'First Kings of Comedy Collection'
(Various, et al / DVD / NR / 2007 / RHI Entertainment)
Overview: 'The First Kings of Comedy Collection' is a hilarious, joyous, and timeless tribute to the era of silent slapstick comedy and all the uproarious comedians who built the comedy genre. The collection consists of two great feature-length compilations, The Golden Age of Comedy and When Comedy Was King.
DVD Verdict: This hilarious set 'First Kings of Comedy Collection' celebrates the silent era's kings of slapstick with the films WHEN COMEDY WAS KING and GOLDEN AGE OF COMEDY, a potpourri of silent comedy clips featuring giants of the genre like Charlie Chaplin, Fatty Arbuckle, Laurel and Hardy, Ben Turpin, Buster Keaton, Gloria Swanson, the Keystone Cops, Jean Harlow, and many others.
As we all know today, each and every single one of those listed names was a flat out star in their own right. But, to now be bundled together here in this wonderful two documentary set, well, that's just pure comedic heaven!
The GOLDEN AGE OF COMEDY documentary was a lot of fun to watch and features some still-today wonderful clips of Laurel and Hardy, Charlie Chase and others. What a lot of fun stuff! However, there is a BIG, BIG problem with the 'film.' Nowhere in it do you see clips of Chaplin, Keaton or Lloyd - the three biggest film comedians of the 1920s. This is akin to a documentary about the 1960s without mentioning Vietnam or The Beatles! It's obvious that Robert Youngson just didn't have access to these other clips or he simply slapped them together without considering this.
In the other noted documentay, WHEN COMEDY WAS KING, you DO get to see clips of Chaplin and Keaton - but, unbelievably, there is no Harold Lloyd! Well, if you JUST watch the 'film' for its entertainment value, it's great. If you watch it for a historical overview, it is sadly incomplete and gives a false impression of the era. That said, together these two documentaries bring back to us sublime memories of a beautiful comedic past viewing experience. This is a Standard Version (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs, but does not come with any Special Features.