New restored releases
Bowler Dessert Online is still working its way through the new set of DVD/Blu-Ray releases. This delightful package is well worth the asking price of $47.41 Blu-Ray, $35.59 DVD at
Among the many reviews online is a particularly good one at
Randy Skretvedt on Facebook posted an example (below) of how most of the films have more picture area than we have seen in previous film or video releases.
Elsewhere Randy says, “I worked for a solid year on the almost nine hours of exclusive bonus material. There are lots of goodies here that you haven't seen before.”
You will find another great review on
Solo films on DVD
I found the new YouTube link to a new (29 June 2020) French release of solo material and with a little research I found a list of the released material here:
I was really surprised, as there is a lot material on these DVDs which I thought was not extant and the YouTube clip looks good restored, so the films I already have could be in better quality on this box than on my old Lobster/MK2 solo releases.
Bowler Dessert revisited
Mike Jones has uploaded a vintage item on Hal Roach from Bowler Dessert, which he has given a marvellous facelift. Thanks, Mike.
Silents brought to life at the Britannia Panopticon Music Hall
Every Saturday at 2.00pm Gladstone’s Bag accompany (LIVE!) a different Laurel and Hardy silent short on the Facebook page of the Britannia Panopticon Music Hall in Glasgow. Willie McIntyre says, “The presentations are terrific. It’s like seeing the films through a new perspective when Glastone's Bag are accompanying. “
Brats Tent back in business
John Burton tells us that the Brats Tent of Sheffield will be back at their regular venue, the Harlequin Pub in Sheffield tonight (Monday 13th July) for their first meeting since the lockdown. John is confident that adequate safety measures are in place to protect everyone’s health.
Is this the first tent meeting (actual rather than virtual!) anywhere in the UK since coronavirus regulations were relaxed?
Bowler Dessert Online sends our best wishes to Grand Sheik Kevin “Heppy” Hepplestone who has been having health problems for a few months.
The tent before the lockdown
Still in Cyprus. Arrived for a short stay in February and never guessed that we would still be here in the heat of July. The planes are not flying due to the coronavirus lockdown.
Since we had the extra time here I asked whether the Phoenix social club that Cindy and I belong to in Paphos, would like a Laurel and Hardy talk and film night as an early attraction to bring the members back to the club and was told that the 10th of July is free. And so in partnership with long-standing friend and fellow Son, Bill Winfield, we held a fun packed evening, a sort of Sons meeting for the general public. It was a full house days before the event took place. Bill and myself dressed as Stan and Ollie, did a short routine using dialogue from the films and then a talk on the early lives of our heroes before showing some of the cream of the crop of the two-reelers, Big Business, Blotto, Towed in a Hole and Busy Bodies. Bill brought along his big screen projector and supplied the video films and I did the talk. Food was available and also served during the evening.
The show was very well received and with much laughter, the majority asking for further nights of the Boys films to be scheduled. With this in mind we are looking to do a special in December, at the club and featuring their Christmas films.
By the way
Eric Schultz humorously observes, about a photo on our “Living Curiosites” page:
You know, I would have thought that Noah's ark would have been a little larger!
When my wife used that line, “This is no time for levity,” I imagined Stan saying, "I heard that levity is good for bread - it makes it nice and fluffy."
Comics on Facebook
Original cover (USA, 1949)
Fake (Australia, 1950s)
On the telly
Talking Pictures Channel are showing The Big Noise on Wednesday, 22nd July at 11.40am
Following what Mike told me about Talking Pictures lead me to understand why so many repeats of the same films of the Boys are run with very few variations. Talking Pictures is a family-run business. It was set up by a chap called Noel Cronin and is run by his daughter Sarah Cronin-Stanley and her husband Neill Stanley, operating from what you might term a garden shed.
The majority of films shown are classic black and white from the 1920's onwards. Apparently, Noel Cronin worked for the Rank Organisation and Central Office of Information and bought the rights to several libraries that owned films they show on the channel, which is why they show so many black and white films from the 1920's onward, including those few featuring our heroes Stan and Ollie. Not bad for a family film business.
So a little insight into Talking Pictures and I only hope they can find some differing Stan and Babe films to those they currently show.
Have you ever watched Most Haunted? The show is done by husband and wife, Carl Beatie and Yvette Fielding. Well, Carl is on YouTube every Thursday at 9 pm live. They both love The Boys. They say, when they want a laugh, they put Murder Case on. He got a message from someone this week, did you know that the Laurel and Hardy Museum is haunted. I have never heard this before. Interesting. Carl has a cup with A Chump at Oxford on it. He is a big Peter Cushing fan, that's why.
Laurel and Hardy in Dublin
I uploaded a new blog entitled Stan and Ollie Backstage in Dublin 1952 which I hope you'll read and enjoy. Original Chump Derek W unearthed some old press cuttings that I think might have escaped AJ Marriott and also arranged to meet the widow of the correspondent, Earl Connolly, seeing the original photos when he was with her.
Grand Sheik of the Jitterbugs Tent of Dublin,
Liam Muldowney, also contributed to the item, so please visit.
Ollie's Takeaway is now open and Ollie’s Diner will follow in the near future. Beau Chumps Tent members Phil and Larraine are working hard to get this up and running.
Randy's orange book photos?
Randy Skretvedt has been in touch and in passing, I mentioned that our Sunderland 1988 UK Convention coincided with the UK release of the first iteration of his 'Magic Behind the Movies' - the orange one! He asked if we had any photos lying around that perhaps included the book as he has very little of that ilk. I can definitely recomember a display in the Seaburn Hotel but have checked my photos and found nothing. In fact the photo right is the only pic of a shop front I can find.
Do any of the 'old timers' have anything lying around that might fit the bill? I've a vague memory of a shop front in Bishop Auckland being thusly adorned, though that might be wishful thinking.
In Neil Young’s 2014 book, “Special Deluxe: A Memoir of Life and Cars”, he wrote of a scene in a buffet when he was only 8 years old. This immediately reminded me of a scene in Sons of the Desert:
“I remember standing in line there one night, looking at some incredibly red apples. The apples were right in the center of everything and they were huge and bright shiny red, very appetizing. I reached as far as I could and got one of ’em and put it on my plate. When we got back to the table everybody was laughing at me! They were totally cracking up that I had taken an apple from the big display. It was made of wax. I had to give it back.”
Spotted by Iain Young