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Buster Keaton Collection - 15 Shorts, 5 Movies

3.7 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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(Feb 27, 2007)
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Editorial Reviews

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Special Features

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Product Details

  • Actors: Buster Keaton
  • Directors: Collection
  • Format: Black & White, Dolby, NTSC, Original recording remastered
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: St Clair Vision
  • DVD Release Date: February 27, 2007
  • Run Time: 680 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000LC3IR4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #209,614 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Annie Van Auken TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 1, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Buster Keaton wrote and directed most of his two and three-reelers with Eddie Cline, who also appears in several of them (as Edward F. Cline). Keaton is considered one of the Big Three silent-era comedians, along with Harold Lloyd and Charles Chaplin.

Highlights of this marvelous three DVD set:

"The General" is a cinematic classic-- nothing less. This is a movie everyone should see. It's a great introduction to the silent film genre. Keaton's amazing acrobatic skills, his dead aim, pantomimic ability and expressive mannerisms have never been put to better use, or topped by anyone, anywhere.

"The Play House" is a most remarkable short. In the space of 20 minutes, Keaton manages to portray 20 different roles: he's the audience, actors, orchestra and a stagehand. A tour-de-force!

"Steamboat Bill Jr." contains Keaton's most dangerous stunt. A wall topples over and the stationary and upright Buster is positioned precisely so that he passes harmlessly through an open window, the wall landing on the ground around him. This was such a hazardous trick, half of the production crew walked off in protest rather than be witness to Keaton possibly getting killed by this plummeting object.

"Parlor, Bedroom & Bath" is a pre-code comedy that showcases Keaton's comedic talents in a speaking part. Also in this film is Cliff Edwards, who was once known as Ukulele Ike. Edwards' most famous role was the voice of Jiminy Cricket in PINOCCHIO. His recording of "When You Wish Upon a Star" won an Academy Award in 1941.

In "Li'l Abner," Keaton has a supporting role. In this one he's a dead ringer for Lonesome Polecat, the little Indian who brews Kickapoo Joy Juice in an enormous cast iron cauldron.
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If you'd like to familiarize yourself with Buster Keaton's work this is a great place to start. For ten dollars you pretty much get to sample the works of his entire career. Of course you don't get the video quality you have in "The Art of Buster Keaton", but then you don't pay one hundred plus dollars either. You get fifteen of the two reelers he made from 1920 - 1923 when he was getting started as a filmmaker, plus two of the feature films he made as an independent - "The General" (1927) and "Steamboat Bill Jr." (1928). "The General" is touted by many as his finest achievement, and "Steamboat Bill Jr." is the last film he made before he was forced to go to work for MGM in 1928 due to the withdrawal of financial support he had from his benefactor and brother-in-law, Joe Schenck. From the years 1920-1928 Keaton had complete creative control of his films.

Chronologically speaking, the next feature is "Parlor, Bedroom, & Bath" (1931), Keaton's third talkie and his fifth feature film for MGM. Although Keaton had been promised some creative control of his films at MGM, it never came to be, and by the time "Parlor, Bedroom, & Bath" was made Keaton had been relegated to the role of performer. The film has some funny parts, particularly when Keaton is on screen with Charlotte Greenwood, but overall Keaton is relegated to the role of a naive man-child in a farce. Keaton hated farces, and being put in films and roles he hated with absolutely no say is part of what drove him to drink.

The other two features - "Lil' Abner" and "The Villain Still Pursued Her" from 1940 are examples of Keaton's post-MGM work.
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When I was younger, approx. 15 or 16 I worked at a pizza parlor. They played these old movies up on the wall for the customers to watch as they ate their pizza. I would sit and watch people laughing as they ate, and I would love it. Well... these movies are STILL that funny today. My kids even love to watch them, for thats who I bought them for. Between Mr. Chaplin and Mr. Keaton my kids will laugh for hours. This set is WELL worth the money... especially for as many hours of movie shorts there are per disc. A good buy to sit and enjoy some quiet time with your family. Buy, laugh, and enjoy!!!
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While it is a delight to see Buster Keaton and his masterful comic timing, the music chosen for these masterpieces is ALL WRONG! It is truly annoying to have the music from the Douglas Fairbanks' Thief of Bagdad playing while watching The General--where is the Civil War music that went with the film? ( When Johnny Comes Marching Home and Dixie are painfully missing )

would it really have been too much to have music that fit with each film? This is enough of an omission to lower my vote to 2 stars.
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I was very happy when I received this "Buster Keaton Collection - 15 Shorts, 5 Movies" dvd set yesterday! I already own "The Art of Buster Keaton" Kino dvd set (Don't worry: I purchased the set used at a fairly low discount price -- about $118.00). But I leave that set at home. When I read the two reviews for this "BK Collection", and the 15 classic silent shorts on them, I wanted this to keep at my job.

I'll briefly explain: I have a portable dvd player I keep at work so I can occasionally watch something during my lunch break. I have a few fun dvds I keep in my desk drawer: Dastardly and Muttley, Beavis and Butt-Head, and three Buster Keaton classics: "The Saphead", "The Navigator" and "Battling Butler". (Take note, Buster fans, these three titles involve Keaton's rich spoiled characters!).

Now, by having this "BK Collection", I can enjoy watching Buster in many of his classic silent two-reelers during lunch (particularly, my favorite ones) -- at least, until my break is over. Some prints are a bit grainy, yet watchable. But I'm not too concerned about the film quality as I already have the Keaton Kino set.

Yesterday, I watched "Cops". The organ score is exactly that from my first BK videotape I owned, in 1985, from Blackhawk Films - "The Blacksmith"/"Cops". I was a high school senior, then!

Today I enjoyed watching "The Goat", which is truly funny! My favorite scene, of course, is the most famous: With Buster sitting on the cowcatcher of a train, staring directly at us stonefaced when the train stops before the camera.

Whenever I'm ready, I'll watch "The General", or "Steamboat Bill, Jr." -- preferably portions of them. Even "Parlor, Bedroom and Bath" if I wish to hear Buster's cute gravelly voice!
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