Larry Semon, An Underrated Genius Vols. 1 & 2

   The first disc in this series offers a group of seldom seen comedy shorts starring the master of explosive comedy, Larry Semon. In tow with the energentic Mr. S are regulars: Lucille Carlisle, Frank "Fatty" Alexander, Bill Hauber, the rest of the Vitagraph second and third bananas and, in two shorts, our old friend Oliver Norvel Hardy. Note: these films are 16mm transfers of the Italian language television version aired during the 1960s. We have taken the Italian narrative, music and effects tracks off and added restored teens and twenties jazz scores. Additionally, we have added new main and production cards (with the correct film titles). We have not, however, replaced any intertitles. The original Vitagraph titles would have been fairly perfunctory and it's amazing how well these films work without dialogue and explanatory intertitles. Just in case you have nagging questions about the plots, we have included synopses by Cole Johnson and Dave Stevenson on the first disc of this two-disc set. We recommend that you read these prior to running the shorts.
Notes on print quality:
   A couple of the films contained in this set have age related problems. Pluck and Plotters was printed a bit on the dark side and deterioration in the negative during the last minute, or so, compounds the the contrast issues. The very end has also gone missing, but this is the only material we have been able to locate. Spuds - a five minute fragment from this Pathé feature made late in Semon's career - came to us in a less than desirable state of preservation. There is some emulsion damage and a persistent warpage that causes a focal defect. Despite these defects, both films are very watchable, coherent and full of the wild gags and chases you expect from Mr. S.    As always, we have labored over the presentation of these films. To that end, correct titles have been added whenever necessary, proper projection speeds (24 fps) have been observed and period (dance music) scores have been created from restored acoustic and electric 78 rpm records. The source materials for the visual elements on this DVD are all 16mm prints. Looser Than Loose Publishing uses only Sony and Adobe products to author its DVDs. Minimal compression rates are employed to optimize the reproduction of the original transfers and all of our DVDs are processed using high quality, printable Fuji DVD-R discs.

Contents
Disc One
Pluck and Plotters
(Vitagraph 12/31/19); d. Larry Semon; c. Larry Semon, Madge Kirby & Frank Alexander; Taken from the Italian language "Let's Smile" series.
Scamps and Scandals
(Vitagraph 12/17/19); d. Larry Semon; c. Larry Semon, Frank Alexander, Vera Reynolds and Charles Amador; Taken from the Italian language "Let's Smile" series.
The Sportsman
(Vitagraph 2/06/21); d. Larry Semon, Norman Taurog; c. Larry Semon, Lucille Carlisle, Frank Alexander & Spencer Bell; Taken from the Italian language "Let's Smile" series.
A Pair of Kings
(Vitagraph 5/15/22); d. Larry Semon, Norman Taurog; c. Larry Semon, Lucille Carlisle & Babe Hardy; Taken from the Italian language "Let's Smile" series. Note: A five-minute fragment featuring the original "Let's Smile" music, narrative and effects follows the end title - this clip is not accessible from the menu.
Also on Disc One!

Disc Two
Plagues and Puppy Love
(Vitagraph 10/01/17); d. Larry Semon; c. Larry Semon, Florence Curtis, Earl Montgomery and Joe Rock; Taken from a sparkling 16mm print with 1920s reissue titles and intertitles. Tough Luck and Tin Lizzies
(Vitagraph 11/03/17); d. Larry Semon; c. Larry Semon, Florence Curtis; Taken from another sparkling 16mm print with 1920s reissue titles and intertitles. The Fly Cop
(Vitagraph 3/19/20); d. Larry Semon, Mort Peebles, Norman Taurog; c. Larry Semon, Lucille Carlisle & Frank Alexander; Taken from the Italian language "Let's Smile" series. The Suitor
(Vitagraph 11/01/20); d. Larry Semon, Norman Taurog; c. Larry Semon, Lucille Carlisle & Frank Alexander; Taken from the Italian language "Let's Smile" series. Horseshoes
(Vitagraph 2/06/21); d. Larry Semon, Jimmy Davis; c. Larry Semon, Kathleen Myers & Babe Hardy; Taken from the Italian language "Let's Smile" series. Spuds (5 minute fragment
(Chadwick-Pathé 4/10/27); d. Larry Semon; c. Larry Semon, Kewpie Ross. Taken from a Pathégram home-use print.
Technical Specifications
Aspect RatioFormat RegionAudioVideo LanguageRunning Time (Video)Frame Speed
4:3 DVD-RRegion Free Digital Mono NTSCEnglishApprox. 140 min. 24fps

Notes on Disc Quality
  • All tracks are taken from digitally remastered acoustic 78rpm recordings which have been sequenced to the action.

  • These films have been transferred from 16mm prints via a digital camera and an IEEE connection directly to the computer used to master and burn the discs. The digital encoding for this disc has been applied using an HQ Mpeg-2 codec with low compression.