Reviews of silent film releases on home video.
Copyright © 1999-2013 by Carl Bennett
and the Silent Era Company.
All Rights Reserved.
This compilation of exerpts from comedy shorts and features of the silent era, is long on laughs and visual quality, and introduces the uninitiated to like comedic talents of Roscoe Arbuckle, Monty Banks, Billy Bevan, Charles Chaplin, Charley Chase, Andy Clyde, Lige Conley, Billy Dooley, Lloyd Hamilton, Oliver Hardy, Sunshine Hart, Mark Jones, Buster Keaton, Lupino Lane, Harry Langdon, Stan Laurel, Harold Lloyd, Colleen Moore, Mabel Normand, Our Gang, Snub Pollard, Bobby Ray, Al St. John, Larry Semon, Mack Swain, A Ton of Fun, Ben Turpin and Bobby Vernon.
Reminiscent of Robert Youngson’s compilation films of the late 1950s and early 1960s, SlapHappy: The Movie is a fast-paced excursion through the prime years of slapstick cinema. Featured in the film are exerpts from The Masquerador (1914), The Champion (1915), Love, Loot and Crash (1915), Mabel, Fatty and the Law (1915), A Movie Star (1916), A Scoundrel’s Toll (1916), The Waiters’ Ball (1916), A Clever Dummy (1917), Frauds and Frenzies (1918), Number, Please? (1920), Cops (1922), Dear Ol’ Pal (1923), The Extra Girl (1923), Horseshoes (1923), It’s a Gift (1923), Air Pockets (1924), Big Moments from Little Pictures (1924), Family Life (1924), The First Hundred Years (1924), The Fraidy Cat (1924), Stupid, But Brave (1924), The Sun Down Limited (1924), Starvation Blues (1925), Stick Around (1925), Careful, Please (1926), Ella Cinders (1926), Heavy Love (1926), Mighty Like a Moose (1926), Whispering Whiskers (1926), Easy Curves (1927), Play Safe (1927), Roaming Romeo (1928) and Sappy Service (1929).
This compilation serves as a pleasant overview of the entire 30-program SlapHappy series as syndicated to PBS stations in the USA. Carl Bennett
|2004 Fishigan Films DVD edition
SlapHappy: The Movie (2004), black & white, 90 minutes, not rated.
Fishigan Films, no catalog number, no UPC number.
Ratings (1-10): video: 7 / audio: 9 / additional content: 0 / overall: 7.
Full-frame 4:3 NTSC, one single-sided, single-layered DVD-R disc, Region 0, 6 Mbps average video bit rate, 192 kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, chapter stops, standard DVD keepcase, $19.95.
DVD release date: 2004.
Country of origin: USA
In a compilation project like this, so many different films are shown from so many different prints, the risk is run that the difference in the condition of surviving prints can be distracting from a marginal duplicate to a pristine nitrate original negative can be a jarring jump. The 35mm and 16mm reduction prints utilized for SlapHappy: The Movie range from very-good to excellent, with some instances of grayscale flatness, soft details, speckling, dust, and other usual shortcomings.
The exerpts are accompanied by a ragtime jazz music score, performed by a number of different modern bands, and slapstick sound effects. The presentation is supplemented with ongoing historical commentary narrated by Sam Charles. Throughout the presentation, a transparent SlapHappy logo remains in the lower right-hand corner of the picture.
We like this rapid-paced stroll through slapstick history and recommend it to collectors who may not want to acquire the entire ten-disc series.
|This Region 0 NTSC DVD-R edition is available directly from FISHIGAN FILMS.