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Steamboat Bill, Jr. [Ultimate 2-Disc Edition]

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Frequently Bought Together

Steamboat Bill, Jr. [Ultimate 2-Disc Edition] + The General (The Ultimate Two-Disc Edition) + Buster Keaton - Short Films Collection: 1920 - 1923 (3-Disc Ultimate Edition)
Price for all three: $59.26

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Product Details

  • Actors: Buster Keaton
  • Directors: Charles Reisner
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, NTSC
  • Language: 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: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Kino Lorber films
  • DVD Release Date: July 6, 2010
  • Run Time: 70 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003H221MI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #88,681 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The last of the independent features made in the prime of Buster Keaton s career, STEAMBOAT BILL, JR. is a large-scale follow-up to The General, substituting a Mississippi paddlewheel for the locomotive, and replacing the spectacle of the Civil War with a catastrophic hurricane. Keaton stars as William Canfield, Jr., a Boston collegian who returns to his deep-southern roots to reunite with his father, a crusty riverboat captain (Ernest Torrence) who is engaged in a bitter rivalry with a riverboat king coincidentally, the father of Willie s sweetheart (Marion Byron). Keaton s athleticism and gift for inventive visual humor are in top form, and the cyclone that devastates a town (and sends houses
literally crashing down around him) is perhaps the most ambitious, awe-inspiring and hilarious slapstick sequence ever created. In the silent era, it was common practice for filmmakers to create two
separate negatives of their films, each comprised of differing takes and camera angles. This definitive Ultimate Two Disc Edition contains both versions of STEAMBOAT BILL, JR. the Buster Keaton Estate version and the Killiam Shows Archive version each mastered from archival 35mm materials. All new Special Features include: Complete alternate version of Steamboat Bill, Jr., comprised entirely of variant takes and camera angles, Music by The Biograph Players presented 5.1 Dolby Digital, Organ score by Lee Erwin, Piano score by William Perry, Documentary on the making of the film, Stills Gallery, Why They Call Him Buster (a montage of pratfalls), and Two vintage recordings of the folk song Steamboat Bill .


It was Keatons extraordinary period from 1920 to 1929, when he worked without interruption on a series of films that make him, arguably, the greatest actor-director in the history of the movies. --Roger Ebert

Customer Reviews

His like shall not pass this way again.
H. Snyder
He experimented with film in ways that none of his contemporaries even dreamed of and in doing so surpasses even Chaplin and Lloyd in terms of genius.
Christopher J. Jarmick
Also, seeing how much cleaner the print looks on Blu-ray vs. the original KINO DVD is quite amazing.
Dennis A. Amith

