Charley Chase: The Hal Roach Talkies Volume One 1930-31

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Paul Penna
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Re: Charley Chase: The Hal Roach Talkies Volume One 1930-31

Unread post by Paul Penna » Tue Jan 30, 2018 4:20 pm

Mike Gebert wrote:Some of the 1930 ones seem a little heavy on the noise reduction.
Referring to the audio? I noticed some that had that kind of watery/echo chamber, cell-phoney quality.

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bigshot
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Re: Charley Chase: The Hal Roach Talkies Volume One 1930-31

Unread post by bigshot » Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:40 am

The sound in the Our Gangs of 1930 isn't great either. The music always sounds OK, so it might be just limitations of the production sound.

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Thad Komorowski
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Re: Charley Chase: The Hal Roach Talkies Volume One 1930-31

Unread post by Thad Komorowski » Wed Jan 31, 2018 1:38 pm

Roach was notoriously cheap, so always expect remnants of poor recording, bad processing, and all those sinful "density shifts." Sometimes even the most involved restorations aren't going to improve what was subpar from day one.

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bigshot
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Re: Charley Chase: The Hal Roach Talkies Volume One 1930-31

Unread post by bigshot » Wed Jan 31, 2018 7:17 pm

The density shifts in the one I saw appeared to be from deteriorating nitrate.

Petebain
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Re: Charley Chase: The Hal Roach Talkies Volume One 1930-31

Unread post by Petebain » Thu Feb 01, 2018 1:40 pm

Dammit, Amazon has pushed my deliver date back twice, even though I ordered before the release date. I'm now told February 7-9 as my date of delivery. Nothing builds demand like scarcity! I guess they're trying to tell me I should have spent the money for a Prime membership.

Poptique
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Re: Charley Chase: The Hal Roach Talkies Volume One 1930-31

Unread post by Poptique » Fri Feb 02, 2018 1:42 pm

Received the set, and only three films in - but this is a real gem. Such a pleasure to see Chase's films from the early 30s, after only catching a couple of them over the years.

Absolutely marvelous stuff - I grew up on Film Classics' prints of Laurel & Hardy films, taped off BBC2 onto VHS. I wore the cassettes out, despite so much hiss and tape 'noise' that it was like watching the films in a blizzard.

What we have here is world's away from those days and something to be savored!

Marr&Colton
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Re: Charley Chase: The Hal Roach Talkies Volume One 1930-31

Unread post by Marr&Colton » Sun Feb 04, 2018 12:20 pm

Received my set last Friday....totally delighted!!

Also asked my library system to buy it---when they do they usually buy several for their branches.

Good idea to do this since it will encourage the producers and distributors of this great set to make VOLUME 2 !!



ALL TEED UP is a gem! Soda fountain and park look like same locale for other Roach shorts.

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JLNeibaur
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Re: Charley Chase: The Hal Roach Talkies Volume One 1930-31

Unread post by JLNeibaur » Mon Feb 05, 2018 3:10 pm

I received my set and am quite pleased with the quality. A lot of care went into this, and I am glad its sales have been strong, possibly leading to future volumes. A lot of us have been waiting a long time for a DVD release like this. Here it is.

JN

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NotSoSilent
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Re: Charley Chase: The Hal Roach Talkies Volume One 1930-31

Unread post by NotSoSilent » Tue Feb 06, 2018 1:20 pm

I've made my way through most of disc 1, and it's GREAT! If you are the least bit interested in this set, please make the purchase if at all possible. It's worth every penny and will (hopefully) encourage future releases.

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boblipton
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Re: Charley Chase: The Hal Roach Talkies Volume One 1930-31

Unread post by boblipton » Tue Feb 06, 2018 5:22 pm

I've just finished looking at all of the films on the two discs -- usually twice, since I would would watch the film and then go through it again for Richard Roberts' commentary. After that I would check the IMDb and if a film lacked a review, or if the reviews got into ranking why one movie was 2.8% less funny than another, so we should close our eyes and spit, I wrote a new one. I'm in large agreement with Mr. Roberts about Charley Chase: he knew how to make funny pictures, and the Roach shorts ranged from very funny to excruciatingly funny. Are you waiting for the next Pauly Shore movie?

