1927 silents restored
Very few of the silent films of Laurel and Hardy’s negatives survive, and the available elements scattered throughout the world are always mediocre or unwatchable. It took three years to gather all the surviving prints of these shorts, compare them shot by shot and give them the best digital restoration possible. Today, these invisible films look as young as they did 95 years ago. A world premiere for all the Laurel and Hardy fans.
Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy first appeared on film together in 1921, after an initial period in their careers spent apart. The two would formally team up in 1927 and found success by following a simple comic formula that displayed the hilariously ambitious and anarchic qualities of their joint personality. Laurel & Hardy: Year One, The Newly Restored 1927 Silents, as proudly presented by Flicker Alley and Blackhawk Films®, offers fans new and old the rare opportunity to observe the evolving partnership of the comedy team that would reach enormous popularity. Featuring all-new restorations sourced from best available materials contributed by archives and collectors around the world restored by Blackhawk Films® and Lobster Films in Paris, this comprehensive deluxe Blu-ray 2-Disc collection features thirteen extant films produced in 1927 and two additional films from before they were officially a team. It includes new scores from some of the best silent film composers working today: Neil Brand, Antonio Coppola, Eric le Guen, and Donald Sosin. The films included are Lucky Dog (1921), 45 Minutes from Hollywood (1926), Duck Soup (1927), Slipping Wives (1927), Love ‘em and Weep (1927), Why Girls Love Sailors (1927), With Love and Hisses (1927), Sugar Daddies (1927), Sailors, Beware! (1927), The Second 100 Years (1927), Call of the Cuckoo (1927), Do Detectives Think? (1927), Putting Pants on Phillip (1927), The Battle of the Century (1927), and Flying Elephants (1928). It is curated by film historians and Laurel and Hardy specialists Randy Skretvedt, Dick Bann, Serge Bromberg, Eric Lange, and Ulrich Ruedel.
Arthur Stanley Jefferson for a time understudied Chaplin in England and the US. Meanwhile Oliver Norvell Hardy was a serviceable role player in comedies and melodramas, yet neither had reached the status of movie star. It became clear upon their teaming up that their contradictory physiques and personalities complimented each other perfectly. The team would go on to do many films together reaching wide acclaim, and eventually becoming nearly unanimously considered by film critics, scholars, and movie fans alike, the funniest comedy duo in film history.
BONUS MATERIALS INCLUDE:
• Audio Commentary Tracks – For each film by historian and author Randy Skretvedt
• Documentary: Restoring Laurel & Hardy – By Serge Bromberg and Eric Lange
• Laurel & Hardy On-Location – A Video Essay by historian John Bengtson on selected location exteriors
• Hats Off! (1927): Slide Show presentation from this currently lost film
• Multiple Image Galleries – Containing original publicity materials, press reviews, and rare production stills
• Souvenir Booklet – Featuring a new essay by historian Richard W. Bann on the Blackhawk Films Story and the company’s stewardship of the Laurel & Hardy film materials, a Collection Introduction by Serge Bromberg, and notes on each film by historian Randy Skretvedt
• Additional musical scores – Soundtracks for the 1930s French re-releases of Slipping Wives, Why Girls Love Sailors, and Flying Elephants are presented here as alternate music tracks
• Audio commentary track for The Battle of the Century – By historians Randy Skretvedt and Serge Bromberg
• English SDH Subtitles
These are advertised as Region-Free, suitable for playing anywhere.
Eric Schultz adds:
As I understand, each succeeding year will release films into public domain, 95 years after their releases. That means next year all 1928 films (a great year for L&H films) will be in the public domain. New releases, with remastered images and new musical soundtracks, will be copyrighted, while the films themselves will remain in public domain.