HARRY LANGDON AT HAL ROACH: THE TALKIES 1929-30

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William Ferry
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Re: HARRY LANGDON AT HAL ROACH: THE TALKIES 1929-30

Postby William Ferry » Wed Apr 15, 2020 1:16 pm

Good afternoon, fellow Mafiosi! I was delighted to receive my set yesterday (thank you, UPS). Naturally, I sat right down to watch it, with the commentary track on. This was definitely worth waiting for, and I was delighted to post a five-star review on Amazon today.

Thank you to Kit Parker Films, and to you, Richard, for all your hard work. To put a twist on an old phrase, it's because of folks like you that we can continue to have nice things!

Ed Watz
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Re: HARRY LANGDON AT HAL ROACH: THE TALKIES 1929-30

Postby Ed Watz » Thu Apr 16, 2020 3:54 am

Great news for Langdon fans living in the UK and EU - Amazon USA, which last week placed a ban on shipping this set overseas, lifted the restrictions this morning. As you can see from my order, it will still take a while for delivery, but you will eventually get HARRY LANGDON AT HAL ROACH.

I had considered cancelling the Amazon order and going through VCI, but their postage rate for overseas on one item (Priority Mail International) is $75.35. (Someone must've done a study on how Amazon helped wreck the world's postal systems.)

I'm glad I won't have to search on eBay for that guy in Podunk with a set up for bids!

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"Of course he smiled -- just like you and me." -- Harold Goodwin, on Buster Keaton (1976)

Chris Seguin
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Re: HARRY LANGDON AT HAL ROACH: THE TALKIES 1929-30

Postby Chris Seguin » Thu Apr 16, 2020 4:19 pm

Mine arrived today (Amazon Canada); I imagine the 5-star review will be in the pipeline pronto. Can't express enough gratitude to Kit Parker, Richard M Roberts and anyone else involved for making the boy's dream come true... a world in which HOTTER THAN HOT sits on my shelf.

Ed Watz
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Re: HARRY LANGDON AT HAL ROACH: THE TALKIES 1929-30

Postby Ed Watz » Fri Apr 17, 2020 2:29 am

Chris is so right!

When you consider the serious gaps in the film career of Harry Langdon, one of the major figures of film comedy:

- all of Langdon's first films for Sol Lesser are missing, save for a fragment;

- a handful of his Mack Sennett shorts remain elusive;

- HEART TROUBLE, Langdon's last silent feature film and the only one he directed that received considerable positive feedback in his lifetime; no known copies have resurfaced from any film archive or collector;

- All 5 of the Gillstrom-Paramount talkie two-reelers starring Harry & Vernon Dent and which were extremely popular at the time of their release; MIA since their disappearance from a Fort Lee, NJ Bonded Services warehouse in the mid-1950s;

- SITTING PRETTY, Harry's industrial short from 1940; produced by the Jam Handy organization, which does not own a copy;

-- Then Richard, Kit Parker, and Sprocket Vault are to be especially commended for making available the short subjects Hal Roach produced starring Harry Langdon, including the first 2 two-reelers, HOTTER THAN HOT and SKY BOY, which otherwise could only be seen through an appointment at The Library of Congress. Apart from a Slapsticon or Cinevent, it's safe to say that these two shorts have not been seen regularly in about 90 years, yet they promise to be among Langdon's most fascinating work for Hal Roach.

So thank you Richard, and in the words of Eleanor Keaton, "I hope it sells a million!"

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Last edited by Ed Watz on Sat Apr 18, 2020 1:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Of course he smiled -- just like you and me." -- Harold Goodwin, on Buster Keaton (1976)

Richard M Roberts
Godfather
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Re: HARRY LANGDON AT HAL ROACH: THE TALKIES 1929-30

Postby Richard M Roberts » Sat Apr 18, 2020 8:58 am

Nice plug from Paul Etcheverry at Way Too Lazy to Write A Blog:

http://psychotronicpaul.blogspot.com/20 ... es-at.html

RICHARD M ROBERTS

Lorenzo Tremarelli
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Re: HARRY LANGDON AT HAL ROACH: THE TALKIES 1929-30

Postby Lorenzo Tremarelli » Sun Apr 19, 2020 11:05 am

Well, in Italy is ALL blocked off. I've placed various orders from different sellers and not even a trace of hope. Looks like I have to wait for at least ONE MONTH to receive this DVD.

