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College: Ultimate Edition [Blu-ray]

4.4 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Buster Keaton goes back to school and stages a hilarious send-up of university life in College. Keaton stars as Ronald, an idealistic freshman who attends Clayton College in pursuit of higher learning, but finds himself instead embroiled in a war of athletics as he fights for the heart of his beloved coed, Mary (Anne Cornwall). More than he had in any other feature, Keaton stretched the boundaries of solo physical comedy. In a series of unforgettable vignettes, stone-faced Ronald tries his hand as a baseball player, soda jerk, waiter, coxswain, and track star, performing each task with a steady determination but with consistently disastrous results. These scenes are especially amazing because in demonstrating Ronald's athletic inadequacies, Keaton reveals a surprising degree of physical prowess and finesse, particularly during the film's exhilarating climax. BONUS FEATURES: Audio commentary by film historian Rob Farr, founder of Slapsticon, Visual essay on the film's locations, ''The Scribe'', a 1966 industrial short that was Keaton's final filmed performance, Kino Lorber trailers and more!

Product Details

  • Actors: Buster Keaton, Anne Cornwall
  • Directors: Buster Keaton, James W. Horne
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, NTSC, Silent
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Kino Lorber
  • DVD Release Date: March 5, 2013
  • Run Time: 66 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00AOCDE7K
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #45,833 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
For some reason College provokes the most extreme reaction of any Keaton film-- I've seen it called both his best and his worst by critics. It is undoubtedly a lightweight work, and marred by some racial stereotyping, but the main setpieces, in which Buster runs through gags on all the major collegiate athletic activities, show off his physical dexterity at its best and are as close to pure Keaton as it comes. (The idea of him playing a weakling is pretty quickly belied by the sight of his muscles in athletic clothes.) The tape includes three shorts that also fall pretty much in the middle of the pack, although Hard Luck is worth noting both as one of the last lost Keaton films to be rediscovered and as one of the blacker comedies he ever did.
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Format: VHS Tape
While this VHS format of "College" may be considered a "Hollywood Classics Collector Edition" by some critics, it is certainly that, and something else; irritating to watch.
The story and the acting aside, the main problem is the substandard transfer from film to video. The result is a poor quality picture with loss of detail, poor focus, and exaggerated and disturbing contrasts of black and white. This is due, no doubt, to the poor decision by someone to transfer the video using the slowest speed possible of EP/SLP. The low cost of this video reflects it's inferior picture quality. The video may have been of better quality if recorded on the standard speed (SP).
The secondary problem is the ridiculous sound track which has been added to the video with absolutely no regard for the story or the action. It is merely "elevator music" and would better have been used in a circus. In addition, the style of the music is not of the same era as the story, and therefore doesn't match.
The movie itself, although not the best of Keaton's, is entertaining and worth having in your "Muster, Buster" video library. Just not this taped version! The poor quality of this video interfers greatly with the enjoyment of the comedy - at least for this viewer.
There has to be a "College" out there with a far better image.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
The new Blu-Ray version of "College" from Kino will please any Buster Keaton fan and most others too. The story finds Buster as a smart high school grad with difficulties fitting in with the popular crowd. He follows his sweetheart to college and has to compete with the "big man on campus" for the attention of his high school sweetheart, the very attractive Anne Cornwall. Buster's attempts to fit in at college and with the popular crowd are thwarted in some very funny ways. Buster tries to hold a job as a "soda- jerk" at the local ice cream parlor but fails in funny fashion.Later he tries to impress the girl by being a college baseball player but fails at that too. Then it's on to track and field where he tries to emulate other teammates in all the events of the day(1920's). These include some field events that are no longer used. All of this leads to some very funny bits and eventual failure. He finally becomes the hero of the day as the coxwain for the rowing crew. Of course he finally defeats his rival, wins the hand of his beloved and all ends happily.
Many of the college scenes were shot on the campus of the Univ.of Southern California and in the Los Angeles Memorial
Coleseum built for the Olympics.Over-all a very funny film.
The only down-side is the unfortunate use of some "black-face" comedy scenes in which Buster tries to work in a restaurant as a waiter with disasterous results.
The disc includes a nice addition of John Bengtson's "Silent Echoes" in which he traces Buster's actual locations in the film through historical photos he has researched.
The disc also includes a short film that is believed to be Keation's last filmed performance. It's an industrial film promoting saftey at construction sites.
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Format: Blu-ray
Comparing this new Blu-ray release to the old Art Of Buster Keaton DVD shows much improvement.

1) A significant amount of picture has been added to all sides! The old DVD was heavily cropped on all sides! But this added picture comes with some downsides, there was a framing problem in the master film and at times there is a lighter grey-tone bar at the bottom of the picture. This was cropped off in the old DVD.

2) The new High Definition transfer is sharper and does add details to the grass on the ground and the ivy on the buildings. Even the grainy replacement section at 24:51 looks way better here.

3) The old DVD was a little too bright, some of the whites seemed to wash out. This new transfer lowers the white levels to correct this. However it gives the film the look of being shot on a cloudy day. Some may like the brighter look of the old DVD, others will like this less washed-out presentation. I prefer this version, but find the old DVD acceptable.

4) Image stabilization has been used in this new transfer. The most noticeable improvement is in the opening titles, they are rock steady (but not a freeze frame).

5) The original DVD had some of it's dialogue cards replaced with black background cards. Here in this new transfer, all dialogue cards have the same curtain background. They look original, not recreations.

The downside: Soms shots are still soft here and there as inferior prints had to be used where footage was missing fromt he original 35mm master. But that is the nature of watching old films originally filmed on Nitrate film.

This 1hour and 5 minute film has the same John Muri musical accompanyment as the old DVD, but it sounds crisper here.
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