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Battling Butler / Go West (Ultimate 2-Disc Edition) [Blu-ray] (1925)

Buster Keaton , Sally O'Neil , Buster Keaton  |  NR |  Blu-ray
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

List Price: $34.95
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Product Details

  • Actors: Buster Keaton, Sally O'Neil, Howard Truesdale, Kathleen Myers
  • Directors: Buster Keaton
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, NTSC, Silent
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: KINO INTERNATIONAL
  • DVD Release Date: September 27, 2011
  • Run Time: 183 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0056HTEHW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #124,267 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Review

It was Buster Keaton's extraordinary period from 1920 to 1929, when he worked without interruption on a series of films that make him, arguably, the greatest actor-director in the history of the movies. --Roger Ebert

Product Description

BATTLING BUTLER (1926): Keaton stars as Alfred Butler, a fragile young man whose father sends him into the country where he hopes masculinity will blossom. Ironically, he is there mistaken for ''Battling'' Butler, a renowned prizefighter of firey temperament. To impress a young lady (Sally O'Neil), Alfred carries on the ruse by engaging in a laughingly inept training regimen, but his harmless charade is soon complicated by the untimely arrival of the true contender (Francis McDonald). When the long-awaited opportunity to prove himself a man finally comes, it is before the gloved fists of the boxer, who initiates a locker-room brawl. There, in a sequence of agonizing tension and delightful surprises, Battling Butler reaches its unforgettable climax. GO WEST (1925): In this hilarious classic Buster Keaton plays a hapless young man (aptly named ''Friendless'') who idealistically hops a freight train westward to meet his destiny, first in a teeming metropolis (where he is roundly trampled by rush-hour foot traffic) then into the ranchlands of Arizona. In the side-splitting course of his attempts at bronco-busting, cattle wrangling, and even dairy farming, Friendless finds himself enamored with Brown Eyes, a particularly affectionate bovine beauty from whose hoof he removed a painful pebble. LOADED with HOURS of Special Features (TBD)!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Format:Blu-ray
**** = Go West video
*****= Go West story
****1/2= Battling Butler video
*** = Battling Butler story

To be fair, I compared the old "The Art of Buster Keaton" DVD 2005 release to this new blu-ray release using the same Sony Blu-ray player, up-converting the DVD to 1080i.

GO WEST (1925) 68 minutes
Video = While a credit is given to a Library of Congress/Packard Campus for audio visual conservation, there is little improvement here. Some scenes such as the one where Buster falls out of the train & goes down the hillside look way better here. In fact, almost all outdoor scenes are a little darker, bringing out more detail.
One scene originally timed wrong in the original release still looks wrong here. At the 23:22 mark during a night scene, Buster hears a Coyote and then we cut to a daytime scene of a coyote. Was this originally darkened for the theatrical release to look like nighttime, or am I missing the point and this is a joke targeted at "day-for-night" scenes?
Other scenes such as those outside the cabin, in the general store, and inside the freight car look almost the same, just sharper.
There are some new flaws in this transfer that were not in the old DVD which leads me to believe that either 1) an older sharper 35mm print was used for this transfer, or 2) the original 35mm print has suffered some new damage.
At 16:27 & 47:48 there is some Nitrate deterioration on the left side that was not there before.
At 23:59 there is a white emulsion scratch that appears and stays for a reel, this scratch is not in the old DVD transfer.
I find it hard to believe this is all a new 1080i transfer as there seems to be some up-conversion artifacting in several scenes.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Leaving the comfort of home-zones October 23, 2011
Format:DVD
GO WEST (everything by Buster Keaton, 1925, 69 minutes) & BATTLING BUTLER (everything by Keaton what else is new, 1926, 68 minutes) have to both go here because I am tired of offering confusing reviews on these double-bill DVDs.

GO WEST was BK's homage - some say parody of - Charlie Chaplin films. I disagree strongly. BK was fond of parody and occasionally parodied Chaplin, but not here. For some strange reason, Keaton said this was his "best film". Apparently not his favorite film, which is also considered his best: The General (Enhanced) 1927. Here BK is "Friendless", a drifter from Indiana who ends up going West to cattle ranch. This film is excellent in that it shows the cruelty of ranching.

Essentially this begins with Friendless falling in love with a very sweet cow named Brown Eyes - and he ends up successfully herding 1,000 head of cattle to the stockyard in Pasadena. (Though this was filmed on location in L.A., people always erroneously say it takes place in L.A.) There is so much hilarious fun I won't spoil anything. How can I? This film features innovative work such as the cow-mounted camera work and BK's uncanny ability with cattle.

As in College (see my review), this film shows a terrible momentary camera flare due to the sun. I suspect BK shrugged it off, unable to do anything about it, but it would never again appear on his films. It also has a hair-raising train ride and a cute ending that will have you rolling on the floor. I do not know why critics dismiss this fine work.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Blu Ray Buster a Bit of a Disappointment October 3, 2011
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
This is for the new Blu Ray Buster Keaton "Go West" and "Battling Butler." First of all let me state that I love all Buster Keaton, these films rank among my top favorites for Keaton. He was an absolute genius when doing what he loved best. I'm not sure what I expected but I have many restored silent films and restored Blu Ray films of different eras and this is a disappointment. Many scenes are washed out and as stated in another review, there are many scratches and other blemishes that I find distracting. The pictures are indeed sharper but overall I would be just as happy to watch the earlier versions KINO produced. The extras do nothing for me, the short is not my cup of tea and the other extras are just okay. Both films and extras are on a single disc.

Suggestion: unless you are a die hard fan and do not already own the KINO versions then certainly buy this disc as the films are wonderful and deserve a place in your home, but if you do own the earlier discs keep watching them, they are not so bad one must upgrade. Blu Ray for me should be a vast improvement in picture and or sound, such as the recent Red Shoes release or grand sagas such as Lord of the Rings or Star Wars. Black and White Silent films need restoring and I am thrilled that such projects continue to be done but I am not wildly impressed with the results here. (The Blu Ray Buster Keaton Steamboat Bill, Jr. is recommended as it is a vast improvement over earlier versions and offers a second version of the film.)
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