Image Entertainment has recently released a disc offering both The General and Steamboat Bill, Jr. in one double feature presentation, as produced for home video by David Shepard. Here's a link at DVDEmpire: http://www.dvdempire.com/Exec/v4_ite...earchID=550875 They don't list it in stock as of this writing, but other e-tailers, such as DVDPlanet, have it in. The above link offers both front and back cover scans (click on the image on their site for a larger front scan and the option of accessing the back cover as well). There are also Kino editions of both of these pictures on the DVD market, along with a number of other Keaton pictures (many of his short films and all of his feature length silent works, I believe), and in a couple of iterations: first are the two individual discs for The General ... http://www.dvdempire.com/Exec/v4_ite...earchID=550875 (listed as unavailable, but I believe it can still be purchased at some e-tailers and on Kino's home site) ... and Steamboat Bill, Jr. ... http://www.dvdempire.com/Exec/v4_ite...earchID=553124 ... each of which offers two Keaton shorts as well, including his great classics The Playhouse and Cops on The General. The other way in which these discs may be had (in keepcases) is by way of the 11-disc Kino set The Art of Buster Keaton collection, which may be purchased, as may the individual discs (the individuals may still be in snapper cases, I'm unsure), through either e-tailers or Kino's website itself. Here's a link to the set at DVDEmpire: http://www.dvdempire.com/exec/v4_ite...&item_id=41697 The new Image disc (which offers both The General and Steamboat Bill, Jr., sans shorts, on one disc) comes our way with new Alloy Orchestra scores for both features, while the Kino discs have scores by Gaylord Carter (Steamboat Bill, Jr. and Cops) and Robert Israel (The General and the remaining three shorts). Advanced news suggested that at least The General was to be taken from a superior element for the Image disc (I believe Jack Theakston made mention of that here a while ago), but I've just rewatched my Kino copy, and it's one of the very best looking silents on disc. Aside from some decomp in one section, it looks absolutely fantastic. I'm wondering just how much improvement might be possible. I haven't recently revisited Kino's Steamboat Bill, Jr., but if this has also been improved, I'm eager to discover as much. There are a couple of on-line reviews up. The most telling I've found is here ... http://www.dvdjournal.com/reviews/b/...keatondf.shtml ... where the writer, who has reportedly been in touch with David Shepard, discusses purported improvements in this new edition ... but without, in fact, referencing the existence of the Kino discs (update: oops, my mistake here -- skimming is a hard habit to break ; see further posts below for detail, but he does, in fact, briefly mention improvements to the Kinos in the video portion of his review; sorry for the error), and without mentioning the older scores and the absence of the shorts. So I have to wonder if he's seen the Kinos (he has; again, see below)* -- I have no doubt that the new Image release looks terrific, but I'd love to know specifically how it compares with the Kinos, which also, by all fair evaluation (particularly of The General), look terrific. The mention made in that review of "advances in telecine" is something of a non-starter; with the proper care, 1991 telecine could turn out outstanding product, as we've recently seen with A/Bs of the new MK2 Chaplin discs (also touted in advance by industry resources/reviewers as "benefiting from advances in telecine") and the existing Image discs -- yes, improvements in contrast and fine detail can be seen, but some appear too dark, obscuring fine detail, and for all their digital cleaning, removing damage and deterioration, a few (myself included) have found the look of the older Images perfectly satisfying by comparison, PAL-NTSC issues aside. A few are mightily improved in the new MK2 batch (based on the preview clips I've seen on disc two of their The Gold Rush release), others improved at the expense of a few sacrifices, and at least one, City Lights, seriously degraded. So, as I said: "new telecine" doesn't necessarily mean anything. All things being equal, improvements in telecine will equal an improved product, but is everything equal, and if it is ... just how improved? How does the Alloy Orchestra stack up to Gaylord Carter and Robert Israel? And given the undeniable beauty of Kino's The General, is a new element truly in evidence (is that brief scene of decomp fixed, for instance), and, if so, just how much visual gain does it and the new telecine offer? A mild improvement, a significant one ... minor improvements in detail, major improvements in detail, slight improvements in contrast, significant improvements in contrast (this seems impossible, given the quality of the old edition) ... that sort of determination is the one I'd like to make. I'm fairly meticulous in video appraisal, so even a small improvement is likely to impress me, but I'd like to get to the bottom of just what sort of improvement I might expect here, whether it's at the expense of anything else (aside from the change in scores and the absence of the shorts), and whether the improvements are to be found in both features, or in only one. Of course, if any of the visual parameters have taken a step backward, as with, arguably, one or two discs in the MK2 Chaplins, it would be important to address that as well. I have the utmost (let me emphasize, the utmost) respect for David Shepard, and look forward to any product that bears his name. However, both the older Kinos and this new Image were produced by Mr. Shepard, and of course he's in a business (a noble one, but a business nevertheless) and must try to make a new release profitable, so emphasizing such things as a "new telecine" are in his best interest. I'd love to hear from some who have actually compared the discs, though, and can qualify just what sort of improvements they detect (fine detail, contrast, highlights, etc.). If the new scores are markedly superior or inferior to the older scores, I'd love to hear reactions of that sort as well. Ultimately, I won't be parting with the Kinos, because the shorts are too important, but if noteworthy improvements in visual and/or sonic (but in particular visual) presentation have been achieved with the new Image disc, a double dip would be in order. Many thanks for thoughts and reactions. * That review is quite long, and I've only read the video/audio portion in detail (update: I still missed the Kino mention, as per above, but it's there; sorry once again), but in perusing the rest I see that the writer states Keaton and Chaplin never worked together. This isn't quite true. Silent historians may know of other occasions (I don't know if there were any others myself), but on display for all the world is Keaton's small but very memorable cameo in Chaplin's Limelight. Also, can anyone confirm that The General is "based on a true story," as the reviewer claims? Sets were modeled on period Civil War photographs, as were costumes, all to significant expense, but this is the first I've heard that the scenario (or any of its many events/gags, apart from the mention of a real battle or two) was taken from some forgotten corner of the history of that war. I ... have my doubts. But as a lover of history, I'd welcome correction.