I think that legal, digital downloading is the only way at some stage, also for "niche items" like this.
"The more trouble you get a man into, the more comedy you get out of him" (Harold Lloyd)

Ed Watz
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Re: HARRY LANGDON AT HAL ROACH: THE TALKIES 1929-30

Postby Ed Watz » Tue Apr 21, 2020 1:31 pm

The Bavarian UPS man (who's hardly seen 'round these here parts) delivered the set yesterday, way ahead of schedule.

I watched all the films twice, the second time with Richard's always enlightening & enjoyable commentary.

And the set? It's fabulous. Harry is wonderful. Thelma is sexy. And the comedies? They're bizarre, endlessly fascinating, worlds apart from anything else Harry Langdon ever did -- and they made me laugh out loud!
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Any year that offers not one but TWO new Harry Langdon discoveries (films made when Harry was at the top of his game, no less) means that HARRY LANGDON AT HAL ROACH will likely be my favorite release of 2020.

A low bow, and thanks to you Richard, and thank you Kit.
"Of course he smiled -- just like you and me." -- Harold Goodwin, on Buster Keaton (1976)

Chris Seguin
Posts: 47
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2016 1:29 pm

Re: HARRY LANGDON AT HAL ROACH: THE TALKIES 1929-30

Postby Chris Seguin » Tue Apr 21, 2020 2:58 pm

Congratulations, Ed, on the speedy international receipt of your DVD! And what an extraordinary pleasure this set it. Those first two films are sheer genius and, in all honesty, really re-opened my eyes (which were once blinded by some of Harry's more eccentric "I'll eat my apple later" peccadillos) to the genius of Langdon in these films. (And RMR's commentaries are mighty convincing in that regard as well.) There's so much brilliance overall -- I was on the floor once again with praying mantis boxing match in THE FIGHTING PARSON) -- but that routine with Harry shaving Eddie Dunn in SKY BOY literally floored me. It's the perfect Langdon sequence; wonderful pantomime with him absolutely baffled by what his own hand is doing in a seriously dangerous situation. Seeing that was worth the price of the set alone.

Trust you're doing well and staying healthy, and glad you've got a happy way to spend a few hours on your shelf.

Chris

Richard M Roberts
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Re: HARRY LANGDON AT HAL ROACH: THE TALKIES 1929-30

Postby Richard M Roberts » Mon Apr 27, 2020 12:28 pm

Nice and interesting review from Ivan G. Shreve Jr. at THRILLING DAYS OF YESTERYEAR:

https://thrillingdaysofyesteryear.wordp ... t-harry-2/

Thanks Ivan.

RICHARD M ROBERTS

Richard M Roberts
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Re: HARRY LANGDON AT HAL ROACH: THE TALKIES 1929-30

Postby Richard M Roberts » Tue Apr 28, 2020 1:52 am

Ed Watz just put up his Amazon review of the set, we'll also post it here:

"If you're one of those comedy fans who needs to ask, "Why did he do that?" every time Harry Langdon goes into a routine and acts outré, perhaps you won't get the humor that's teeming in this set.

If, however, you enjoy Langdon whenever Harry pushes comedy's boundaries to where no performer has gone before, then this magnificent collection is right up your alley.

I don't need to elaborate on the films themselves, which other reviewers have already highlighted in detail. It's worth noting that the Hal Roach gag men teamed with Langdon to come up with the wildest ideas for Harry to strut his stuff as he never did before. The man-child works his magic dealing with, among other things, haunted boxing gloves, apples falling from the sky, handcuffs on a leash, a row of flip-flop mannequins, mice inhabiting onesie pajamas, terrifying balloons, finger bandages, and the sharpest straight-edge razor ever seen in two-reel comedies. Author James Agee once observed that Langdon "could do more with less than any other comedian," and that dictum is on full marvelous display here.

Not only are Harry's performances wonderful throughout, he's got sexy support from the Goddess of Slapstick Comedy, the great Thelma Todd. These 8 comedies are bizarre, endlessly fascinating, worlds apart from anything else Harry Langdon ever did -- and they made me laugh often - and out loud.

I watched all the films twice, the second time with the redoubtable film historian Richard Roberts' always enlightening & enjoyable commentary, where he provides fascinating historical perspective as well as the finest explanation of Harry Langdon's artistry that you won't find in a book.

While I am a lifelong classic comedy buff, my teenaged son is not. But he's willing to give films a chance. He watched HARRY LANGDON AT HAL ROACH with me; his verdict: "Langdon is cool!" I obviously agree. Great set!"


Wow, thanks Ed, this truly means a lot coming from someone whom I consider the top Langdon expert. Sorry folks, my ego is going to be purring and pretty damn bullet-proof for awhile.


RICHARD M ROBERTS


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