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I was just looking at the Traveltalks thread that was started by Musicalnovelty a while back, and it got me thinking: With all the various sets recently released by Warner Archives featuring specific actors like Shemp Howard and Fatty Arbuckle, or series like FitzPatrick Traveltalks, wouldn't it be great if they released similar collections for other artists and/or specific themes/series?


I for one would love to see comprehensive Warner/Vitaphone collections for the following:


Hal Le Roy

Bob Hope

Edgar Bergen

Ruth Etting

Vaudeville (including all the titles from the Big Time Vaudeville series)
Van Dine Mysteries

Perhaps an early shorts collection with stars when they were young and starting out like:

James Stewart
Pat O’Brien
Spencer Tracy
Red Skelton

June Allyson

The possibilities are endless. And I'm sure I'm forgetting many other worthy stars/series.


These collections could be done in various combinations, like maybe putting Hal Le Roy's and June Allyson's shorts in one collection, since they were in a few shorts together, and the collections could be any number of disks each, depending on what WAC would find most appropriate.


Now I realize that a number of shorts for those listed above have been released on dvd as part of larger collections or as dvd extras, but not in star-specific collections, and in many cases (for example, Hal Le Roy, Edgar Bergen and Ruth Etting) there are quite a few titles that have never seen the light of day on TCM, much less dvd, and to put all of an artist or series together in one place seems like a natural (as we've seen with Shemp and Fatty). And given the fact that shorts collections have proven to be excellent sellers, I should hope WAC would see the value in assembling more.


I'd be curious to know what others think of this idea, and if anyone could come up with other stars/series for consideration.

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I always felt the best way to go about this is to have sampler sets, a bit like the Vitaphone ones but with a lengthier time period covered and a little from each series as a "taste" for possible in-depth sets later. For example, a "Cavalcade of Warner Brothers Shorts" spanning the years 1926 through 1970 over four or more discs with a little of everything, Joe McDoakes and Andre de la Varre travelogues included. Or a set of just the live-action Oscar winners and nominees like they did with the animated cartoons that Time-Warner owns. In addition to all of the classics of the '30s and '40s, they also can include something like The John Glenn Story or Warner's Apollo 11 short One Giant Leap to bring the series through the decades. Maybe even a WB produced Bell Science TV show added as a bonus, like Gateways to the Mind? (Yeah, you can see that one online, but it is cut from the same cloth.) Pick what titles would hold special interest to an "Average Joe" who knows little or nothing about old theatrical shorts. Also sell it at an economical price without so much fuss over digital restoration.


Here's an earlier post of suggestions: http://forums.tcm.com/index.php?/topic/55108-shorties-we-would-like-to-see-on-tcm…/?p=1145584


I also think a set of MGM John Nesbitt "Passing Parade" combined with Carey Wilson's "Historical Mysteries" would be great, but... again... it might be best to put out a set of MGM shorts that includes them first so they can gain a following first.


I dunno... I think what WE like may not be what wows the masses unless we can sell them better.

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