I've meant to write about this set for quite a while but, well, you know. I finally posted this on Amazon and wanted to copy it here.
Any fan of '30s comedy -- especially comedy produced by Hal Roach -- should rejoice at the release of these comedies starring the extraordinary Thelma Todd and ZaSu Pitts. I know that to certain dedicated collectors, these two-reelers are common but in my life I've managed to catch only three or four of these shorts. And almost no one has seen them in such radiant prints.
I never thought I'd even be able to see all of the 1931-1933 shots. To now own 17 Todd/Pitts comedies is something of a miracle.
I hasten to add that this doesn't mean this set contains 17 masterpieces. It doesn't. The comedic quality varies widely. A few of them ("Asleep in the Feet" is my favorite) are hilarious. But even the lesser ones are redeemed by the two beguiling leads aided by a magnificent crew of some of Roach's greatest supporting players, from Charlie Hall to Billy Gilbert to the divine Anita Garvin. There's even a cameo appearance by our dear friends, Mr. Laurel and Mr. Hardy
While my five-star rating doesn't necessarily mean that each shot is five-stars funny, it's more than justified by the gorgeous transfers from original negatives, the fun and informative audio commentary by comedy experts Richard M. Roberts, Randy Skretvedt, Brent Walker and Rob Farr and, yes, for the great rarity of so many of these comedies.
Thelma Todd and ZaSu Pitts were a great comedy team. If they weren't always well served by their material, their presence, talent and charm elevated everything they were in.
Get this one. You won't be sorry.
This forum is nearly identical to the previous forum. The difference? Discussions about comedy from the SOUND era.
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