The Vitaphone Comedy Collection Volume One - Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle/Shemp Howard (1932-1934) |  WBshop.com | Warner Bros.

The Vitaphone Comedy Collection Volume One - Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle/Shemp Howard (1932-1934)

Fatty Arbuckle returns while Shemp Howard rises in this 19 gem-collection from the heyday of short comedy.



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The Vitaphone Comedy Collection Volume One - Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle/Shemp Howard (1932-1934)
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The Vitaphone Comedy Collection Volume One - Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle/Shemp Howard (1932-1934)
 
4.5

(based on 8 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Funny (7)
  • Entertaining (5)

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Entertainment (5)
    • Adult viewers (3)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Movie buff (7)
      • Was this a gift?:
      • No (3)

    Reviewed by 8 customers

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    5.0

    Shemp Always Delivers

    By Terry the Pirate

    from Boston

    About Me Movie Buff

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Engaging Characters
    • Entertaining
    • Funny

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Adult Viewers

      Comments about The Vitaphone Comedy Collection Volume One - Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle/Shemp Howard (1932-1934):

      To see Shemp in his various roles in the Vitaphone years is a treat, not withstanding the great Arbuckle. He is the energy in these shorts, and though some of the plots are so-so, I see his training from the Healy years. Some of the routines are stooge-based, but it's fun to see Shemp be in the lead.
      I imagine these sets are for us older folks, ever hungry for vintage slapstick, and never tire of it.

       
      4.0

      Fatty Arbuckle Comedy Collection Review

      By Old Film Fan

      from Atlanta, GA

      About Me Movie Buff

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Entertaining
      • Funny
      • Good Acting
      • Original Idea

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Adult Viewers
        • At Home

        Comments about The Vitaphone Comedy Collection Volume One - Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle/Shemp Howard (1932-1934):

        After several years away from the silver screen, Fatty Arbuckle does not miss a beat in these classic "talkies" that were his last films prior to his untimely death. As he did in his silent films starting in 1913, Arbuckle continues to amaze with his acrobatics and dexterity in performing some timeless skits and gags. Several of his antics have to be watched again and again to be believed. A truly timeless treasure from a glorious day gone by.

         
        5.0

        Rare early Shemp in great quality!

        By Ken K.

        from Parlin, NJ

        About Me Movie Buff

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Entertaining
        • Funny
        • Great Comedians

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Adult Viewers
          • At Home
          • Younger Viewers

          Comments about The Vitaphone Comedy Collection Volume One - Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle/Shemp Howard (1932-1934):

          I have been waiting a long time for these Shemp shorts to be released officially. I have enjoyed the talents of Shemp Howard as part of the Stooges for many years. It is a treat to see these oft-written about but never seen (to me) shorts, and in great quality to boot. I can't wait for Volume 2 to be released to get my fix of Shemp.

           
          4.0

          It's about time!

          By Bill Ferry

          from Lake Hopatcong, NJ

          About Me Movie Buff

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Funny

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Entertainment
            • Everyone

            Comments about The Vitaphone Comedy Collection Volume One - Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle/Shemp Howard (1932-1934):

            This is a really enjoyable collection. For years, I've heard of Roscoe Arbuckle's (sadly short-lived) Vitaphone comeback. You can see him feel his way through by reusing some old Sennett/Keaton material, but even his more original attempts are a welcome look at what might have been.

            Highlighting Shemp as a co-star in this collection is a bit of a stretch, as some of his roles are minor, even walk-ons. However, he's an absolute joy to watch - a very, very talented man.

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            • No

            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Classic Comedy From Roscoe and Shemp

            By Psychotronic Paul

            from San Francisco Bay Area, CA

            About Me Movie Buff

            Verified Reviewer

            Pros

            • Classic
            • Entertaining
            • Funny

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Entertainment

              Comments about The Vitaphone Comedy Collection Volume One - Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle/Shemp Howard (1932-1934):

              These classic comedians really know how to get laughs. Can't wait for volume 2!

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Arbuckle and Shemp finally on DVD!

              By Louie

              from Dublin, Ireland

              About Me Movie Buff

              Pros

              • Funny

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Entertainment

                Comments about The Vitaphone Comedy Collection Volume One - Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle/Shemp Howard (1932-1934):

                Now then, I have read reports Warner Brothers were considering restoring uncut, remastered and releasing a Shemp Howard Vitaphone Collection on DVD but plans seemed to have cooled off at the moment until now - Shemp is actually a better comedian..and yes Arbuckle is great but be nice to get some more of their fabulous films after all these films have NOT been through a restoration process but better luck next time WB and well done.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • Yes

                (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                4.0

                Amusing and full of historic interest

                By JLewis

                from Sanford, FL

                About Me Movie Buff

                Verified Reviewer

                Pros

                • Classic
                • Entertaining
                • Funny

                Cons

                • Uneven

                Best Uses

                • Entertainment

                Comments about The Vitaphone Comedy Collection Volume One - Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle/Shemp Howard (1932-1934):

                In 1932, Warner's Brooklyn-based Vitaphone facilities took a gamble on Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle. Once the biggest star in Mack Sennett's corral and the man who got Buster Keaton started in the business, his career was destroyed by that infamous scandal of 1921. Although eleven years had past, the question remained: Can movie-goers once again accept him IN FRONT of the camera?

