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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An athletic Keaton playing a collegiate nerd
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...
Published on March 24, 1999 by Michael Gebert

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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Lost in the VHS Transfer
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,...
Published on August 31, 2000 by Monte L. Henrie


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An athletic Keaton playing a collegiate nerd, March 24, 1999
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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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Lost in the VHS Transfer, August 31, 2000
By 
Monte L. Henrie (Casper, WY United States) - See all my reviews
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Buster Keaton Wins the Day, June 17, 2013
By 
LA MovieGuy (Los Angeles, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: College: Ultimate Edition [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
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. It's a sad end to a remarkable career as one of film's greatest comic actors.
On the down-side, I could not get the disc's audio comentary by Rob Farr to operate. It may be a problem with the disc that I will investigate further. The musical setting by John Muri, though-out the film, was adequate.
Over-all, I give it four-stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yes we are Collegiate!, December 29, 2010
This review is from: College (DVD)
In COLLEGE (1927), Buster Keaton portrays an anti-athletics bookworm named Ronald who, for love's sake, adopts a totally different philosophy.

At their high school graduation ceremony, Ronald alienates a girl he's sweet on by giving a speech that disparages sports. To try to win Mary's affections, Ronald enrolls in college, where he hopes to become an athlete. He fails miserably however-- an interesting premise, especially in Buster's case, for he was a naturally-gifted baseball player and acrobat capable of immense feats of strength.

Defeated and depressed, Ronald's honors-level grades plummet, so the school's dean gets involved. He sympathetically puts Ronald on the rowing team as coxswain (the man who steers). Mary comes to appreciate all of the young man's efforts, but when Jeff, her jock boyfriend is expelled from school, he takes Mary hostage, hoping she'll get thrown out, too and they can be married. This brings Ronald running to the rescue.

Also recommended: Buster's SHERLOCK, JR. (1924) has some of the most astounding trick photography ever seen. It's the story of a movie projectionist with an overactive imagination. This DVD edition also includes OUR HOSPITALITY (1923)-- a Hatfield/McCoy tale of a young man whose life is endangered when he visits his girlfriend's family.

Parenthetical number preceding title is a 1 to 10 imdb viewer poll rating.

(7.2) College (silent-1927) - Buster Keaton/Anne Cornwall/Flora Bramley/Harold Goodwin/Snitz Edwards/Carl Harbaugh/Sam Crawford/Florence Turner/Grant Withers
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars New Blu-ray adds a significant amount of picture to all sides & increases the details over the old DVD., February 20, 2013
This review is from: College: Ultimate Edition [Blu-ray] (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.
There is also an optional COMMENTARY TRACK by Slapsticon founder and film historian ROB FARR.

BONUS MATERIAL:
The old DVD included Buster's shorts that are now on the Buster Keaton Shorts Blu-ray, but no real bonuses.
This Blu-ray has two bonus features:

a) Silent Echos (9:55) a then & now look at the shooting locations of "College".

b) The Scribe (29:25) a 1966 Construction Safety Associates of Onterio COLOR industrial film starring Buster. This would be Buster's last appearance on film before he passed away.
Buster is a new reporter who visits a construction site to report on construction accidents. However the biggest cause of accidents on this site is Buster himself.
Buster doesn't speak in this sound film, he only points to a list of safety regulations and a narrator recites the regulation. This pantomime separates him from reality and makes it easier to watch this now elderly man get bounced around. This late example of Buster's work is a good indication on how the world sadly ignored this talented man since the 1940's.

AS FOR THE FEATURE FILM, College has never been one of my favorites. Buster is attending college (which was a new concept in Los Angeles in those days as their universities were just being built). After giving a speech on how important studies are over athletics, Buster's girlfriend tells him he must re-think his ideas if she is going to stay with him. So Buster enters that athletic world (in real life Buster is an athlete). Buster's thrill of athletics is apparent here, but 15 minutes of him blundering around on the Track & Field Stadium doesn't make good cinema. This happens right in the middle of the film, it feels like the pace grinds to a halt. We smile at his blunders, but they are not genuinely funny. The film picks up again and Buster is in top form during the boat race finale.
***PC WARNING*** Buster does apply for a job asking for "Colored Waiters" and goes in black-face for the job.

Any Buster Keaton film is still enjoyable, and if you are thinking of upgrading to this Blu-ray, I would suggest it
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5.0 out of 5 stars Buñuel about " College ", August 25, 2006
Because all the reviewers that have written about " College " here before have done the job this doesn't want to be a review of my own. The lines that comes next are a translation to english of an excerpt from a review that the surrealist spanish filmmaker Luis Buñuel wrote in 1927 about this movie. For everyone who hasn't read it, here comes:

" Here's Buster Keaton with his most recent film, the splendid " College ". Asepsis. Disinfection. Freed from tradition our gaze revels in the youthful, tempered world of Buster, the great specialist in fighting sentimental infection of all types. The movie is beautiful as a bathroom, as vital as an Hispano-Suiza ( ... ) In Buster the expression is modest as the expression of a bottle. But in the circular rink of his pupils plays his aseptic soul: the bottle and Buster's face have infinite points of view. They are things that must to fulfil its mission in the rhythmic and architectonic gear of the film. The montage - gold key of the movie - comments and unites all these elements. "

