The Harold Lloyd Comedy Collection 

Thursday, Nov 17 2005
The Harold Lloyd Film Trust/
New Line Home Entertainment
Alongside Chaplin and Keaton, silent comedian Harold Lloyd saw his critical and historical reputation wax and wane in the post–World War II era. This, despite the fact that Lloyd was a bigger box-office draw than either of his contemporaries by the end of the 1920s. In large part, Lloyd’s fate was a case of out of sight, out of mind. The star owned the rights to all his work — from his days clowning for Hal Roach in the late teens to his final sound comedies in the early 1940s — and long held his films close to the vest. After he refused to sell them to television, Lloyd’s cinematic legacy rested for decades almost entirely on a pair of compilation films he cut together and released in the 1960s, and for years after his death, Lloyd’s estate proved equally recalcitrant. The debut of New Line’s extras-crammed four-disc DVD box set, The Harold Lloyd Comedy Collection, reflects an obvious change of heart. An extensive collection of Lloyd’s best work, including the death-defying stunt comedies Safety Last (1923) and Speedy (1928), along with dozens of classic slapstick shorts, including Bumping Into Broadway (1919), the set also comes packed with home-movie footage, personal photos, the reminiscences of family and friends (including Debbie Reynolds, Robert Wagner and John Landis), multiple biographies, and an interactive timeline. There’s even a pair of 3-D glasses for viewing selections from Lloyd’s collection of amateur stereoscopic photographs — a longtime hobby. More than a collection of films, this set emerges as a testament to a life lived both on and off screen.

For those wishing to see Lloyd on the big screen, the Silent Movie Theater (611 N. Fairfax Ave.) presents a newly restored 35mm print of Grandma’s Boy (1922), Fri.-Sat., Nov. 25-26, at 8 p.m. and Sun., Nov. 27, at 1 p.m. For more info, go to www.silentmovietheatre.com.

Other recommended new releases: Emergency Squad (DVD); Home Movies: Season 3 (DVD); The Last Round (DVD); A Man Called Magnum (DVD); Open House (DVD); The Sound of Music: 40th Anniversary Special Edition (DVD); The Yogi Bear Show: The Complete Series (DVD).

Also released this week: VHS-DVD: Madagascar. DVD: A Bear Named Winnie; Alien Fiend; Almost Normal; And Now for Something Completely Different Collection; Beef 3; Bikini Chain Gang/Bikini Airways; Blue Murder; Buffy the Vampire Slayer Collector’s Set; Cet Amour-Là; Charmed: The Complete Third Season; Cheers: The Complete Seventh Season; Chick Corea and Bobby McFerrin: Duet; Chick Corea and Three Quartets Band; The Edukators; Fantasy Island: The First Season; The Flintstones: The Complete Fourth Season; Frasier: The Complete Seventh Season; Friends: The Complete Tenth Season; Golden Girls: Lifetime Intimate Portraits Series; Hard Promises; The Heavenly Kid; Huckleberry Hound: Vol. 1; Jane Goodall: Return to Gombe; Love at Stake; Metal Skin; Murder One: Season 2; Newsfront; O.C. and Stiggs; Oklahoma: 50th Anniversary Edition; Old Yeller/Savage Sam; The Oprah Winfrey Show: 20th Anniversary Collection; P. Diddy Presents the Bad Boys of Comedy: Season 1; Pray TV; Rikky and Pete; SpongeBob Squarepants: Where’s Gary?; Stargate Atlantis: Season 1; State Fair: 60th Anniversary Edition; Stealth/Air Force One; That ’70s Show: Season 3; The Skeleton Key; A Thief of Time; Tru Calling: Season 2; The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss: Fun With the Cat.

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