably a
    >ton of them on eBay now. Anyone compared the transfers of the new set with
    >the old discs from a decade ago?


    I have the new set, but not the old Image editions for comparision. Word is
    that the new discs are improved in quality, but not enough so to make the
    upgrade worth it. Compared to prints I've seen in the past, I notice the most
    improvement in Cocoanuts and Duck Soup, although there's not much they could do
    with the spliced-in-from-a-battered-print scenes in Cocoanuts.

    While I'm glad to have the Paramounts on DVD, the "Bonus Disc" is something of
    a joke (at least this 6-disc set costs no more than the 5-disc Fields set). In
    addition to the Today Show interviews, it would have been nice to include the
    Marx's scene from the promotional short "The House that Shadows Built," the
    color test footage from Animal Crackers, plus an assortment of public-domain
    material and television appearances, of which there is a great deal.


    John Larrabee
    Co-founder: Laurel & Hardy Central
    http://laurelandhardycentral.com

    (To respond via e-mail, remove "nixspam")
    Card53, Nov 13, 2004
    #4
  5. G. M. Watson

    Bill Coleman Guest

    That's exactly the grouping I'd like to see as well...
    if there were more than 4, than Million Dollar Legs
    and/or Tillie and Gus would be nice...but those would
    be the main ones...

    Bill Coleman

    ===================

    "Card53" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > If there is a next set, I'll be a happy man if it includes "You're Telling
    > Me,"
    > "The Old-Fashioned Way," "The Man on the Flying Trapeze," and "Never Give
    > a
    > Sucker an Even Break."
    Bill Coleman, Nov 13, 2004
    #5
  6. On Sat, 13 Nov 2004, Derek Janssen wrote:

    > Stephen Cooke wrote:
    >
    > >>Given that "Million Dollar Legs" (also on Uni's Fields catalog) wasn't
    > >>on there either, safe guess--like their Abbott & Costello sets--this was
    > >>meant to be in pieces, and there'd be a Set 2 [Poppy, Man on the Flying
    > >>Trapeze] if this one sells.
    > >>

    > > Does it have The Bank Dick on it? It'd be just like Universal to repeat a
    > > title that's already been made available (oh well, my Criterion should
    > > fetch a few bucks, if that's the case).

    >
    > Yep--
    > But no painful loss, since there were no extras or featurette on the
    > Criterion either, and seems to be the same clean print.


    I imagine this was the same case as other Criterion-licensed titles...the
    digital video master came direct from the source (which I think is why
    Yojimbo doesn't have its original stereo soundtrack).

    > > I can understand including International House...a slightly lesser title
    > > to fill out the set and leave some other anticipated classics for vol. 2.
    > > Besides, I *like* International House, for what it's worth. It's You're
    > > Telling Me! and Man on the Flying Trapeze that I'm waiting for...
    > >
    > > Just watch, they'll include The Big Broadcast of 1938 in the next
    > > set...although I wouldn't mind Mississippi.

    >
    > A more comprehensive batch of obscure 30's Fields came out--ONCE--on Uni
    > VHS 'bout five or six years ago: "Legs" was on the list (line up,
    > suckers!), and think "Telling" was, but no "Mississippi".


    Yep...I actually have the VHS copy of You're Telling Me. And as another
    poster noted, Mississippi is in copyright limbo (sort of like
    Hellzapoppin' and It Ain't Hay...which I think actually was on video at
    one time) and I don't think it's ever been made available.

    > > Grumble grumble...college widow scene...grumble mumble...

    >
    > [Assuming he's referring to "Horsefeathers"]
    > I've NEVER seen a frame-complete version of that, even in theatrical
    > prints, so don't shoot the messenger.


    No, I know that no one's seen a complete version in 70 years...but there
    are always those nagging rumours that a complete nitrate print exists out
    there *somewhere*. Would it kill them to acknowledge that the scene has
    been censored and include the script for the complete scene?

    swac
    I'm gonna channel S.J. Perelman at my next seance.
    Stephen Cooke, Nov 13, 2004
    #6
  7. Stephen Cooke wrote:

    >>Given that "Million Dollar Legs" (also on Uni's Fields catalog) wasn't
    >>on there either, safe guess--like their Abbott & Costello sets--this was
    >>meant to be in pieces, and there'd be a Set 2 [Poppy, Man on the Flying
    >>Trapeze] if this one sells.
    >>

    > Does it have The Bank Dick on it? It'd be just like Universal to repeat a
    > title that's already been made available (oh well, my Criterion should
    > fetch a few bucks, if that's the case).


    Yep--
    But no painful loss, since there were no extras or featurette on the
    Criterion either, and seems to be the same clean print.

    > I can understand including International House...a slightly lesser title
    > to fill out the set and leave some other anticipated classics for vol. 2.
    > Besides, I *like* International House, for what it's worth. It's You're
    > Telling Me! and Man on the Flying Trapeze that I'm waiting for...
    >
    > Just watch, they'll include The Big Broadcast of 1938 in the next
    > set...although I wouldn't mind Mississippi.


    A more comprehensive batch of obscure 30's Fields came out--ONCE--on Uni
    VHS 'bout five or six years ago: "Legs" was on the list (line up,
    suckers!), and think "Telling" was, but no "Mississippi".

    This's mostly a vault cleanup for Uni, so they'll be going with whatever
    came out on tape first.

    > I'm still grumbling about the Marx set. I might have been better off just
    > finding the two Image/Universal snappers I didn't have. There's probably a
    > ton of them on eBay now. Anyone compared the transfers of the new set with
    > the old discs from a decade ago?
    >
    > swac
    > Grumble grumble...college widow scene...grumble mumble...


    [Assuming he's referring to "Horsefeathers"]
    I've NEVER seen a frame-complete version of that, even in theatrical
    prints, so don't shoot the messenger.

    Derek Janssen
    Derek Janssen, Nov 13, 2004
    #7
  8. G. M. Watson

    G. M. Watson Guest

    ----------
    In article <vesld.2198$b73.182@trndny04>, "Bill Coleman"
    <> wrote:


    > That's exactly the grouping I'd like to see as well...
    > if there were more than 4, than Million Dollar Legs
    > and/or Tillie and Gus would be nice...but those would
    > be the main ones...
    >
    > Bill Coleman
    >
    > ===================
    >
    > "Card53" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    >> If there is a next set, I'll be a happy man if it includes "You're Telling
    >> Me,"
    >> "The Old-Fashioned Way," "The Man on the Flying Trapeze," and "Never Give
    >> a
    >> Sucker an Even Break."

    >
    >

    Personally, in addition to everything already named in this and other posts,
    I'd like to see "If I Had a Million" (which I used to often confuse with
    "Million Dollar Legs") brought back into print. It's only got about 15
    minutes of Fields, but they are priceless. It was last available, quite some
    time back, in LD, I believe.I do have a semi-bootleg copy, but would welcome
    an "official" one; the film contains enough other fine moments to more than
    justify a re-release.
    GMW
    G. M. Watson, Nov 14, 2004
    #8
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