Our Gang – The Little Rascals

Eine der längsten Filmserien erscheint zum Teil auf DVD. Our Gang / The Little Rascals von Hal Roach lief von 1922 bis 1944 in den amerikanischen Kinos. Alle 80 Folgen der Tonfilmära von 1929 bis 1938, bevor MGM die Serie übernahm und verdarb, werden im Oktober auf DVD veröffentlicht, restauriert und ungeschnitten.

„The series, one of the best-known and most successful in cinema history, is noted for showing children behaving in a relatively natural way. While child actors are often groomed to imitate adult acting styles, steal scenes, or deliver „cute“ performances, Hal Roach and original director Robert F. McGowan worked to film the unaffected, raw nuances apparent in regular kids. Our Gang also notably put boys, girls, whites, and blacks together in a group as equals, something that „broke new ground,“ according to film historian Leonard Maltin. [1] Such a thing had never been done before in cinema, but was commonplace after the success of Our Gang.“ (Wikipedia)

Mit dieser Serie wird auch ein bedeutendes Zeitdokument der Alltagskultur dieser Jahre in den USA zugänglich:

„… , even though these are comedies, be prepared for viewing a harsh world from the viewpoint of the depths of the Great Depression. For example, in 1931’s „Fly My Kite“ the kids‘ good friend „Grandma“ is about to have everything she owns legally stolen by her stepson. She is worried about having to go to the county poor farm if that happens. In 1931, before Social Security, the county poor farm was a real place and not somewhere you would want to be. (Review calvinnme, amazon.com)

Vermutlich handelt es bei dieser DVD-Ausgabe um die Restaurierung aus den neunziger Jahren nach den Filmnegativen der Library of Congress:

„The 80 1929 – 1938 Roach „Our Gang“ films already received complete restorations (from negatives in the Library of Congress) in the early 1990s. Cabin Fever Entertainment marketed the shorts in 1994, on 21 VHS volumes and 4 laser disc box sets. Cabin Fever went bankrupt, RHI bought it, and then Hallmark bought RHI. Now, Hallmark and RHI are separate entities.
RHI is packaging this boxset from those restorations. Outside of packaging, distribution and marketing in partnership with Genius Entertainment, RHI is not yet doing any work in regard to upgrading their Hal Roach archives.

All of the Hal Roach titles owned by RHI have the original nitrate camera negatives, and have been safely housed by UCLA for several years (after Hallmark decided to discard the volatile negatives). Hopefully, RHI will someday access these materials in an all-out restoration project of the rest of the Roach library.“ (Review calvinnme, amazon.com)

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