THE COOK: Rediscovered Keaton-Arbuckle Film

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Randy A Salas, Feb 10, 2003.

  1. Randy A Salas

    Randy A Salas Screenwriter

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    On Tuesday (Feb. 11), Milestone Films issues a DVD that includes the once-lost Buster Keaton-Fatty Arbuckle silent film "The Cook" (~20 mins.) from 1918. The DVD also includes the 1917 Arbuckle film "The Reckless Romeo" (23 mins.; also once thought lost) and the 1920 Harold Lloyd film "Number, Please?" (23 mins.).

    Footage of "The Cook" was rediscovered in Norway in 1998. While preparing that footage for release on DVD, Milestone was informed that even more footage was found in the Netherlands in 2002. This footage was combined and new English intertitles were created using the film's original press release as a guide. DVD-ROM extras on the disc include copious liner notes and the raw footage from both European sources so that users can reconstruct their own version of "The Cook" using standard film-editing software.

    For the sidebar to my weekly DVD package in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, I was fortunate enough to discuss this momentous project with the producers of the DVD, Dennis Doros and Cindi Rowell. You can read my write-up here:

    DVD Extras: Rediscovering Keaton and Arbuckle

    As a special online-only bonus, Cindi Rowell, director of acquisitions for Milestone, offered a detailed commentary on how this video restoration came to fruition, information that was too long to include in my published article:

    How 'The Cook' was rediscovered and prepared for DVD

    I hope you enjoy reading about these wonderful films. I must say that "The Cook" is a special treasure. It has lost nothing over the decades and remains a side-splitting bit of film history.
     
  2. Randy A Salas

    Randy A Salas Screenwriter

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    One bump for the morning crowd.
     
  3. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    For those keeping track, this means that ALL of the extant Arbuckle-Keaton films have now been released on DVD. The one missing party is A Country Hero; A Reckless Romeo is probably included here because for many years it was considered a lost Keaton, but as it happens it was just a re-release of an earlier Arbuckle film sans Keaton.

    This disc, mated with Image's The Best Arbuckle Keaton Collection, provides you with everything except a complete version of Moonshine; that's on Kino's Arbuckle & Keaton vol. 1, though in a rather wretched 16mm version, but at least there's substantially more to it than the fragmentary 35mm version on the Image disc.

    In other Keaton news, the Keaton Plus bonus disc is now available for purchase separately for those of us who already had all the discs that wound up in the Kino box set. It's available as a separate item only from Kino's website http://www.kino.com Among other treasures, it finally restores the ending to Hard Luck, which Keaton himself considered his best gag (the condition is shabby, but what do you want for something that was long thought to be lost altogether?)
     

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