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Hal Roach Every Week?


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I think last month was my favorite month of scheduling on TCM since I started watching Because of the special Hal Roach programming.

 

The Hal roach shorts and films are among my favorites. But so many didn't get shown.

 

Maybe TCM might consider a bloc every week for Hal Roach programming? Especially the shorts

 

Charlie Chase, Patsy kelly, thelma todd, The Boyfriends, etc

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Hear, hear! A number of us advocated something similar on the thread that started on the Our Gang and Laurel and Hardy marathons. Maybe not every week, because once the programmers start doing that you could end up pretty formulaic -- comedy night, noir night, silents night, etc. every week. But at least a marathon or two of lesser-known comedies from the 20's and 30's.

 

Not all the comedies I'd like to see are Hal Roach -- there's also W.C. Fields' "Million Dollar Legs," which a number of us have mentioned. I was also taken with Wheeler and Woolsey when TCM ran "Hips, Hips, Hooray!" a couple of years ago, and would like to see more of their films.

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With the Bowery Boys series nearing its end on TCM following "31 Days Of Oscar," I think an hour or so on Saturday morning should be set aside for two or three of the two-reel shorts from Hal Roach and others for which TCM can procure rights. (For example, Columbia had many comedy short subjects in addition to the Three Stooges, and I would guess relatively few of them have had television exposure, at least not in recent years.) Such programming on Saturday mornings would be a way to introduce the channel to younger audiences.

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Since I love Top 10 lists, here is my list for what should replace the Bowery Boys......

 

1. Universal Horrors (the old Shock Theater package from 1957-58)

2. Pre-code Ladies (Helen Twelvetrees, Constance Bennett, Ann Harding, Irene Dunne, Lupe Velez, Mae Clarke, Thelma Todd, Leila Hyams, Fay Wray, Glenda Farrell, Joan Blondell, et al)

3. The Lone Wolf

4. Crime Doctor

5. The Whistler

6. Boston ****

7. Ellery Queen (Donald Cook, Eddie Quillan, Ralph Bellamy, William Gargan)

8. East Side Kids (pre-Bowery Boys, in better print quality than 2004)

9. The Three Mesquiteers

10. Poverty Row features (Monogram, Chesterfield, Mascot, Majestic, Mayfair, Liberty, Tiffany, etc.)

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I agree, nitratefiend. I guess that what I mean is these great early shorts and comedies in general.

 

With respect to the comedians, I feel that I've been so "Charlie Chaplined" that it's nice to discover very funny people that have been all but forgotten.

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> {quote:title=PrinceSaliano wrote:}{quote}

> > {quote:title=Scottman wrote:}{quote}

> > True.

> > Columbia had (besides the Three Stooges), Charley Chase, Andy Clyde, Buster Keaton, El Brendel and Harry Langdon, among others.

 

> Columbia also had Hugh Herbert.

>

 

And of course, my favorites, The Musical Novelties (series of eight musical comedy shorts, 1933 to 1934)!!

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> {quote:title=WonderMoon wrote:}{quote}

> I think last month was my favorite month of scheduling on TCM since I started watching Because of the special Hal Roach programming.

>

> The Hal roach shorts and films are among my favorites. But so many didn't get shown.

>

> Maybe TCM might consider a bloc every week for Hal Roach programming? Especially the shorts

 

 

That sounds like a great idea!

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*Loved the L & H shorts. Hope their not put back in the vault and forgotten for another year*

 

I, too, think the idea of weekly showcase of the Roach films and shorts is a terrific idea.

 

I suspect the problem with TCM delivering on that is the rights holders, Halmi and Hallmark. Given that the Roach films don't make it on the schedule with much frequency and often in month long salutes like last month's and the comedy salute in April a few years back, I suspect that its H & H that keep the films in the vault not TCM.

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> {quote:title=movieman1957 wrote:}{quote}

> I thought the deal was with Roach and they had it for some ridiculous amount of time. 40 years sticks in my head but maybe somebody was kidding.

>

> Good heavens, why would anybody want to keep anything locked up? I mean anything.

 

That's especially true with the relatively obscure stuff that's just waiting to be rediscovered; what TCM did last year with Thelma Todd as part of SUTS is a perfect example. The world of two-reel comedy shorts extends far beyond Laurel & Hardy and the Three Stooges, as splendid as both acts may be.

 

If TCM indeed has an extended deal with Roach, it would behoove the channel to run all sorts of stuff from the library -- especially since it likes to think of itself as the repertory house of cable/satellite TV (and deservedly so).

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> {quote:title=movieman1957 wrote:}{quote}

> I thought the deal was with Roach and they had it for some ridiculous amount of time. 40 years....

>

That's what was being said back in 2006 when TCM started running the Roach shorts.

 

There are many that they still have not run once yet.

Such as:

The Caretaker's Daughter (1934)

Mrs. Barnacle Bill (1934)

Speaking of Relations (1934)

You Bring the Ducks (1934)

Nosed Out (1934)

Ballad of Paducah Jail (1934)

Lucky Beginners (1935)

The Infernal Triangle (1935)

Duke for a Day (1934)

And all the existing foreign-language versions of Laurel & Hardy, Charley Chase and Our Gang shorts (that theoretically they should also have access to).

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Chris,

 

I was actually thinking more about the *Our Gang* and *Laurel and Hardy* films that are owned by RHI Entertainment (Robert Halmi) and don't get shown on TCM very often. There are 80 *Our Gang* films owned by RHI.

 

Warner's Home Video controls 52 *Our Gang's* including *General Spanky. These may be probably easier for TCM to rent than those owned by RHI.

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> {quote:title=lzcutter wrote:}{quote}

> Warner's Home Video controls 52 *Our Gang's* including *General Spanky. These may be probably easier for TCM to rent than those owned by RHI.

 

Sadly the Our Gang shorts owned by Warner Home video are the dreadful post Roach MGM shorts from late 1938-1944. When compared to the Roach produced Our Gang shorts, these are practically unwatchable. None of the style and charm of the Hal Roach shorts.

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