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Michael Gebert on March 16, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
I must disagree with Leonard Maltin; Steamboat Bill Jr. is one of Keaton's best, and as a very fluid and well-plotted example of late-silent filmmaking, it makes an excellent intro to his work for neophytes-- better perhaps than some of the more deliriously surreal comedies such as Sherlock Jr. Keaton's performance as the college boy son of a riverboat captain is generally regarded as his best acting, and the 20-30-minute hurricane sequence is one of his most remarkable feats of solo pantomime (it includes the famous clip of a building front falling on him, the window landing exactly where he stands). This tape is also worth noting for the presence on it of a recently discovered complete version of the short Convict 13, one of the last missing bits of silent Keaton.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Nate Goyer on January 23, 2000
Format: DVD
I have most of the Buster Keaton DVDs and this is one of the most fun. "Steamboat Bill Jr" is the typical Buster Keaton plot, with twice the stuntwork. The hurricane scene is one of his most famous and shows the talent, genius and dexterity of this man. Incredibly fun and entertaining for the whole family.
The first short, "Convict 13" is not a very high quality print, and some parts of it get very hard to decipher, but you must remember that 1 complete reel of this film was considered lost forever until recently. At least we get to see the short in it's entirety. "Convict 13" was one of Keaton's first starring movies for Metro studios and shows him in a very slapstick-ish role; His trademark dean-pan expressionism and personality have not quite evolved at the time of this film. It's still very fun, but not as sophisticated as his later work.
The final short on this DVD "Daydreams", is another 'nearly lost' classic. The DVD states that some of the footage is unavailable and they took the liberty to piece a few extra stills and title cards to make the movie flow with a comprehensible storyline. Once again, the transfer quality is not high, but better than "Convict 13". "Daydreams" is classic Keaton, complete with the chase scene of 20-30 police officers, ala "Cops" (See 'The General' DVD). There is an implied attempted suicide in "Daydreams", but it's all completely off screen.
Once again, I have yet to be disappointed by a Buster Keaton DVD from Kino International. I recommend it highly.
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Christopher J. Jarmick on January 4, 2001
Format: DVD
As one of his last great silent films, Steamboat Bill Jr.(1928) is one of Buster Keaton's finest. Nearly a third of it's 69 minute running time is comprised of some of the most spectacular and funniest stunt work Keaton ever did. The General, Our Hospitality and the 45 minute Sherlock Jr. are better films but none are any more entertaining than Steamboat Bill Jr .
Bill (Ernest Torrence) is the tough Captain and owner of the old and somewhat run-down Stonewall Jackson river boat. He is about to be run out of business by the richest man in town, King (Tom McGuire). King has built a huge, fancy river-boat and gets the Stonewall condemned.
Bill then gets word that his son is going to visit him. He has not seen his son for many years-Bill Junior aka Willie, has been in college back east-and Bill Sr. imagines his son must be bigger than he is. He's pretty disappointed that not only does his son look like a 90 pound weakling, but he's got a city slicker hat on that has got to be replaced pronto. Father decides its time to make a man out of his son, while son Willie, has his eyes on a beautiful young lady (Marion Byron) who happens to be chief rival King's daughter.
Father Bill ends up in jail, and Buster Willie tries to break him out. He succeeds, but is almost accosted himself so Father turns himself back in and Willie is sent to the hospital with a minor injury. Just when it looks like the old Steamboat is doomed for extinction, and Willie won't get the girl the weather changes.
The final extended sequence of the film begins at the front porch of the King Hotel. King is warned that a wind storm is coming and the pier is not going to be strong enough to hold his fancy boat against the wind.
The wind blows and the death defying stunts, and inventive sight gags begin.
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Format: Blu-ray
When we think about Buster Keaton, we think of one of the kings of slapstick comedy during the silent era. The master of physical comedy, a talent known for his deadpan expression and his films, well-revered today as one of the best actors and directors of all time and beloved by many.

But in 1928, Buster Keaton was going through one of the most problematic times of his life. A marriage to Natalie Talmadge (of the popular Talmadge family and sister to actresses Norma and Constance) which was going south and to make things worse but two years prior, Keaton had learned that Joseph M. Schenk (the man in which Keaton was contracted to) would be taking the job as President of the new United Artists (created by D.W. Griffith, Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks).

And with Keaton now losing independence as a director/actor and becoming part of the new studio mentality, in the three year period, he would create three films which would be his final films he would have complete control over and that was "The General" (1926), "College" (1927) and his final film with United Artists, "Steamboat Bill, Jr" (1928).

Like "The General", "Steamboat Bill, Jr." is considered one of the best films that Keaton had created but in 1928, people didn't feel the same way. People were now getting read for the talkies (which was in its infancy) and slapstick comedy was phasing out and people were wanting something new and different.

Eventually like many silent era stars, "Steamboat Bill, Jr." is considered as Keaton's last great silent film and is now considered today as not just one of the top Keaton comedy films ever created but one of the top comedy silents of all time.


"Steamboat Bill, Jr.
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Steamboat Bill, Jr. [Ultimate 2-Disc Edition]
This item: Steamboat Bill, Jr. [Ultimate 2-Disc Edition]
Price: $29.95 $18.28
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com