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The Art of Buster Keaton (The General / Sherlock, Jr. / Our Hospitality / The Navigator / Steamboat Bill Jr. / College / Three Ages / Battling Butler / Go West / The Saphead / Seven Chances / 21 Short Films) (1923)

Buster Keaton , Kathryn McGuire , Buster Keaton , Charles Lamont  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)

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The Art of Buster Keaton (The General / Sherlock, Jr. / Our Hospitality / The Navigator / Steamboat Bill Jr. / College / Three Ages / Battling Butler / Go West / The Saphead / Seven Chances / 21 Short Films) + The Harold Lloyd Comedy Collection Vols. 1-3 + Laurel & Hardy:  The Essential Collection
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Product Details

  • Actors: Buster Keaton, Kathryn McGuire, Natalie Talmadge, Joe Keaton, Ruth Dwyer
  • Directors: Buster Keaton, Charles Lamont, Charles Reisner, Clyde Bruckman, Donald Crisp
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Black & White, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 11
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Kino Lorber films
  • DVD Release Date: May 10, 2005
  • Run Time: 1321 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005QW5A
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #146,174 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Art of Buster Keaton (The General / Sherlock, Jr. / Our Hospitality / The Navigator / Steamboat Bill Jr. / College / Three Ages / Battling Butler / Go West / The Saphead / Seven Chances / 21 Short Films)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Includes 10 features and 19 shorts
  • Bonus disc Keaton Plus includes over three hours of rare Keaton material: the complete Hard Luck, two complete educational shorts ("Jail Bait" and "Allez Oop"), Keaton's '50s TV show, photo gallery, Keaton home movies, and more

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

An 11-Disc Box Set. More than just a silent comedian known for his pratfalls and clever mimicry, Buster Keaton was an unqualified genius of the American cinema. These DVDs present his works, displaying his extraordinary talents as actor and filmmaker alike.

Buster Keaton was arguably the cinema's first modernist, an old-fashioned romantic with a 20th-century mind behind a deadpan visage. His films brim with some of the most breathtaking stunts and ingenious gags ever put on film, all perfectly engineered to look effortless. And, as Kino's magnificent 11-disc boxed set The Art of Buster Keaton conclusively shows, they are among the funniest ever made. Keaton warped gags until they left the plane of reality in such shorts as The Playhouse (1921) and The Frozen North (1922), and takes a logic-defying leap into the very nature of cinema itself in his hilarious Sherlock Jr. (1924). He takes on the mechanical world with Rube Golberg ingenuity in The Navigator (1924) and perfects his match between man and massive machine in Steamboat Bill Jr. (1928), which features the funniest hurricane scene ever put to film, and The General (1927), one of the greatest comedies of all time.

In addition to the previously released 11 features and 19 shorts from the peak of Keaton's career, this set boasts the exclusive Keaton Plus, a collection of rarities and tributes. The greatest find is the long-lost ending to Hard Luck (1921), now restored to complete the film's final inspired gag. Other highlights include newly discovered scenes from Daydreams (1922) and The Love Nest (1923), entertaining excerpts from Keaton's 1951 TV show Life with Buster Keaton (he's still got it!), and his rare dramatic turn in the 1954 television play The Awakening. --Sean Axmaker

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
119 of 121 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I had only seen a handful of Buster Keaton's films before deciding to take the plunge and buy the mammoth "Art Of Buster Keaton" DVD box set. I'm glad I threw the dice and ordered this. Here is silent filmmaking at its finest, with great attention to detail given to both short and feature films. The films are good and, although some of them are showing their age, I expect these are the best prints possible. You can't ask for anything more.
This is a huge collection of films (11 features and 19 shorts), so reviewing individual items is not going to be beneficiary. These discs have also been released individually, and I've already written many words on each of them. But in general terms, I did find that I preferred his short films to his longer works. The feature films don't quite have the frantic pace to them that made the shorter films so memorable and enjoyable. Of course, comparisons to his short movies a little unfair, as those shorts are rightly praised as some of the funniest sequences ever filmed. But there are some incredible moments in his features as well as some strong movies.
But those shorts. Wow. Here are some of the most memorable movie scenes I have ever viewed. Once seen, who can forget the literally hundreds of angry police officers chasing Keaton in COPS, or the prisoner bungee jumping from the end of a noose in CONVICT 13, or the DIY house being demolished by a train in ONE WEEK? These films are fast-paced, surreal, bizarre and hilarious. I loved them to pieces.
Prop comedy is something that is now horrifyingly associated with such painfully annoying clowns as Carrot Top (Lord help us). But in the slapstick era, this was something that was not only funny, it could be downright diabolical.
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73 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Contents of the set September 24, 2005
Before anything else, I agree with those who say that Keaton's shorts are all good; but I strongly disagree with those who say that they are better than his better features. What usually happens with comedy is that people sit down before the screen and just say: OK, make me laugh. Keaton's features are funny -but they are also, and more important, beautifully shot, superbly acted and perfectly structured -which is something only the best actors/directors can put all together. There are no cheap sets like in most movies of the 20's. Keaton's characters move in the real world, with real things, and that's part of what makes them lasting and unique.