Kino's DVD edition of " College " also contains Keaton's silent shorts " The electric house "; " The blacksmith " and " Bad luck ".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but no "General", August 1, 2001
By 
the_frog (Los Angeles, CA) - See all my reviews
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Buster Keaton does well here, but the movie lacks the sense of adventure and fun his better works. Still an important addition to any proper Keaton collection.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Go Bus Go, May 10, 2000
By 
Cheated (California USA) - See all my reviews
The following review applies to the Kino VHS/DVD version that includes 3 Buster shorts as well as the main feature, "College".
COLLEGE (1927): Bus stars as the valedictorian of his high school who goes to college to exceed in athletics in order to impress the girl he's in love with. It's fun to watch him fail in all aspects of sports that the college offers, but I think he went too far to make himself look ridiculous at playing the game of baseball, which in reality he happened to be very talented at. What's more funny are the scenes of the jobs he gets while working his way through college. The interior of the soda fountain/drugstore he works at would make a 21st century antique dealer drool. He also tries his hand working as a black waiter and intentionally looks as bad in minstrel makeup as Al Jolson did.
THE ELECTRIC HOUSE (1922): The Electric House involves his interest in gadgets. Buster is hired erroneously to electrify the house of a family who's away on vacation. Not wanting to refuse the job, he (incredibly!) finds out about and installs electrical gadgets in the house from a learner's manual - all this in the time span of an average vacation period (!). The gadgets are really clever though, including a moving stairway, which Buster actually broke his leg on and caused him to stop shooting The Electric House until the cast came off. The filmed exteriors of the house were actually of Buster's own home (it's neat-o!).
HARD LUCK (1921): This gag-infested short stars Buster as a loser who repeatedly tries to commit suicide and bungles each time. One gag shows him drink out of some guy's bottle marked "poison", dramatically fake a death act, then realize he drank bootleg hootch, and goes back for more. This was Buster's favorite short because it included his favorite gag. Unfortunately, we'll never see the gag because the scene's been lost forever, despite gallant searches by film historians worldwide to find it. The scene is about Buster crashing through the hole of a swimming pool and coming out of it years later with a Chinese wife and kids. Even without that scene, Hard Luck is pretty good. This version had to be compiled from prints that were located from around the world. I could tell that at least one scene was found somewhere in the United Kingdom because the word "organization" on a title card was spelled "organisation".
THE BLACKSMITH (1922): Bus and his perennial heavy Joe Roberts work at a blacksmith shop. Joe plays his boss. . .a meany boss. Unlike the rest of us, I don't understand how Buster could've related to the mean boss concept since, up until 1928 (at the age of 32) when he got a "factory" job at MGM and started working under the tyrant L.B. Mayer, Buster's real-life bosses (except for the "stripes" that cluttered his World War 1 experience) were either family or friends (I'm getting jealous) but he does pull it off. The Blacksmith is a fun short with lots of good gags. A scene where Bus clumsily destroys a white Rolls Royce really makes you squirm and nervous.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Keaton for the sports fan, June 15, 2013
By 
Fred (United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: College: Ultimate Edition [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
College may not be Keaton's best, but it's still Keaton AT his best, if that makes any sense. The story is very simple and is clearly just there to hang gags on. But what gags! Many of them are sports gags (baseball, track and field, etc.) and Buster was clearly having a great time with them. The Blu-ray looks very good and is noticeably better than the DVD though it's not as nice as The General or some other silents out there. Given how old the film is, and the overall history of Hollywood and its film prints, it's understandable. But College has never looked as good as this on home video, and I have it in every incarnation all the way back to a VHS bootleg in the late 80's. I wish there was an alternate score with organ. I don't know why, but I prefer Keaton with organ scores. Maybe it's from seeing his films so many times in Los Angeles at the Silent Theater in the 90's with organ accompaniment. Still, this disc is highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars College, May 23, 2013
This review is from: College: Ultimate Edition [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
For those who are not familiar with the name Buster Keaton, it is sufficient to say that, along with Charlie Chaplin and Harold Lloyd, he was one of cinema's early and most famous masters of comedy. Joseph Frank "Buster" Keaton (1895-1966) made his mark in silent movies, as an actor, director, writer and director, and was able to carry on successfully to the talkies. One is his best and most memorable - a classic -- film is, without a doubt, "College," now available in the glorious Blu-ray format thanks to Kino.

The story of "College" is quite simple and straight, yet humorous thanks to Keaton's physical comedy. He stars as "a son," who just graduated with honors from high school. However, he is not admired by his classmates. That privilege, of course, belongs to "a rival" (Harold Goodwin), who is the athletic star. At the same time, Keaton is also attracted to "the girl" (Anne Cornwall); she likes him, but is kind of undecided. Soon after, all of them attend Clayton College, where Keaton decides to get into sports, so that he could win the girl's heart for good. Or, as he tells the school dean, "I took up athletics because the girl I love thinks I am a weakling." He tries everything - baseball, football, track and field... Because of this, his grades take a plunge, and the dean, who really likes him, tries to help him and find a solution.

One of the things that I enjoy about watching Keaton's films, in addition to the humor, is the locations. Many of them are still around today, and one of the extras in the Blu-ray is, precisely, a visual essay of the film's locations by John Bengston. There are also audio commentaries by film historians, as well as "The Scribe," a 30 min 1966 film believed to be Keaton's - "Great Stone Face," as he was nicknamed --last filmed performance. Quite a Blu-ray, as you can see - one for collectors. "College" can also be obtained in Kinos's fantastic collection "The Art of Buster Keaton," available both in DVD and Blu-ray. (USA, 1927, B&W, 64 min plus additional materials)

Reviewed on May 23, 2013 by Eric Gonzalez for Kino Blu-ray
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College: Ultimate Edition [Blu-ray]
College: Ultimate Edition [Blu-ray] by James W. Horne (Blu-ray - 2013)
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