Of course, every comedy fan (except for me) has his crotchets and Mr. Roberts has been known to vent his spleen, but he's well behaved here. He waits for three or four movies before mentioning the Oh-Hollywood-kills-them-and-doesn't-care people. Thelma Todd's death gets an airing, understandably; however, Al Joy isn't mentioned until near the end, and the purer-than-pure type who only looks at 35mm nitrate projected with an arc lamp doesn't get hacked apart until the last short, in tones that indicate he's gone through this rant several times. Mostly it's a matter of rattling off the histories of performers, small and large, with occasional discursions into camera men, editors, directors, and blocks of downtown Los Angeles. This morning, one of the life guards at my gym asked me to come see him perform his comedy act. When I tried to find out where, I was able to find out it was somewhere between 6th and 7th Avenue at a restaurant. I suppose it's in Manhattan. Maybe I should ask Mr. Roberts.

However, if you wish to avoid the memory tricks, you don't have to listen to the commentary track. As I said above, the movies range from very funny to excruciatingly funny.

Bob
Life's too short to sit on our rears watching other people's work.
— Bob Fells

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bigshot
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Re: Charley Chase: The Hal Roach Talkies Volume One 1930-31

Unread post by bigshot » Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:37 pm

I wish DVDs and blu-rays took the money they spend on supplements and put it into transferring and releasing more films. To quote Soupy Sales, "I never miss a commentary track. I never listen to it. I never miss it."

FilmGauge
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Re: Charley Chase: The Hal Roach Talkies Volume One 1930-31

Unread post by FilmGauge » Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:30 pm

Thank you Sprocket Vault and Mr. Roberts! This Charley Chase set is a beautifully restored collection from his Hal Roach Studios sound era. The quality of this is tops, and obviously came from various sources to make the best quality transfers possible. The studio's material traveled to many different distributors through the years, so finding optimum negatives and prints to transfer from must have been very difficult. I hope this sells well, and that more of Charley's Roach sound shorts will become available.

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s.w.a.c.
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Re: Charley Chase: The Hal Roach Talkies Volume One 1930-31

Unread post by s.w.a.c. » Fri Feb 09, 2018 9:36 am

FYI, this title is now available from VCI as well as Amazon. Great news for those outside of the U.S. who don't like to pay Amazon's tacked-on "import duty deposit" which feel bogus to me as I generally only have to pay duty occasionally. And usually small orders of DVDs/BDs/CDs never get charged for it.
Twinkletoes wrote:Oh, ya big blister!

Silas
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Re: Charley Chase: The Hal Roach Talkies Volume One 1930-31

Unread post by Silas » Thu Feb 15, 2018 6:46 pm

Bought this and enjoying it a great deal. Will definitely pick up future volumes.

Are the 1929 Chase talkies lost?

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boblipton
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Re: Charley Chase: The Hal Roach Talkies Volume One 1930-31

Unread post by boblipton » Thu Feb 15, 2018 7:08 pm

Silas wrote:Bought this and enjoying it a great deal. Will definitely pick up future volumes.

Are the 1929 Chase talkies lost?
According to Richard Roberts' commentary, they exist, but they were issued only as sound-on-disk were not available for the set. Charlie Morrow has a review for Snappy Sneezer and I've seen Crazy Feet; however, since I didn't write a review, I can't tell you where or when.

I'm still groggy from thinking about the Auteur Theory as applied to Jack Hively inventing Film Noir, but what seems to have happened was this: since the 1929 Chase talkies were issued only with disks, they weren't kept in circulation, nor was did Roach see any point in converting half a dozen for the aftermarket for Film Classics and later Blackhawk, when there were four dozen all ready to be printed. So they aren't available.

Bob
Life's too short to sit on our rears watching other people's work.
— Bob Fells

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Brooksie
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Re: Charley Chase: The Hal Roach Talkies Volume One 1930-31

Unread post by Brooksie » Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:10 pm

Snappy Sneezer was shown at Cinecon a few years ago. This was my review:

SNAPPY SNEEZER (1929) - This is a good example of a short that would have been perfectly charming as a silent, but sometimes feels a little clunky as a talkie, despite the presence of the always likeable Charley Chase. Charley’s got problems with hay fever, and the man he sneezed all over on the streetcar turns out to be the father of the girl he wants to date (Thelma Todd). Needless to say, things don’t go smoothly, as Thelma’s driving lesson turns into a literal roller coaster ride.

Wm. Charles Morrow
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Re: Charley Chase: The Hal Roach Talkies Volume One 1930-31

Unread post by Wm. Charles Morrow » Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:05 am

Brooksie wrote:Snappy Sneezer was shown at Cinecon a few years ago. This was my review:

SNAPPY SNEEZER (1929) - This is a good example of a short that would have been perfectly charming as a silent, but sometimes feels a little clunky as a talkie, despite the presence of the always likeable Charley Chase. Charley’s got problems with hay fever, and the man he sneezed all over on the streetcar turns out to be the father of the girl he wants to date (Thelma Todd). Needless to say, things don’t go smoothly, as Thelma’s driving lesson turns into a literal roller coaster ride.