In your shelves, Keaton shouldn't share his place with the Marx Brothers, but with Orson Welles (who called The General the best movie ever made about the Civil War) and Martin Scorsese (who said he watched over and over the final fight in Battling Butter -which, by the way, is not supposed to make you laugh, but to surprise you with it's realism)

Now, this are the complete contents of this DVD set. Aside from it, you should check out The Buster Keaton Collection, which includes THE CAMERAMAN, SPITE MARRIAGE and FREE AND EASY - and then you are done. Well, you could also read the only book he wrote -My Wonderful World of Slapstick. (June '06 Update: "Industrial Strength Keaton"(DVD) just came out. The set includes rare industrial films, promotional films, commercials, TV appearances and outtakes.)

The Saphead: 1920

Includes the shorts ONE WEEK (1920) and THE HIGH SIGN (1920)

The Three Ages

Year: 1923

Including THE GOAT (1921) and MY WIFE'S RELATION (1922).

Our Hospitality / Sherlock, Jr.
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63 of 65 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Keaton DVD Collection- Almost Perfect December 30, 2001
The 11-disc set of Buster Keaton's work is, of course, a must-have for Mr. Keaton's fans in particular and silent film fans in general (sorry..). Having all these wonderful films on DVD is truly a dream come true.
That being said, I must point out one or two things with which I was disappointed. The set is said to be "digitally mastered from archival prints". Then why are there so many sections of film that are in such poor condition? While digital technology cannot replace lost film, even on my home computer I can touch-up photographs; surely a film restoration company should have better and more extensive resources at its disposal. Another sore spot is the scoring. I have been spoiled by a brilliant musician who plays at the Silent Movie Theatre here in Los Angeles, Dean Mora. He is the perfect accompanist for silent films. Some of the scoring for the DVD set is, forgive me, atrocious. The worst offense is the use of the James Bond theme for one part of SHERLOCK, JR. Of only slightly less heinous nature is the use of thematic elements from other (read "future") time periods. I may sound like an old fogey (I'm 43), but I think that a piano is fine, a violin and maybe one or two other chamber pieces sufficient. I am not averse to full orchestration, but music choice and coordination with the film is paramount. Musical cues should reflect on-screen action. One last point; sound effects are not needed.
Even with the flaws, I say: buy this set. It's wonderful to have Mr. Keaton in your home.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars nobody else even comes close (spoilers)...
he had it all - impeccable timing, athleticism, leading man good looks, writing, directing; he did epics well even in film's infancy. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Stacy Hackney (formerly customerS)
4.0 out of 5 stars Buster Keaton Classic!
The editing is a bit disjointed compared with today's, but anything with Buster Keaton in it is worth a look.
One of the GIANTS of comic genius and timing. Read more
Published 5 months ago by W. DeLong
5.0 out of 5 stars Keaton always the best
Buster Keaton is one of my favorite old time comic actors. This short video is a nice relief from the every day “belly button” action movies.
Published 7 months ago by Chas T
5.0 out of 5 stars Buster Keaton could never disappoint me.
I've always been a fan of his work and this collection contains most of his famous work plus a few gems that I never heard of before. Any diehard fan will love this collection.
Published 9 months ago by Raymond
5.0 out of 5 stars Keaton-a-thon!!!
It's all here in a brilliant collection. "The Art of Buster Keaton" has all the landmark titles of Keaton's work, and even some unsung masterpieces not often mentioned. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Pavel Richardson
4.0 out of 5 stars Crazy
Buster Keaton was creating a very popular style of movie, lots of action, little dialogue (printed) obvious absurdities. Fun, entirely, no thought required. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Harold Holcombe
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Product
This is well worth the price. All the features and short films are in great condition. It truly shows the skill and talent of Buster Keaton. Read more
Published 20 months ago by John B. Hardy
4.0 out of 5 stars New 14 disc Blu-ray replaces this box set!
There is a new 14 disc Blu-ray re-mastered Hi-Definition release with many BONUS documentaries & shorts that replaces this great old set. And it is worth the upgrade! Read more
Published 22 months ago by Paul J. Mular
2.0 out of 5 stars Poor Quality Rendition
I would give a perfect copy of this movie 5 stars for a silent comedy. This review will revolve around technical issues with the movie. Read more
Published on August 24, 2012 by DDay
5.0 out of 5 stars The Art of Buster Keaton
After all these years, Buster Keaton is still very entertaining. I never realized how amazing he was until seeing these delightful films- be they long, or short, he was great. Read more
Published on December 4, 2011 by marta
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