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  • Lost Keaton: Sixteen Comedy Shorts 1934-1937
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Lost Keaton: Sixteen Comedy Shorts 1934-1937


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Frequently Bought Together

Lost Keaton: Sixteen Comedy Shorts 1934-1937 + Buster Keaton - 65th Anniversary Collection (General Nuisance / His Ex Marks the Spot / Mooching Through Georgia / Nothing but Pleasure / Pardon My Berth Marks / Pest From the West / So You Won't Squawk / The Spook Speaks / The Taming of the Snood / She's Oil Mine) + Buster Keaton - Short Films Collection: 1920 - 1923 (3-Disc Ultimate Edition)
Price for all three: $52.57

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Product Details

  • Actors: Buster Keaton
  • Directors: Various
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, NTSC
  • Dubbed: Japanese
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Kino Lorber films
  • DVD Release Date: July 6, 2010
  • Run Time: 306 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003H221M8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #53,656 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

For Buster Keaton, the era of the talkies was a tumultuous time. As a result of signing with MGM, the quality, the quality of his ambitious, eclectic comedies began to decline and in 1934, he signed a contract with Earle W. Hammons Educational Pictures which, despite its name, specialized in comedy short subjects. Keatons move to Educational was a return to his roots, crafting a stream of two reel comedies in rapid succession, as he had done in the early 1920s, when he first refined his cinematic craft.

The films Buster Keaton made with Educational Pictures (ALL sixteen of which are collected here) pay homage to his earlier work, but at the same time incorporated the element of sound, all while exploring new possibilities for his recurring comic persona, Elmer.

This FIVE HOUR+ collection features all 16 Educational Pictures shorts (14 of which have never been available on DVD until now) including: The Gold Ghost, Allez Oop, Palooka From Paducah, One Run Elmer, Hayseed Romance, Tars and Stripes, The E-Flat Man, The Timid Young Man, Three on a Limb, Grand Slam Opera, Blue Blazes, The Chemist, Mixed Magic, Jail Bait, Ditto and Love Nest on Wheels.

Special Features include a Stills Gallery, Film Notes by David Macleod (author of The Sound of Buster Keaton) and more!

Customer Reviews

That's one thing you'll notice over and over - whenever anyone was in need, Keaton would always come through with a job when he could.
calvinnme
Some of the shorts are good by Educational standards but run-of-the-mill for Buster, with the humor more evident in the premise than in the gags themselves.
Scott MacGillivray
Without his relentless dedication to Keaton and his films we may never have had the film product to examine to the extent we have it today.
Robert Badgley

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

The sixteen shorts here are:

The Gold Ghost, Allez Oop, Palooka From Paducah, One Run Elmer, Hayseed Romance, Tars and Stripes, The E-Flat Man, The Timid Young Man, Three on a Limb, Grand Slam Opera, Blue Blazes, The Chemist, Mixed Magic, Jail Bait, Ditto and Love Nest on Wheels.The only extra features are some film notes and a photo gallery. These are the two reel comedies Keaton made for Educational Pictures after his fall from grace at MGM.

For those unfamiliar with the background story, Keaton, always an independent filmmaker until 1928, lost the financial backing of his brother-in-law Joe Schenck in late 1927 when Schenck decided to spend his money and time on his holdings at United Artists. He was encouraged to join Joe's brother's outfit - MGM. After finding no financial backing to continue on independently, he reluctantly gave in, and in the long-term this was a complete disaster for Keaton.

MGM was a movie factory - a good one, granted - but still a factory. Also, MGM's great talent was romances not comedy, and certainly not the physical kind in which Buster specialized. Keaton's marriage, long on shakey ground, hit the rocks in 1932, he took to drinking heavily to deal with the loss of his independence and his low-quality MGM scripts, and finally, in 1933, Louis Mayer fired Keaton after the completion of his seventh sound film "What No Beer", which actually made a great deal of money for MGM as all of Keaton's films did. Unable to find work among the big studios due to his bad reputation for being difficult, and also entering into a disastrous second marriage with his nurse, Keaton turned to Educational Pictures. Educational had originally made instructional films, but by 1934 they were a poverty row comedy short outfit, and Keaton was king of the lot.
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37 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Scott MacGillivray VINE VOICE on May 15, 2010
Educational Pictures was originally established by Earle Hammons as a producer of instructional films, but Hammons soon found that comedies were more lucrative. From the early 1920s through 1939, Educational was a major supplier of short comedies. By 1934 Educational's biggest stars, Andy Clyde and Harry Langdon, had been signed by Columbia, and Hammons needed a big "star" name to replace them. Enter Buster Keaton.

Keaton's 16 Educational comedies are included in this new set. Most of them were filmed on low budgets and, incredibly enough considering the quickie schedules, they are more leisurely paced than his later slam-bang Columbia shorts, with Buster indulging in pantomime to a much greater extent. ALLEZ OOP, with Buster competing romantically with an aerialist; THE GOLD GHOST, with Buster lost in a ghost town; and ONE-RUN ELMER, with Keaton running a desolate gas station in the first reel and playing baseball in the second, are filled with silent Keaton bits.

Some of the shorts are good by Educational standards but run-of-the-mill for Buster, with the humor more evident in the premise than in the gags themselves. These are pleasant but uninspired: TARS AND STRIPES has Buster on a naval base, with two-reeler perennial Vernon Dent as his foil; PALOOKA FROM PADUCAH has hillbilly Buster refereeing a wrestling match; HAYSEED ROMANCE has Buster as a farmhand on big Jane Jones's ramshackle ranch. But there are some real gems here that will not disappoint Buster's admirers. GRAND SLAM OPERA is a wonderful sendup of Major Bowes's Amateur Hour, with Buster practicing dancing and juggling (for the radio audience!). BLUE BLAZES has Buster as an inept fireman from the city, transferred to a suburban station and becoming a one-man rescue squad.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Robert Badgley on July 28, 2010
Having been in the dumps for about a year both personally and career-wise his fortunes were starting to pick up again when in 1934 he approached Earle Hammons of Educational Pictures and asked him to give him a chance doing comedy shorts.Educational was a very low budget/rung of the ladder studio and shorts is what they did best.Hammons was intrigued enough by their meeting that he gave Buster the go ahead and what we have in this collection are the result.Some of the best writers on the subject of Keaton have said over and over how terrible it was for Buster to have had to stoop to such a degrading extent and how bad most of these films were.The truth is Buster wanted/needed to get back to what he knew best and if he had to suffer short term pain for long term gain,then he was willing to do what it took.No sob sister here folks,Keaton was a pro in many,many respects.
Well after careful examination of each of these shorts it is my humble opinion that they are,in general,good and some even quite excellent.The weakest of the bunch is Palooka From Paducah.If its' terribly slow pace isn't bad enough his father seems terribly self conscious and wooden in front of the camera.The best thing about it is his mother who gives a boffo performance(as she would later in Love Nest on Wheels).ALL the films show the Buster Keaton of old and the personal touches of brilliance he was so very capable of exhibiting at a moments notice.He was taking falls and executing gags in some of these shorts as if it was 1922 again.Never mind those that say Buster was washed up and out of it,he still had it;the fact is it never left him,he always had it.He was one of the most brilliant gag men ever to come out of Hollywood,arguably THE best.
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