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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Skits > Children > Animals > Biopic > Illusionist > Stunts > Magic > Cars > Race > Glamour > Horror > Sci > Abbott & Costello – The Funniest Routines DVD Set (Colgate Comedy Hour Compilation) + Little Rascals In Color – Volume 2 (Monochrome & Colorized Set)+ The Tony Curtis Double Feature (Houdini/Those Dar

Abbott & Costello – The Funniest Routines DVD Set (Colgate Comedy Hour Compilation) + Little Rascals In Color – Volume 2 (Monochrome & Colorized Set)+ The Tony Curtis Double Feature (Houdini/Those Daring Young Men In Their Jaunting Jalopies) + The Vincent Price Double Feature (House On Haunted Hill/Last Man On Earth/Legend Films DVDs)


Picture: C/C/C+/C+     Sound: C+ (Costello: C)     Extras: C/C+/C-/C+     Main Programs: B-/C+     Films: C+/C+/B-/B-



I expect 2011 to be a great year for buried treasures on DVD and Legend Films is already proving me correct with four new releases, which include previous material we have covered, but not necessarily from them, so we get interesting variations on the following releases.


Abbott & Costello – The Funniest Routines is another of many non-feature film DVDs we have covered form one of the greatest comedy teams ever, but this time, we get select skits from their live performances on The Colgate Comedy Hour which shows them in the same prime form as their feature films and TV series.  The latest look at their filmed TV series is at this link, with further links to other releases of that material:





What I liked about this set is how each skit was identified with new color text over the image before each classic skit began.  Fans and those interested will like that approach and the skits are funny.  The 1.33 X 1 image on Costello is from old kinescopes (possibly saved on 16mm film) and they are good for their age, while the Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono is also a little weak and aged, but these are good for the source, especially as compared to so many kinescope releases on DVD we’ve seen.


Extras includes colorized versions of the duo doing Who’s On First at the Hollywood Canteen, a trailer for Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein, several commercials they did for EZ Pop Popcorn and another good one they did for Campbell’s Soup.  I wish they were all also in black & white, but these are the only versions.



The Little Rascals In Color – Volume 2 boasts the shorts are in color, but it is Colorized versions that look terrible.  However, all 10 main shorts are also included in their original Monochrome/Black & White versions with more detail and depth.  Those titles include:


1)     Dogs Is Dogs

2)     Glove Tap

3)     Male & Female

4)     Rushin’ Ballet

5)     Bear Facts

6)     Sprucin’ Up

7)     The Pooch

8)     For Pete’s Sake

9)     Bored Of Education

10)  Pups Is Pups


All are pre-MGM shorts.  Our Gang Follies Of 1938 is a short included in the bonus section that is the only other one with sound from the same period, while three other shorts are all silent (1923) and are either Dippy Doo-Dads silent animal shorts (Be Honest! is the only one here) or Pathe’/Hal Roach silents (Dogs Of War actually spoofs WWI, High Society sends up class division).  These are decent discs and until Blu-rays roll around of their antics, the black and whiter footage here will be as key as the sets we recently covered at these links:


Warner Archive/MGM Our Gang Collection



Genius Little Rascals – Complete Collection




The 1.33 X 1 image is not bad in the black & white footage, but the colorized footage is ugly, dull and silly.  The silent bonus shorts are much rougher, but nice to see and they have new music I was not interested in.  The sound shorts are in good Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono.



The Tony Curtis Double Feature is a nice, convenient reissue of two films from Legend we have already covered, so here they are with their respective links:





Those Daring Young Men In Their Jaunting Jalopies




Finally, we get The Vincent Price Double Feature with two titles we have covered before, but not in Legend’s editions.  They are:


House On Haunted Hill (Acme/VCI vs. Key/20th Century Fox DVD versions) with the Acme disc including Last Man On Earth in a double feature disc:



plus Last Man On Earth in its MGM DVD edition with The Omega Man remake:




At 1.33 X 1, the black & white version of Hill (which you can only access as an extra in the extras section!!!) is the best version we have seen on DVD to date and will be the one to recommend until someone does a Blu-ray edition.  The colorized version is lame and the worst version we have seen to date and that says something.  As for Earth, the Acme/VCI edition seems the widest and most accurate transfer, showing more of the CinemaScope frame than the MGM DVD, but the MGM has a few detail advantages.  Some could argue that it is cheating by losing some of the image on the sides slightly.  The Legend version (which is anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1) looks more like the MGM frame and is just fine, but the MGM narrowly is better.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono on both show their age and are also just fine, though the MGM has the best sound for Earth.


Extras on Earth include Price hosting a Western-themed episode of It Happened In Hollywood, while Hill adds a look at its original pressbook and a feature length audio commentary track by Mike Nelson (of Mystery Science Theater 3000, among others).  Both have trailers for these films and a few other Horror offerings from Legend, but colorized.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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