Buster Keaton Collection Announcement From Sony!!

Discussion in 'DVD' started by JohnPM, Dec 28, 2005.

  1. JohnPM

    JohnPM Second Unit

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  2. Ravi K

    Ravi K Supporting Actor

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    Were these made after the ones in the Kino set?
     
  3. Tory

    Tory -The Snappy Sneezer- -Red Huck-

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    These are talkies made in the 40's but don't be discouraged, Keaton's sound era is much better than one is generally lead to believe.
     
  4. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    More Buster Keaton is always welcomed. I'm extremely surprised by how much effort Columbia is putting into this set.
     
  5. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

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    Looks like 2006 will be the year of the silents
     
  6. Bert Greene

    Bert Greene Second Unit

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    This is certainly a nice little surprise from Sony. I'll be looking forward to it. I've seen at least half of these Keaton Columbia's, but it's been many years, and I'd like to evaluate them anew. I think I initially felt a mild disappointment in the shorts, having expected so much more from a comedy master like Keaton... a high-standard that I wouldn't quite apply to other Columbia stalwarts like Andy Clyde, Hugh Herbert, etc. Once beyond that stumbling block, I seem to recall finding the Keaton entries pleasant and agreeably amusing in their own little b-grade way. The notion of having all ten shorts wrapped up in such a package is, well, rather nifty!
     
  7. Roger Rollins

    Roger Rollins Supporting Actor

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    Perhaps, but these shorts are from the sound era, much after Buster had past his prime.....

    I'm delighted to see these be released. Keaton's Columbia shorts are almost painful to watch (although not any more than his Educational Pictures efforts) but as with that prior B outfit, Keaton managed, against all odds to turn in a few gems. THE PEST FROM THE WEST and NOTHING BUT PLEASURE are really quite entertaining, and show Buster in a form that hadn't been seen since talkies came in.

    What blows my mind is that ANYONE at Sony Home Entertainment even knew about these shorts, as they have been so blatantly ignorant about their library (although so as every other studio with the obvious exception of Warner).

    Whereas in Grover Crisp (who manages their film assets and restores them) and in Michael Schlesinger (who despite hercuulean efforts that can't be profitable, gets their films into revival houses), Sony has shown nothing but blatant ignorance in regard to its classic product. To be fair, Columbia's films prior to the 50s, numbered one or two per year in the "good to excellent" department...they were until that decade, famous for being on poverty row, there are still some great jewels in their holdings that are worth liberation.

    I hope this is a very successful release for them, but I highly doubt it will be. Critics will not be kind, since a lot of this is Buster in his saddest form, and there will probably be no advertising. However, the core group of enthusiasts (who number in the less than 10,000) may come out to buy this release (including me) won't be enough to make it profitable....and so I hope I'm really wrong, and applaud them for this release.

    Can Harry Langdon be far behind?[​IMG]
     
  8. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    They could do better, but they did an excellent job on the two Batman serials they own. Both are fully uncut, which is impressive since the 1943 serial has a lot of "jap" racism in it. The '43 serial could look better, but the '49 looks fantastic. I think the 1943 serial has some film element problems that are unavoidable. From what I've been told, Columbia doesn't have any decent elements on the first chapter.

    Not to derail, but Columbia ought to put this effort into the rest of their short subjects they own. They have just as much of a treasure trove of shorts that Disney and Warners have, and they've been dropping their shorts onto DVD constantly.
     
  9. Craig Sherman

    Craig Sherman Stunt Coordinator

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    Like, say, STOOGES?!

    This is getting embarrassing. If I'm seeing this right, the only complete short collections on the market right now are Chaplin's and Lloyd's. I'm sure this upcoming Keaton set makes a dent-- how much more of his catalog is missing?

    How long into the existence of Laserdisc did it take for complete short collections to get produced? 'Cuz we're coming into year 9 of DVD, is all...

    BOMM,

    CS
     
  10. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

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    I haven't seen any of these but I'll buy them the day of release. Like others have said I'm really shocked Sony even knew they owned these. Since they're doing something with their Keaton shorts perhaps the Stooges will be next.
     
  11. Tory

    Tory -The Snappy Sneezer- -Red Huck-

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    Chaplin's Keystone's are not all out but coming and more Harold Lloyd shorts demand a release. Keaton's Educational shorts, save for a few on the Keaton Plus release in the The Art of Buster Keaton, need a release alongside the bulk of Educational's comedic shorts need release. Some are available through Grapevine Video on DVD-R, I really enjoyd these, especially the one's with whole the Keaton Family.

    I think this Keaton release may be good news for Stooges fans in the long run.
     
  12. LaurenceGarvey

    LaurenceGarvey Second Unit

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    Among sound shorts, the big hole in Region 1 is of course the Hal Roach output (not just Laurel & Hardy, but also Charley Chase, Thelma Todd, et al). But I'd also love nice sets of the two RKO series starring Edgar Kennedy and Leon Errol.
     
  13. Roger Rollins

    Roger Rollins Supporting Actor

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    Sadly, the RKO shorts are owned by some small company (I don't know who) that seems to have no interest in doing anything with them (although what they could do would probably yield hardly any revenue).

    RKO sold those shorts off to another entity before they licensed out the feature library. WB owns no RKO shorts except for a few Rko-Pathe sports shorts that were made post '55, after they sold off their old shorts library.

    I agree that the most obvious loss in this area, is the total ignorance toward the great Hal Roach library, sadly in the incapable hands of Hallmark (in the Western Hemisphere). In Europe, they are used to be owned by the Kirsch group (which went OOB), but it seemed whoever took over their assets is doing a great job across the sea...

    If only the old/true MGM had retained ownership of the Roach stuff, as opposed to just distributing them. Imagine what WB would be doing with them. You can get an idea of what they'd do from that scrumptious Laurel & Hardy set they've announced. (WB still owns a handful of Roach features, as the result of some kind of deal they made with Roach when he parted ways with old MGM).
     
  14. Tory

    Tory -The Snappy Sneezer- -Red Huck-

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    Who owns this overseas? I figure they would be the one more reasonable to petition for Charley Chase, Thelma Todd & Zazu Pitts, Thelma Todd and Patsy Kelly, Boy Friends, Taxi Boys and Little Rascal releases.
     
  15. LaurenceGarvey

    LaurenceGarvey Second Unit

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    I have the VCI sets; the quality varies, with the Errols looking better than the Kennedys. And this is a good time to mention that there's a bio of Edgar Kennedy out now; it's called EDGAR KENNEDY: MASTER OF THE SLOW BURN and it's by Bill Cassara. Well done, with a wealth of material from the family scrapbooks.

    So few of the talkie Chase/Todd films were given us as extras on the Kirsch releases, I can only surmise that they did not have access to that material.
     

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