                Thus, it is easy to understand why the first film on this set, HEY, POP!, is less a comedy than a schmaltzy tear-jerker with the star playing a kind-hearted cook playing father-figure (and mother in drag) to orphan cutie-pie Billy Hayes; the studio had to test him out in "wholesome family entertainment" (by thirties standards). When early screenings proved successful, there was a go-ahead for wilder material. With BUZZIN' AROUND, we get more of the familiar Sennett-ish slapstick we expect, as a beehive causes havoc in his truck and out in a football field, our star swallowing a cartoon insect and later his bumbling demonstration of a seemingly unbreakable pottery invention.

                The first four Arbuckle comedies did quite well at the box office and FILM DAILY reported in April 1933 that he was scheduled to make eight more for the upcoming fall season, but… alas… he died of a heart attack after getting just two more in the can. One wonders how successful his comeback would have been, since these 2-reelers were getting consistently better, with IN THE DOUGH (the last one filmed, just weeks before his passing) perhaps the best of the bunch.

                Three Stooges star Shemp Howard gets co-billing on this DVD cover and appears in most of the titles here (including at least two of Fatty's), but a cluster of films only have fleeting appearances, like the slightly dullish musical PAUL REVERE JR. and the typically "average" omnibus RAMBLING 'ROUND RADIO ROW entry (Vitaphone #1662 with George Jessel). He is never top billed, but often part of a team with Harry Gribbon (in his most Stooge-ish efforts, the slightly lackluster CORN ON THE COP and pretty good ART TROUBLE) or Lionel Stander in some street-smart "straight man" roles.

                Lionel Stander really shines here, even if his written dialogue is sometimes weaker than his peformances. Movie buffs will instantly recognize him by his gravel-voiced sarcasm famous in features like MR DEEDS GOES TO TOWN and A STAR IS BORN. In PUGS AND KISSES, he is a boxer who flops in the ring (due to lazy training) but scores with the ladies, so his manager Charles Judels stages a "jealous husband" setup to get him over his too frequent "distraction". His chum Shemp clues him in on the gag however and he later gets even. I SCREAM spoofs Warners' gangster features with daffy Gus Shy (star of PAUL REVERE JR.) as an ice cream salesman getting stuck in a shoot-out gang fight with Lionel and Shemp as tailor/hoods. Lionel also makes an amusing sergeant, pre-Gomer Pyle's Carter, in SALT WATER DAFFY.

                Among the other talents on display here, all featuring at least one Shemp scene in support…

                A young James Stewart doesn't do much, but certainly stands out, in his very first screen appearance in ART TROUBLE, looking very much the starving actor he was at that time.

                The two Ben Blue titles, HERE COMES FLOSSIE and VERY CLOSE VEINS, are not especially well-written but display some delightful physical gags of the Langdon-Chaplin school, such as Ben trying to get a cow up a stairway.

                Likewise, Harry Gribbon has some funny visuals drunk in MUSHROOMS, one of many also showcasing Stander's sarcasm on the soundtrack. However, despite his talents, Gribbon comes off weak (tired looking at times) in his three films here, two with Shemp as a team. He was at his peak earlier in the silent era.

                The team of George Givot and Charles Judels (in HOW D'YA LIKE THAT?) would fit in well with the post-ANIMAL HOUSE generation as they defy authorities smuggling illegal booze under watchful cop Stander (again).

                PURE FEUD is not Edgar Bergen and his dummy Charlie McCarthy's greatest effort, but still delivers the laughs in a send-up of hillbilly feuds and certainly looks beautiful print-wise.

                THE WRONG, WRONG TRAIL (Jesse Block and Eve Sully are key players) reminds me a little of Tex Avery's cartoon WHO KILLED WHO? in live-action, with a "who done it" detective mystery held in a "crazy home", not unlike the one Fatty visits in CLOSE RELATIONS. Like the other two ten minute one-reelers, it is a "Pepper Pot", while all but one of the 17-20 minute shorts are labeled "Big V Comedies".

                Overall the pictorial quality is very good for their age and, while these may not wow some viewers like Bugs Bunny or Shemp with Larry and Moe, most are well worth repeated viewing.

                (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                4.0

                Fantastic Pre-Code Comedy-Shorts History

                By frankebe

                from Redwood City, CA

                Pros

                • Roscoe Arbuckle Soundies
                • Shemp Howard

                Cons

                • Uneven

                Best Uses

                • Education
                • Entertainment

                Comments about The Vitaphone Comedy Collection Volume One - Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle/Shemp Howard (1932-1934):

                For "unrestored", I am astounded at how good the image and sound quality is. We are very lucky to (finally) get to see first-rate prints of Arbuckle's final movies, Shemp Howard's early work, and Ben Blue, too. Don't expect all the films to be classics (several are duds), but if you are interested in the above comedians and what they were doing in the early 1930s at the end or beginning of their film career, this will be worth the purchase.

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                • No

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