It was also shown at Slapsticon in 2013, and again at a MoMA screening a couple of years ago. I enjoyed it more than you did, Brooksie -- I thought the dialog was pretty smooth for such an early talkie, and especially enjoyed the banter between Charley and Thelma at the train station.
-- Charlie Morrow

vitaphone
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Re: Charley Chase: The Hal Roach Talkies Volume One 1930-31

Unread post by vitaphone » Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:09 am

Just to clarify, it is not true that any Roach shorts were released ONLY with disks. Like most features and many shorts of the period, they were issued in both formats in order to accommodate the maximum number of theaters. Some, especially smaller theaters that got into talkies cheaply, could only show sound films with disks. This continued into the thirties (I recall c. 1932 over 3000 theaters still could only show in the disk format).

So any Roach shorts that are missing sound were the sound on disk versions that were mute and whose disks are currently missing. True of a number of Roach shorts from 1929-30. We recently found one disk for Langdon's SKY BOY ('29) as the only surviving print was from the disk version. Laurel & Hardy's UNACCUSTOMED AS WE ARE similarly for years was missing its disks as the sound-on-film version had not survived.

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Brooksie
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Re: Charley Chase: The Hal Roach Talkies Volume One 1930-31

Unread post by Brooksie » Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:55 pm

Leonard Maltin has just published a very positive review on his blog: http://leonardmaltin.com/charley-chase- ... -todd-too/.

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Nosferatu
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Re: Charley Chase: The Hal Roach Talkies Volume One 1930-31

Unread post by Nosferatu » Fri Feb 23, 2018 2:17 pm

bigshot wrote:Is being a sourpuss a requirement to post in that other silent movie board?
Ha ha. What the heck is going on here? The link to that other place led me to some strange variations on the name of this site. I read some of their forum rules. There is an emphasis on respectful decorum. Well I guess I appreciate any new releases.

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syd
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Re: Charley Chase: The Hal Roach Talkies Volume One 1930-31

Unread post by syd » Sun Feb 25, 2018 3:26 pm

"The sound in the Our Gangs of 1930 isn't great either. The music always sounds OK,
so it might be just limitations of the production sound."

Charming as the first Our Gang sound shorts are, they do suffer from
the limitations of early sound technique and equipment. As was mentioned,
Hal Roach was perhaps holding off on purchasing higher quality equipment
or the learning curve was too steep to be production-ready at the time.
Maybe he thought sound was a fad.

I've had read from more than one source that Charley Chase said he had to change
the way he moved his body when he started doing his sound shorts. Silent shorts
afforded more of a tolerance for the surreal that sound shorts couldn't. Some
silent comedians developed their own rhythm that they hoped editing would not conceal.
Chase, in his silent shorts, seems to move to his own rhythm. Sometimes he
tops it off with a dance.

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bigshot
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Re: Charley Chase: The Hal Roach Talkies Volume One 1930-31

Unread post by bigshot » Mon Feb 26, 2018 10:49 am

The Our Gang shorts had lots of wide shots with a bunch of kids all in frame at one time. These kinds of shots are very hard to mike. You need a really long boom and you have to be able to swing the mike around to cover whoever is talking. In my early days, I did some boom work. It was exhausting and difficult. I can imagine that in the early days of sound, they hadn't worked out how to balance the requirements of the sound recording with the way the cameras and lights were set up.

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Thad Komorowski
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Re: Charley Chase: The Hal Roach Talkies Volume One 1930-31

Unread post by Thad Komorowski » Wed Feb 28, 2018 12:08 pm

I wasn't planning on grabbing this so soon, but after a collaborator/client talked it up to me the other day, I got it. I'm glad I did! For unrestored, and often older standard def transfers, they look perfectly acceptable (and considerably better than some L&H and OG shorts of the same vintage on those respective sets), and I'm having a blast seeing them in order and how quickly Chase and co. got into their groove. And of course Thelma Todd is wonderful as always. Highly recommended.

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Re: Charley Chase: The Hal Roach Talkies Volume One 1930-31

Unread post by TerryC » Sun Jun 03, 2018 5:57 pm

Every time we watched Laurel and Hardy or Our Gang on tv, my mother (born in 1920) would say “where is Charlie Chase — he was our favorite. I had never seen one of his full shorts although 1930s comedies and musicals are my favorite and I have an extensive disc collection. This was why I was anxious to order this collection. I found them beautifully presented, and loved that there are commentaries for each short. To my surprise however, I found “meh” best describes my reaction to Mr. Chase and the shorts in general. Perhaps I had that reaction because I did not grow up with the films, or because I watched them alone, but I think I only laughed once or twice. I also wished the commentaries were more specific film centered often things were happening in the movie I would like to have explained, but instead we heard the life story of the director back to an embrio. That being said, if you are a fan of Charlie Chase, you should be pleased with this collection.

