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The Buster Keaton Collection (specs/cover art)


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#1 of 14 ONLINE   Patrick McCart

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Posted October 09 2004 - 02:44 PM

http://www.dvdanswer....5040&n=1&burl=

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The Cameraman:
New Score by Arthur Barrow
Commentary by Glenn Mitchell

Spite Marraige:
Commentary by Jeffrey Vance and Jeff Bengston

Also includes Free & Easy (Keaton's first sound film) and So Funny It Hurts (new documentary by Kevin Brownlow). Special features also include an intro by Robert Osborne (TCM host) and photo montages for the two silents.

Also, it looks like TCM has already aired the new remaster of The Cameraman and from what I've read, it looks and sounds fantastic.

(Note information from DVDAnswers.com except for that last bit about the transfer)

#2 of 14 OFFLINE   Greg_S_H

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Posted October 09 2004 - 03:56 PM

Wasn't there some missing footage from the Cameraman? Was it found?

#3 of 14 OFFLINE   Scott Leopold

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Posted October 09 2004 - 05:52 PM

Look great! Another addition to my Christmas list.

#4 of 14 ONLINE   Patrick McCart

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Posted October 09 2004 - 06:06 PM

Quote:
Wasn't there some missing footage from the Cameraman? Was it found?

It was lost in the original release when the negative was damaged during printing. The negative is long gone and the Turner restoration used a newly found fine-grain positive (which had been made from the negative in the 1960's and used to make dupe negative sections for MGM's Big Parade of Comedy).

Until this element was found, MGM only had an ugly 16mm reduction, which was used on the original MGM VHS.

#5 of 14 OFFLINE   Mike D

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Posted October 09 2004 - 06:14 PM

I might also add that all these commentators seem eminently qualified.

Glenn Mitchell has written the A-Z of Silent Film Comedy: An Illustrated Companion as well as encyclopedias on The Marx Brothers, Chaplin, and Laurel & Hardy.

Jeffrey Vance has written a beautifully illustrated large-format biography of Keaton (as well as ones for Chaplin and Harold Lloyd)

Presumably the other commentator on Spite Marriage is John Bengtson co-author with Kevin Brownlow of Silent Echoes: Discovering Early Hollywood Through the Films of Buster Keaton a tour of the Hollywood locations Keaton used in his films and a comparison with them today.

As for Kevin Brownlow, he should need no introduction. His milestone book The Parade's Gone By and his 13-part series entitled Hollywood: A Celebration of the American Silent Film made for British television could alone attest that he is our pre-eminent silent film historian. But he has been responsible for many other works as well, most pointedly his 3-hour documentary Buster Keaton - A Hard Act to Follow

From this set I've only seen The Cameraman, which I consider among Keaton's best. What can you tell me about the other films?

#6 of 14 OFFLINE   Roger Rollins

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Posted October 09 2004 - 06:29 PM

I think it's terrific that Warner is giving us such classy presentations of their silents. I'm really looking forward to this set as I love both THE CAMERAMAN and SPITE MARRIAGE, and find FREE AND EASY quite funny at times, as well as an amazing curio about early talkie filmmaking.

..and how classy of Warners to hire Kevin Brownlow to make a new piece about Keaton specifically for their new DVD.
I'm very much looking forward to this.

Cool art, too. Nice and classy like last year's exceptional Chaney collection.

#7 of 14 OFFLINE   Greg_S_H

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Posted October 09 2004 - 08:55 PM

Thanks, Patrick. I saw this movie on cable back in '98 or so. I guess it was the MGM version since that was available, but I thought it was mentioned that footage was missing. Either way, I'm glad they found the positive. Between this and the mostly-restored Hard Luck, DVD has been good to Keaton fans.

#8 of 14 ONLINE   Patrick McCart

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Posted October 10 2004 - 05:47 AM

Quote:
Between this and the mostly-restored Hard Luck, DVD has been good to Keaton fans.

You're VERY right.

Between the Image/Lobster/Blackhawk "Best Arbuckle/Keaton Collection," Milestone's "The Cook and other Treasures," Kino's "Art of Buster Keaton" box set, and Warner's collection, you can see every surviving silent film Buster Keaton made on DVD.

#9 of 14 OFFLINE   Eric Peterson

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Posted October 10 2004 - 09:29 AM

How ironic that this was posted today.

