Laurel and Hardy Film Prints

Hal Roach Title Plaque



Over the years Laurel and Hardy film prints were made, rented and sold by various sources; Blackhawk, Film Classics, Regal, Library Films, to name but a few. The collector is always interested in knowing what is the best possible print available and this page is meant to give you some useful information in that regard. 


Most prints you will find are either Blackhawk or Film Classics. Many dupes of Blackhawk prints are out there, but usually a Blackhawk is an original. Depending on the title, Blackhawk manufactured different variations of these originals, such as including original logos, trademarks, etc. With respect to Blackhawks, be aware that there are often prints from several negs floating around. Early Blackhawks of ONE GOOD TURN and THE LIVE GHOST are mediocre; the latter is a direct dupe from a Film Classics 16 (with FC titles). The remade neg from both pictures are superior. Blackhawk made 8mm and 16mm prints for retail sale to the home market.

Other than some early silents which were released by Pathe, L&H films were initially released to the theatrical market on 35mm by MGM . Some 16mm print downs from MGM in late 1930s may survive somewhere.


"Film Classics" were struck by Roach on 35mm for the theatrical market in the early 1940's for re-release. The MGM logo was removed and a Film Classic logo substituted. The "Film Classic" negs became the source of 16mm print downs which were used for the TV showings of the 1950's. Hundreds of these 16mm original prints were struck for TV stations world wide. Many collectors prefer an original 16mm print down Film Classic to a Blackhawk. However, these original Film Classic prints became the source of all the Film Classic 16mm dupes which were made for sale to collectors in the 50s, 60's, 70's, 80's etc. So if you see a Film Classic it probably is a dupe print, whereas a Blackhawk will probably be an original.



SHORTS

UNACCUSTOMED AS WE ARE Blackhawk

THEY GO BOOM Blackhawk

THE HOOSEGOW Blackhawk/MGM titles

MEN O' WAR Blackhawk/MGM titles

THE PERFECT DAY Blackhawk

NIGHT OWLS Film Classics

BERTH MARKS Janus-MGM titles

ANOTHER FINE MESS Regal Television

LAUREL-HARDY MURDER CASE Blackhawk (remake)

BRATS Film Classics

BELOW ZERO Blackhawk

BLOTTO Film Classics

HOG WILD Janus

BE BIG Blackhawk

OUR WIFE Film Classics

HELPMATES Blackhawk

COME CLEAN Blackhawk

LAUGHING GRAVY Blackhawk

CHICKENS COME HOME Janus

ONE GOOD TURN Blackhawk (remake)

THE MUSIC BOX Blackhawk (square lettering)

ANY OLD PORT Film Classics

COUNTY HOSPITAL Janus

SCRAM! Blackhawk (remake)

THEIR FIRST MISTAKE Film Classics printdown - anything else is fair

THE CHIMP Blackhawk

TOWED IN A HOLE Blackhawk & Film Classics are both fine

THE MIDNIGHT PATROL Janus

DIRTY WORK Blackhawk/Film Classics Titles

ME AND MY PAL Blackhawk (remake)

BUSY BODIES Film Classics

TWICE TWO Janus (has MGM titles)

GOING BYE BYE Film Classics

THE LIVE GHOST Blackhawk (remake)

OLIVER THE EIGHTH Blackhawk

THE FIXER UPPERS Janus

THEM THAR HILLS Blackhawk

TIT FOR TAT Blackhawk

THICKER THAN WATER Blackhawk


FEATURES


PARDON US Janus

PACK UP YOUR TROUBLES Janus for quality; new Blackhawk for restored footage

SONS OF THE DESERT Later Blackhawk was best printing

THE DEVIL'S BROTHER Only reductions and rare MGM labs or Canadian neg originals

BABES IN TOYLAND Federal Films circa 1968 printing; Erko has opening and "Slumber Deep"

BONNIE SCOTLAND Only reductions and rare MGM Labs originals

THE BOHEMIAN GIRL Janus (though they seemed to do a bit too much noise reduction on the soundtrack)

OUR RELATIONS Blackhawk (remake)

PICK A STAR Film Classics

WAY OUT WEST Blackhawk (remake)

BLOCK-HEADS Film Classics

SWISS MISS Blackhawk

SAPS AT SEA Blackhawk (remake is best quality but is missing music track from reel 4)

CHUMP AT OXFORD Blackhawk 63 minute

FLYING DEUCES Other than Kodak originals, Manbeck is best reduction print


** Note - All the pre-1931 sound-on-disc talkie shorts are soft focus due to re-framing when reissue negs were assigned optical tracks.


** Note - A Film Classics printdown (16mm print struck directly from 35mm neg) trumps any and all above suggestions. There are, too, some MGM printdowns from the early 40's pre-Film Classics reissues. If they're not beat up, they're great to have.