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Jim Roots
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Re: Charley Chase: The Hal Roach Talkies Volume One 1930-31

Unread post by Jim Roots » Mon Jun 04, 2018 5:50 am

TerryC wrote:Every time we watched Laurel and Hardy or Our Gang on tv, my mother (born in 1920) would say “where is Charlie Chase — he was our favorite. I had never seen one of his full shorts although 1930s comedies and musicals are my favorite and I have an extensive disc collection. This was why I was anxious to order this collection. I found them beautifully presented, and loved that there are commentaries for each short. To my surprise however, I found “meh” best describes my reaction to Mr. Chase and the shorts in general. Perhaps I had that reaction because I did not grow up with the films, or because I watched them alone, but I think I only laughed once or twice. I also wished the commentaries were more specific film centered often things were happening in the movie I would like to have explained, but instead we heard the life story of the director back to an embrio. That being said, if you are a fan of Charlie Chase, you should be pleased with this collection.
Terry, go watch Chase's silent films. That's where he was truly greatest. And if your mother was born in 1920, she would be remembering watching his silents when she was a little child.

Jim

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maliejandra
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Re: Charley Chase: The Hal Roach Talkies Volume One 1930-31

Unread post by maliejandra » Mon Jun 04, 2018 6:24 am

I would recommend the Columbia short releases too. They're very polished. True, you're going to be more likely to laugh out loud when you're watching the movies with an audience. I recommend coming to Cinevent for the annual Charley Chase program for this, or if you aren't close enough or don't want to wait that long, invite a few friends over. They're great fun.

TerryC
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Re: Charley Chase: The Hal Roach Talkies Volume One 1930-31

Unread post by TerryC » Mon Jun 04, 2018 6:50 am

Hello! Are there any specific DVD collections that you would recommend? I see that Kino has 2 volumes.

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maliejandra
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Re: Charley Chase: The Hal Roach Talkies Volume One 1930-31

Unread post by maliejandra » Mon Jun 04, 2018 12:18 pm

The Columbia sets (vol. 1 & 2) can be found here:
https://www.amazon.com/Charley-Chase-Sh ... B00AIA89ZA

The Kino sets are a great way to see the silents. Vol. 1 has Mighty Like a Moose, one of his best.

I wouldn't recommend the Becoming Charley Chase set for a beginner. It gives a glimpse into his early days where he was still figuring out his style.

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NotSoSilent
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Re: Charley Chase: The Hal Roach Talkies Volume One 1930-31

Unread post by NotSoSilent » Thu Jun 07, 2018 5:31 am

TerryC wrote:Hello! Are there any specific DVD collections that you would recommend? I see that Kino has 2 volumes.
YES, order those two sets - they are fantastic. I am a huge fan of all his work, but in my opinion nothing beats his silent films and these two collections offer some of his best.

https://www.amazon.com/Charley-Chase-Co ... B0002CHIEC" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank

https://www.amazon.com/Charley-Chase-Co ... B000AM4PJK" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank

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JLNeibaur
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Re: Charley Chase: The Hal Roach Talkies Volume One 1930-31

Unread post by JLNeibaur » Fri Jun 08, 2018 10:32 am

I wrote a book on the Charley Chase talkies several years ago and, as with my upcoming book projects on the Andy Clyde Columbia shorts, and the Thelma Todd - ZaSu Pitts - Patsy Kelly comedies, I hoped the films would be made available on DVD eventually. This Charley Chase release is outstanding, and it appears the sales will allow for future volumes. I noticed that the Thelma Todd comedies with Patsy Kelly are coming out on DVD also. I have contacted SONY about the Andy Clyde two-reelers, but they don't seem interested. Hopefully some day.....

There was a time when Charley Chase was considered "neglected," but he is really well-represented on DVD, with a good portion of his silents, all of his Columbia two-reelers, and now a volume of his Roach talkies all available and accessible. The promise of future volumes in this series is exciting, and I hope the sales for each continues to be strong. The care that went into the first set is impressive, and I saw no flaws in any of the films. Everything was great.

Anyway, here's a link to my Charley Chase book: https://www.amazon.com/Charley-Chase-Ta ... 0810891611" target="_blank

JN

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