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Buster Keaton - Short Films Collection: 1920 - 1923 (3-Disc Ultimate Edition)


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Buster Keaton - Short Films Collection: 1920 - 1923 (3-Disc Ultimate Edition) + The General (The Ultimate Two-Disc Edition)
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Editorial Reviews

For the first time ever, Kino International proudly presents a box set of all of Buster Keaton's classic silent short films in one collection. All films have been digital remastered in high definition and include all new extras. ----- DISC 1: THE HIGH SIGN (1920/21 - B&W - 19 Min.), ONE WEEK (1920 - B&W - 24 Min.), CONVICT 13 (1920 - B&W - 19 Min.), THE SCARECROW (1920 - B&W - 18 Min.), NEIGHBORS (1921 - B&W - 19 Min.), THE HAUNTED HOUSE (1921 - Color Tinted - 20 Min.), HARD LUCK (1921 - B&W 21 Min.). ----- DISC 2: THE GOAT (1921 - B&W - 23 Min.), THE PLAY HOUSE (1921 - B&W - 23 Min.), THE BOAT (1921 - B&W - 23 Min.), THE PALEFACE (1922 - B&W - 20 Min.), COPS (1922 - B&W - 18 Min.), MY WIFE'S RELATIONS (1922 - B&W - 17 Min.). ----- DISC 3: THE BLACKSMITH (1922 - B&W - 21 Min.), THE FROZEN NORTH (1922 - B&W - 17 Min.), DAY DREAMS (1922 - B&W - 19 Min.), THE ELECTRIC HOUSE (1922 - B&W - 23 Min.), THE BALLOONATIC (1923 - B&W - 22 Min.), THE LOVE NEST (1923 - Color Tinted - 20 Min.) ----- SPECIAL FEATURES: Fifteen visual essays illustrated with clips and stills, written by various Keaton experts,
Four visual essays on the film's locations by ''Silent Echoes'' author John Bengston, Eight page booklet with an essay by Jeffrey Vance, author of ''Buster Keaton Remembered'', ''The Men Who Would Be Buster'' a collection of clips from slapstick films influenced by Keaton's work, ''Character Studies'' (ca. 1925) a gag film starring Carter DeHaven, with cameos by Keaton, Harold Lloyd, Roscoe ''Fatty'' Arbuckle and others. ''Seeing Stars'' (excerpts) a 1922 promotional film featuring cameos by Keaton, Charlie Chaplin and others.
A series of brief, alternate / deleted shots from ''The Goat'', ''The Blacksmith'' and ''The Ballonatic''.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Buster Keaton
  • Directors: Buster Keaton
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Black & White, NTSC, Original recording remastered
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: English, Japanese
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Kino Lorber films
  • DVD Release Date: July 12, 2011
  • Run Time: 390 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004XEEMA8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,388 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By KG74 on July 18, 2011
Verified Purchase
Five stars for Buster Keaton's shorts presented together in one 3-DVD set and in chronological order. It's nice to have a quick reference to Buster's shorts as the Art of Buster Keaton scattered the films over 10 DVDs so that you could not just pop in a DVD and watch the shorts in succession. However, Kino does leave a bit to be desired as you're led to believe that there is no available ending to Hard Luck. The Art of Buster Keaton, "Keaton Plus" DVD includes the ending of Hard Luck (explained in Mr. Mular's review). I had hoped that films like The Electric House, Day Dreams and Convict 13 would be improved, but no improvements to these films, although the enhanced films are nice. Everything here, other than the "visual essays" is available on The Art of Buster Keaton (shorts), Industrial Strength Keaton (Seeing Stars, Character Studies) and Lost Keaton (Why They Call Him Buster). The new material here, the visual essays, gives interesting details of the films and many of the other actors. The musical scores are appropriate (no Alloy Orchestra). Based on memory, some musical scores are the same as the Art of BK while a few others are different. For those who buy everything Keaton, this set is worth having despite duplicating much of what you already have!
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful By martin emiliano arias on December 17, 2011
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I won't speak here about the films in themselves, which are OF COURSE WONDERFUL and deserve as much stars as can be given.

Nor would I speak about the music, as many other reviewers do.

I'll just speak about the prints.