I spent several hours this morning pouring over the Keaton Plus disc and trying to guess what would be on the new TCM set. I was about to post my findings and found the offical news had just beat my speculation. This morning, I disovered the uncut version of "Hard Luck" on this disc, and couldn't believe that I've had it all this time.

I was hoping that we would get Bronlow's full 3 hour documentary "Buster Keaton: A Hard Act To Follow", but it looks like we're getting something else. Hopefully, it is of equall depth.

I also visited LA last week for work and made sure to find time to visit Buster's grave.

Very timely indeed!

#10 of 14 OFFLINE   Herb Kane

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Posted November 08 2004 - 02:05 PM

Here are the details from WB's Press Release:
---------------------------------------------

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PRESS RELEASE ATTACHED


"Buster Keaton, the silent screen’s ‘Great Stone Face,’

is arguably its greatest comic player."

- Critic Leonard Maltin

TCM Archives:

The Buster Keaton Collection

Debuts on DVD from Warner Home Video December 7

The Cameraman

Spite Marriage

Free and Easy

Deluxe Two-Disc DVD set includes Kevin Brownlow’s All-New Documentary: "So Funny It Hurt: Buster Keaton and MGM"

Burbank, Calif. October 12, 2004 – On December 7, Warner Home Video will celebrate the comedic brilliance of Buster Keaton with 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 featuring film historian Kevin Brownlow’s poignant new documentary So Funny It Hurt: Buster Keaton and MGM -- will be available for $39.92 SRP.

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).

Keaton found tremendous eloquence in his deadpan style with alert and expressive eyes, lithe acrobat’s body and an unforgettable air of grace described by critic James Agee as "a fine, still and dreamlike beauty." The films in this collection mark a peak in his popularity and glow with Keaton’s unique and timeless style which combines very funny comedy with the ability to move an audience to tears.

"We are delighted to be collaborating once again with our partners at Turner Classic Movies to present another collection of silent rarities from the unparalleled Warner Bros. Pictures vaults," said George Feltenstein, WHV's Senior Vice President Classic Catalog. "As with last year's highly praised Lon Chaney Collection, this new Buster Keaton collection contains films which hold a very special place in cinema history, and we are proud to join with TCM to bring these crown jewels from the Warner library to DVD collectors everywhere."


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.

DVD Special Features Include:

Legendary filmmaker Kevin Brownlow’s all-new documentary So Funny It Hurt: Buster Keaton and MGM (produced especially for this DVD release). This unforgettable documentary chronicles the comedian’s MGM period, and features fascinating, rare footage including archival interviews with the master himself
Photo montages from the two silent films
Cameraman commentary by Glenn Mitchell, author of A-Z of Silent Film Comedy: An Illustrated Companion
Spite Marriage commentary by John Bengston, author of Silent Echoes: Discovering Early Hollywood Through the Films of Buster Keaton and Jeffrey Vance, author of Buster Keaton Remembered
Buster Keaton Collection

Street Date: December 7

Order Date: November 9

Price: $39.92 SRP/ $23.98 MAP

Catalog # 67009

B/W & Color
My Top 25 Noirs:

25. 711 Ocean Drive (1950), 24. Odds Against Tomorrow (1959), 23. Desperate (1947), 22. Pushover (1954), 21. The Blue Dahlia (1946), 20. The File on Thelma Jordon (1949), 19. He Ran All the Way (1951), 18. The Asphalt Jungle (1950), 17. The Killing (1956), 16. I Walk Alone (1948),...

#11 of 14 OFFLINE   Eric Peterson

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Posted November 09 2004 - 12:00 AM

Any word on the length of the new Brownlow documentary? I'll be picking up this set no matter what, but I'm curious about this feature.

#12 of 14 OFFLINE   John Hodson

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Posted November 09 2004 - 02:00 AM

Fantastic looking set and a fitting tribute to true comic genius; I'm all over this.
So many films, so little time...
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#13 of 14 OFFLINE   ShaunS

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Posted November 09 2004 - 05:41 AM

For someone who's only seen the brilliance that is The General and Steamboat Bill Jr., how do these films compare?

#14 of 14 ONLINE   Patrick McCart

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Posted November 09 2004 - 06:45 AM

Quote:
For someone who's only seen the brilliance that is The General and Steamboat Bill Jr., how do these films compare?

The Cameraman is standard Buster Keaton excellence. Spite Marraige is an OK film (It's been a while since I've seen it, though).

The whole set is probably worth it for The Cameraman (and its supplements) and the new documentary.





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