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The Art of Buster Keaton

The Art of Buster Keaton, an 11-disk set by Kino
Editorial Review of The Art of Buster Keaton, courtesy of Amazon.com  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...
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The General

Buster Keaton's The General (The Ultimate Two-Disc Edition)
The General (The Ultimate Two-Disc Edition) Product description of The General courtesy of Amazon.com  NEWLY MASTERED IN HD FROM A 35MM ARCHIVE PRINT STRUCK FROM THE ORIGINAL CAMERA NEGATIVE THE NUMBER 18 GREATEST FILM OF ALL TIME (AFI 100 YEARS… 100 MOVIES) Consistently ranked among the greatest films ever...
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The Buster Keaton Collection

The Buster Keaton CollectionThe Buster Keaton Collection presents three of the first films (one, The Cameraman, a near masterpiece) Keaton made for MGM beginning in 1928, an arrangement that gradually ushered the great comic actor and director into the sound era but ultimately deprived him of creative control. The Cameraman, considered by many to be Keaton’s last important silent work, is an unusual story about a tintype portrait photographer (Keaton) who becomes a newsreel cameraman in order to win the heart of a secretary (Marceline Day). After flubbing an assignment by double-exposing some action footage, the hapless hero tries to prove himself in several memorable sequences of Keatonesque knockabout comedy (including a Chinatown street battle). There are also a couple of grace notes, such as a scene set in Yankee Stadium in which a solo Keaton exquisitely mimes the moves and attitudes of a pitcher. But The Cameraman’s strange, almost subconscious power is in its variation on an old Keaton refrain: The hero’s conflict over different kinds of authenticity, represented here on either side of a motion picture lens–the difference between capturing something real and living it. The Cameraman shows obvious and unfortunate signs of MGM’s insistence that Keaton, long accustomed to improvising scenes, conform to prepared shooting scripts. But it is less stifling than the second feature (Keaton’s last silent movie) in this set, the 1929 Spite Marriage, a slight farce about a pants-presser (Keaton) who borrows his customers’ fine threads to attend the theatre every night. There he worships an actress (Dorothy Sebastian) so furious with her caddish lover and co-star (Edward Earle) that she asks Keaton to marry her. The predictable results are unworthy of a Keaton film, but he does shine in several hilarious sequences, such as a disastrous turn as a bit player in his soon-to-be-wife’s stage dramas. Finally, 1930’s Free and Easy, Keaton’s talkie debut, is a garish MGM valentine to itself, trotting out celebrity actors and directors (Lionel Barrymore, Cecil B. DeMille, Fred Niblo) in a wooden story set on a movie lot. But while Keaton struggles with dialogue and a script that frequently sidelines him, he has many good moments causing havoc on film sets. –Tom Keogh Product Description of The Buster Keaton Collection A two-disc DVD collection that spotlights the actor’s MGM period. “TCM Archives: The Buster Keaton Collection” features two of Keaton’s funniest silents, “The Cameraman,” re-mastered with a new score by former Frank Zappa band member Arthur Barrow, and “Spite Marriage” (featuring its original 1929 Vitaphone musical score) along with “Free and Easy,” Keaton’s first talkie. The DVD set also features film historian Kevin Brownlow’s poignant new documentary “So Funny It Hurt: Buster Keaton and MGM.” Considered by many cinema’s greatest silent clown, Buster Keaton was a consummate practitioner of physical comedy whose career began in vaudeville at the age of three. Wearing trademark slapshoes and big baggy pants identical to his father’s, most gags involved pratfalls with his father kicking him across the stage or tossing him into the air. Within a few years of his debut, Keaton was scoring rave reviews which applauded the physical comedy that would come to be so much a part of his film fame. “The dexterity or expertness with which Joe Keaton handles ‘Buster’ is almost beyond belief of studied ‘business.’ The boy accomplishes everything attempted naturally, taking a dive into the backdrop that almost any comedy acrobat of more mature years could watch with profit” (Variety, March 12, 1910). Details of The Buster Keaton Collection Films The Cameraman – After becoming infatuated with a pretty office worker, Keaton sets out to become a newsreel cameraman in order to be closer to his dream girl. Keaton’s first film for MGM, made in 1928, is considered one of his funniest masterworks and offers up a feast of visual gags. The newly remastered DVD includes a new score by Arthur Barrow. Spite Marriage – In this 1929 silent laugh-filled classic, Keaton stars as Elmer, a man madly in love with stage star Trilbey Drew. When Trilbey’s boyfriend gets engaged to another woman, she marries Elmer in a desperate attempt to get even. This was Keaton’s final silent comedy, and is presented here with its original Vitaphone music score. Free and Easy – In Keaton’s first talkie, he stars as an agent to beauty contest winner Elvira Plunkett. When Elvira decides to try her luck in Hollywood, Elmer goes along to help and the two soon find themselves falling in love. Chaos ensues when the couple must contend with Elvira’s disapproving mother and a handsome movie star, who also has his sights set on the lovely Elvira. This 1930 classic is highlighted by guest appearances from a host of other MGM stars of the era including Robert Montgomery and Lionel Barrymore.
Editorial Review of The Buster Keaton Collection, courtesy of Amazon.com  The Buster Keaton Collection presents three of the first films (one, The Cameraman, a near masterpiece) Keaton made for MGM beginning in 1928, an arrangement that gradually ushered the great comic actor and director into the sound era but ultimately deprived...
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Our Hospitality

Our Hospitality, starring Buster Keaton and Natalie Talmadge
Product Description of Our Hospitality, courtesy of Amazon.com  Our Hospitality – Like his 1926 film The General, this elaborate historical comedy broadened the boundaries of slapstick and proved that Buster Keaton was not just a comedian, he was an artist. Keaton stars as youthful dreamer Willie McKay, who travels...
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The Saphead

The Saphead (1920) starring Buster Keaton
Editorial review of The Saphead (1920) starring Buster Keaton, courtesy of Amazon.com  In his first starring role (and the film that launched his career), Buster Keaton stars in The Saphead as Bertie Van Alstyne, the spoiled son of a powerful Wall Street financier. Unable to escape the wealth...
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Steamboat Bill Jr.

Steamboat Bill Jr. starring Buster Keaton
Product Description of Steamboat Bill Jr. courtesy of Amazon.com  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 paddle wheel for the locomotive, and replacing the spectacle of the Civil War with...
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Pajama Party

Pajama Party (1964) starring Annette Funicello, Don Rickles, Buster Keaton
Pajama Party (1964) starring Annette Funicello, Don Rickles, Buster Keaton  In short, Pajama Party  is an Annette Funicello beach party movie.  But in addition to the gyrating young girls in bikinis,Pajama Party adds large amounts of clown-level  zaniness as well. The basic story has 3 intertwining plots – a Martian...
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The Navigator

The Navigator, starring Buster Keaton and Kathryn McGuire
The Navigator, starring Buster Keaton and Kathryn McGuire  The Navigator is one of Buster Keaton’s best films, and it’s easy to see why.  In The Navigator, Buster Keaton plays the part of Rollo Treadway. He’s a young man who is rich, but without purpose in his life.  He decides to...
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Lost Keaton

Kino - Lost Keaton - 16 comedy shorts - 2 DVD set
Product Description of Lost Keaton  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...
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A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, starring Zero Mostel, Phil Silvers, Buster Keaton
Editorial review of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, courtesy of Amazon.com  “Something familiar, something peculiar, something for everyone: a comedy tonight!” Those words from the opening song pretty much describe the menu in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, a frantic adaptation...
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