The Laurel and Hardy Collection volume 2 is a collection of three of the films that Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy made for the 20th Century Fox studio in the 1940’s, after they left the Hal Roach studio where they had first become famous. Unlike the Roach studio, Stan and Ollie had little creative control over these films, and it shows. It’s not that these are bad films – I personally like The Dancing Masters very much – it’s a personal favorite. But it should be known that these are “lesser” Laurel and Hardy films. Which are superior to most modern comedies.
In addition, there are quite a few very nice bonus features on the 3 DVDs. These include theatrical trailers, and a commentary/documentary on each DVD. Another pleasant surprise is Tree in a Test Tube, the only color film that Laurel and Hardy made. It’s a short film, the sort that you were shown in grade school. It explains all of the ways that a tree is made into things that we use every day. But Laurel and Hardy make the most of their screen time. The feature films in the DVD set are:
- The Dancing Masters (1943)
- Stan and Ollie operate a dancing school, and try to help one of their students’ boyfriends, which involves hiding out in a society mansion, wrecking a ray gun, hijinks at a construction site and an auction, and ride a runaway bus. It “feels” like a collection of skits, but a very funny collection of skits. A personal favorite, one of the best of their post-Roach Studios films. Be sure to look out for Margaret Dumont, the “fifth” Marx Brother, as well as a very young Robert Mitchum.
- Laurel and Hardy are private detectives, where Stan Laurel has to take the place of a brave matador that he resembles in Mexico City. Two of the scenes in the movie were written and directed by Stan Laurel himself, although he receives no screen credits for it. Many funny moments, with Stan and Ollie a well-oiled machine.
- A-Haunting We Will Go
- Stan and Ollie are vagrants who have been ordered to leave town without 24 hours. Lacking the means, they answer an advertisement for a free train trip – the catch is, they have to accompany a coffin! Unfortunately for Laurel and Hardy, the coffin’s occupant is a fugitive from justice, very much alive. They get fleeced out of what little money they have, and Dante the Magician (playing himself) offers them jobs as his assistants. Unfortunately, this is the worst film that the boys made for 20th Century Fox – a pity, since the basic plot is something that they could have done a lot with.
Product Description – Laurel and Hardy Collection volume 2
The Laurel & Hardy Collection Volume 2 contains 3 classic comedies A-Haunting We Will Go, Dancing Masters, and Bullfighters. These titles are all available for the first time on DVD in a slipcase for $34.98 & $46.98.
Disk 1: A-Haunting We Will Go (1942) *Full Frame Feature **Commentary by Randy Skretvedt **Movietone News **Theatrical Trailer
Disk 2: The Dancing Masters (1943) *Full Frame Feature **Commentary by Scott MacGillivray **A Ship’s Reporter **Grand Hotel: The 1932 Laurel & Hardy Tour **Trailers
Disk 3: Bullfighters (1945) *Full Frame Feature **Commentary by Scott MacGillivray **Laurel & Hardy: The Fox Years **Trailers