Author Topic: Buster Keaton  (Read 508 times)


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Buster Keaton
« on: October 01, 2010, 09:47:06 AM »
I went to see The General at the Prince Charles off Leicester Square last night.
Live pianist! Seats that nearly folded horizontal! Silent film!
I loved the film. I've seen documentaries about Keaton before but this was my first full film and it blew me away. Its dated really well, packed full of laughs. So now my appetite for more Keaton is wetted. But there's a million different combinations of boxset on Amazon. Anyone know of a good one? Any other good films to recommend? I have my eye on something with Steamboat Jr... that's all I have to go on.


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Re: Buster Keaton
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2010, 10:37:35 AM »
Steamboat Bill Jr has an average rating of 9.1/10 and 100% approval from 15 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, so it's probably a safe bet.

The whole style of his films, along with them being silent, obviousy, means I'm never able to watch them at home.


Re: Buster Keaton
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2010, 12:54:25 PM »
'The Buster Keaton Chronicles' boxset is very good in terms of having most of his shorts and most of his (silent) feature films -- the only significant feature missing is 'The Cameraman' (which is wonderful). The quality on some of these is variable (though never terrible) in comparison to various restored prints available. The modern score used for 'Sherlock Jr' has been criticised quite a lot, however I've only ever known this so come used to it. It's also my favorite film of his and probably what I'd most recommend seeing next. For the price, the set is fantastic value.

There is a boxset with Steamboat Bill Jr, College and Three Ages in much better prints. However, the latter two aren't that essential, particularly if you're starting out on Keaton.

The Masters of Cinema boxset of Keaton shorts has all of his shorts with 'Fatty' Arbuckle plus all his solo shorts. The picture quality is generally much much better -- and the boxset comes with a 150+page book! It's a gorgeous set and the shorts are all generally quite magnificent. It's £24.99 at amazon at the moment, but I've seen Masters of Cinema selling it in their monthly offers for £19.99 recently (though not at the moment).

Anything else from the UK, I'd be very wary about the quality. There are restored versions of most of the features, however to my knowledge, you have to look to Kino in the US or MK2 in France to get at them. Hope that's of help - much greatness awaits!

Re: Buster Keaton
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2010, 12:56:52 PM »
I've got this one which I'm still working my way through:

which I managed to pick up quite cheaply considering it's a 6 disc set, and I've found it to be pretty good. As to the quality of the prints compared to other releases out there I'm not really sure however, as I only really started exploring Keaton this year.

EDIT: As Ged said, the Cameraman isn't on there, which is one of his that I'm yet to see.