A Few Words About A few words about...™ The Navigator -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Sep 9, 2012.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist

    Feb 8, 1999
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    Robert Harris
    When it comes to the works of Buster Keaton, I want the whole set. And slowly, but surely, Kino is giving them to us on Blu-ray. And the quality is getting better.

    The first couple of Blu-ray releases had a decidedly digital look to them, but no more. The Navigator, which appears to have been taken from a dupe neg of an original print, looks excellent. And by excellent, I mean that it preserves the look of the dupe, warts and all. But that's not problem for me.

    The Keaton classic period ran from around 1920 to 1929, and ran the gamut from double reelers to features. About a dozen shorts, available on Blu-ray, and eleven features, of which all but three, Spite Marriage, The Cameraman and College are available. We're getting there.

    What does The Navigator look like on Blu-ray.

    Pretty good. Occasional wear and tear, a few lines, but nothing noteworthy. The print original copied may have been combined from a couple or more, as perfs occasionally appear at the far right -- again not a problem, simply interesting. Tinting is a pleasure.

    Also a pleasure is Bruce Lawton's featurette discussing the making of The Navigator, and from the commentary, one can tell that this is a film based upon a great deal of love and knowledge of the subject.

    When I look at a non-studo production from 1924, I tend to give it quite a bit of slack in grades, and wear and tear aside, I'm still going to give The Navigator, a solid 3.

    A bit of trivia. According to Imdb, which is occasionally correct, the ship in the film -- Keaton purchased the ship as a prop when he learned that it was to be scrapped -- began life in 1890 as the USAT Buford. It was later used as a troop transport during both the Spanish-American War, as well as WW I.

    Classic comedy at it's best.

    Highly Recommended.


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