Kino calls this set ULTIMATE, which is an insult to the fan, as TWO of the films here are presented in severely cut and damaged prints, while BOTH exist in not pristine but MUCH MORE COMPLETE and WATCHABLE restorations somewhere else.

The first short I'm referring to is CONVICT 13, which appears in the Kino set with a severely fragmented beginning, many missing shots in the middle, and a nearly unwatchable ending sequence. To call this ultimate is outrageous while a vastly superior restoration with the beginning intact, nearly all of the missing middle sequences, and the ending taken from a much sharper print has already been issued on DVD. It`s on the 2001 Arte Video French set BUSTER KEATON "L'Integrale des courts-metrages". Ten years have elapsed from that issue. So it's unforgivable that this print wasn't requested. The set is still available on Amazon France:

[...]

The second is, of course, HARD LUCK. The print shown here is the first restoration presented. But since then, much better prints have appeared and a new restoration, much much better than the original one, was included by Kino on its BUSTER KEATON PLUS DVD. It's also on the aforementioned French set. That restoration's improvement doesn't limit to the added ending gag. It has better image quality all throughout, and fills most of the gaps from the original restoration, which is missing footage on plenty of places.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Brent R. Swanson on September 9, 2011
This latest packaging of Buster Keaton's starring short subjects is generally superior to previous collections, including those from Kino. It wasn't that long ago that film scholars were lamenting the close of the century, when all silent era rediscoveries would surely come to an end due to nitrate cellulose's self-destruction. Thanks to a variety of circumstances (and collectors), the situation hasn't been all-out dire, and new discoveries and restorations are still being made, as witness this collection as well as Kino's ongoing "ultimate" editions of the Keaton features. But this good fortune hasn't prevented Kino from coming into conflict with itself.

Overall, the majority of these short subjects are in the best visual conditionsthey've ever been in, with a few exceptions. "The Electric House" remains in bad shape; "The Love Nest" and "Daydreams" still lack footage, and nitrate hypo-ing still mars the launch of Buster's "Damfino" in "The Boat." But the majority of the shorts never looked better, and some, like "Convict 13," are more complete than they were in the original "Art of Buster Keaton" set.

So what are we to make of the decision to present "Hard Luck" in its patchy and incomplete form rather than in the still incomplete but much repaired and improved version found on Kino's "Keaton Plus?" The supplemental material suggests that this is intended as a tribute to Kevin Brownlow and David Gill, who presented this particular restoration in 1987. Okay, but since Kino isn't shy about presenting both standard and digitally enhanced versions of certain titles, even while downplaying the quality of the enhanced versons, why couldn't they also have presented the Brownlow/Gill "Hard Luck" side-by-side with the improved print?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Casey62 on September 2, 2013
I don't think it's possible for someone to be a true film buff and not appreciate the impact Buster Keaton made on the art of screen comedy. The ingenious gags, daring stunts, and technical virtuosity with which Keaton embellished his films often surpasses the work of his two biggest rivals, Charlie Chaplin and Harold Lloyd.

Kino's three-disc set of all nineteen two-reel comedies Keaton made between 1920-1923 is required viewing for all classic film enthusiasts. Re-mastered in HD from 35mm archival sources, these very funny shorts represent the full range of Keaton's comedic style, and include themes, situations, and props he would expand upon in his feature films. Although not exactly pristine, this collection still boasts the finest quality available on most of these popular titles. There are some with extensive wear, such as splice jumps, missing footage, and nitrate decomposition. For a few select films, Kino opted to include digitally cleaned up versions along with the raw originals. I have my reservations about DNR as it compromises the integrity of the image, and some of the damage was apparently beyond even digital repair.

The excellent musical accompaniment is by the likes of Robert Israel, Bill Model, and the Mont Alto Orchestra. Special features include fifteen visual essays by various Keaton historians, a series of alternate/deleted shots, a collection of clips from comedies influenced by Keaton, an eight-page booklet, four visual essays on the locations Keaton used, and two films featuring cameos by Keaton and many other silent comedians.

As far as a complete collection of Keaton's brilliant two-reelers goes, this edition is unsurpassed and should occupy pride of place in any film lover's home video collection.

My highest recommendation.
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Buster Keaton - Short Films Collection: 1920 - 1923 (3-Disc Ultimate Edition)
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