Our Gang Silents on TCM

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Paul E. Gierucki
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Our Gang Silents on TCM

Postby Paul E. Gierucki » Wed Jan 05, 2011 5:42 am

Just viewed the first silent OG short on TCM, FIRE FIGHTERS, and it appears that my former distributor decided to move forward with production of at least some of the materials created by Laughsmith Entertainment in 2005 / 2006 for the aborted OUR GANG: BEFORE THE LITTLE RASCALS SPOKE DVD collection.

The raw, unedited, unrestored, unscored HD film transfers for that set were turned over to that company (following a lengthy legal battle concerning rights, royalties, contractual issues and a host of other disagreements) and Laughsmith Entertainment was released from all obligations regarding that production. The unfinished works appear to have been cobbled together by them.

I will reserve further comment about these versions until I have examined all of the titles.

-- PG

Louie Despres
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Re: Our Gang Silents on TCM

Postby Louie Despres » Wed Jan 05, 2011 7:55 am

So does that mean you are legally bound NOT to be able to produce another Our Gang set?

Richard M Roberts
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Re: Our Gang Silents on TCM

Postby Richard M Roberts » Wed Jan 05, 2011 8:43 am

Louie Despres wrote:So does that mean you are legally bound NOT to be able to produce another Our Gang set?



Hey Good one Louie, ask the obvious bonehead question right off the bat.

I think one can figure out for oneself at this late date that there ain't any chance of a Laughsmith OUR GANG DVD set ever coming out. What is running on TCM is the unfinished material and as much of it as there is ever going to be, in a bastardized and incomplete form. Paul had no control of this and has moved on to other projects. Life goes on.

RICHARD M ROBERTS

Paul E. Gierucki
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Re: Our Gang Silents on TCM

Postby Paul E. Gierucki » Wed Jan 05, 2011 8:50 am

I have seen enough at this point to say that the material looks nothing like it would have if it were produced by Laughsmith. Prints are used which never would have made the cut, reference copies are being used as the lone source, the scores (or score) are canned, there is no reconstruction, no original title recreation, and no stabilization or digital cleanup of any sort. There is no need for further dissection on my part, that ither company's work speaks for itself.

That said, kudos to TCM for securing / airing the Our Gang and other Roach comedies! I am looking forward to seeing many of the other titles, particularly the L&H material.

Louie -- I have no further connection with that distributor and am no longer bound by the agreements between those companies. I am free to do as I please...

Louie Despres
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Re: Our Gang Silents on TCM

Postby Louie Despres » Wed Jan 05, 2011 10:47 am

Richard M Roberts wrote:
Louie Despres wrote:So does that mean you are legally bound NOT to be able to produce another Our Gang set?



Hey Good one Louie, ask the obvious bonehead question right off the bat.

I think one can figure out for oneself at this late date that there ain't any chance of a Laughsmith OUR GANG DVD set ever coming out. What is running on TCM is the unfinished material and as much of it as there is ever going to be, in a bastardized and incomplete form. Paul had no control of this and has moved on to other projects. Life goes on.

RICHARD M ROBERTS


Richard, it's cold up here in the Northeast so it sometimes takes until about 10AM for our brains to defrost enough so we can ask these thought provoking questions!

Maybe I didn't make myself clear in my initial inquiry, what I wanted to know from Paul was if he EVER decided to someday put out a similar Our Gang set, was he legally bound by the settlement with MMI to never work on another set, or is he free, IF HE WANTED, to start from the beginning and put his own project together.

Jim Kerkhoff
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Re: Our Gang Silents on TCM

Postby Jim Kerkhoff » Wed Jan 05, 2011 11:31 am

I'm really looking forward to placing Paul's future work on my shelf! He's done a first-class job with every project he's undertaken and I was extremely disappointed this morning to see the shoddy, quick-buck job Laughsmith's old distributor has done with these silent Our Gang classics!

Jim K

Geoff Lucas
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Re: Our Gang Silents on TCM

Postby Geoff Lucas » Wed Jan 05, 2011 2:01 pm

How sad. To think what could have been if Paul and Laughsmith were able to continue with this project. With a few notable exceptions,
these versions of the films shown on TCM are the common versions found on all the unscrupulous dvd sets that you can buy on Ebay
and the like. However, the transfers are, for the most part, far superior. Even so, I'm happy that TCM bothered to even show the Our
Gang silents. I enjoy them so much more than the talkies.

Gary Johnson
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Re: Our Gang Silents on TCM

Postby Gary Johnson » Wed Jan 05, 2011 4:47 pm

The theme music that seems to open all of the shorts I've watched so far keeps reminding me of
the closing music from MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL. In GRAIL it's played on an organ in
a faster tempo but that is all I hear as I watch these shorts today.

Even though Roach's original vision of the Our Gang series was to incorporate both kids and animal gags
I still find the opening to FIREFIGHTERS the most surreal of any silent comedy I have ever ran across - a
stand alone sequence involving a wise-cracking duck (in derby and topcoat....what, no cigar?) matching wits
with the local neighborhood police dog (in full Kops regalia). It's a full five minutes before we are introduced
to Sunshine Sammy much less any other member of The Gang.

Comedy was so off the wall back then.

Gary J.

Agnes McFadden
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Re: Our Gang Silents on TCM

Postby Agnes McFadden » Wed Jan 05, 2011 10:34 pm

Paul,

Are you still going forward with the Our Gang set with your new company?

I was excited to see some of these ( some of which I had known the titles, and some story, but had never gotten to see the short).

That said, I only saw bits and pieces, but quickly became annoyed by the same small group of songs that rotated. Even worse was the fact that at times the music was not in any way approperate for the action! It was like someone had recorded a few "ditties" onto an old 8-track, and it just kept playing over and over and over and over and over....................................................................................................................

Now I have seen some of these ( I DVRed them to watch when I had time) , and it has whet my appitite for the quality video and aproperate music that you release.
Any time frame?

Agnes McFadden
Agnes McFadden

Richard M Roberts
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Re: Our Gang Silents on TCM

Postby Richard M Roberts » Wed Jan 05, 2011 11:16 pm

Agnes McFadden wrote:Paul,

Are you still going forward with the Our Gang set with your new company?

I was excited to see some of these ( some of which I had known the titles, and some story, but had never gotten to see the short).

That said, I only saw bits and pieces, but quickly became annoyed by the same small group of songs that rotated. Even worse was the fact that at times the music was not in any way approperate for the action! It was like someone had recorded a few "ditties" onto an old 8-track, and it just kept playing over and over and over and over and over....................................................................................................................

Now I have seen some of these ( I DVRed them to watch when I had time) , and it has whet my appitite for the quality video and aproperate music that you release.
Any time frame?

Agnes McFadden



Agnes, reread the above thread, especially around Louie's asking the same thing.

RICHARD M ROBERTS


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