- Number of Discs: 5
- Rated: Not Rated
- Run Time: 5 hours, 55 minutes
- Video: Black & White
- Released: June 7, 2005
- Originally Released: 2005
- Label: Passport
- Encoding: Region 0 (Worldwide)
- Box Set
- Packaging: Keep Case
- Aspect Ratio: Full Frame - 1.33
Performers, Cast and Crew:
Description by OLDIES.com:
Buster Keaton was one of the greatest film comedians, from his start in movies as a supporting player in 1917 through to the jet age of the 1960s. "The Great Stone Face," as he was called, was known for his amazing athletic ability and inventiveness of his gags ranging from broad slapstick to sly satire. Here is a collection of his work that spans much of his career, from offering comic support to Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle, through his own comedy shorts and feature films in the 1920s & 1930s. The comedy legend of Buster Keaton lives on in his most hilarious work!
PART ONE: STARTING OUT Buster Keaton was working in Vaudeville when he was discovered by famed movie comedian Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle. Arbuckle hired Keaton as a supporting player in his comedy shorts, starting in 1917. Going out on his own in 1920, Buster created a series of comedy shorts imitating previous comedy styles, yet each bearing the unmistakable stamp of his unique approach to comedy. THE GARAGE (1919): Mayhem with Fatty and Buster as mechanics who destroy more cars than they fix and firemen more adept at starting fires than putting them out. NEIGHBORS (1920) The Romeo and Juliet story played out in a tenement neighborhood with Buster wooing the neighbor's daughter but his family and hers hate each other. Buster gets inventive as usual to be with the girl he loves. ONE WEEK (1920) Keaton's first solo film finds him as a newlywed husband trying to make built a do-it-yourself house, not knowing that his rival has sabotaged the project. THE BALLOONATIC (1923) Buster takes an unexpected trip when he is carried off in a balloon. His survival skills are put to the test, along with those of former Keystone bathing beauty Phyllis Haver.
PART TWO: COMEDY SHORTS As he learned his craft, Buster Keaton fashioned a series of comedy shorts unrivalled in silent comedy in inventiveness and hilarity. THE PALEFACE (1922) Cheated of their land, a tribe of Indians vow to burn at the stake the first white man they see, who happens to be-guess who?-Buster. THE BLACKSMITH (1920) Buster is an assistant blacksmith with a knack for destroying whatever he's trying to fix, featuring his usual assortment of inventive sight gags. THE LOVE NEST (1923): In a parody of Jack London's novel, THE SEA WOLF, Buster is a trapped on a ship commanded by a tyrannical captain.
PART THREE: SILENT FEATURE PERIOD Keaton began making feature comedies in 1923, starting with THREE AGES. In 1927, he made THE GENERAL. Many film historians and buffs consider this Keaton's best film and one of the greatest comedies ever made. He plays an engineer during the Civil War trying to rescue his beloved locomotive, as well as his girlfriend.
PART FOUR: TALKIE FEATURE PERIOD PARLOR, BEDROOM AND BATH Signing a contract with MGM in 1928, Keaton found his creative control being stymied by studio management. One of his early talkies was PARLOR, BEDROOM AND BATH, made in 1931. It was a pre-code sex farce variation of 'The Taming of the Shrew,' with a younger sister refusing to marry her beau until her picky older sister is betrothed. Buster is recruited to woo the older sister, but naturally things go amiss leading to a frenetic chase at the end. Some scenes were shot at Keaton's palatial mansion in Beverly Hills. With Charlotte Greenwood, Sally Eilers and Reginald Denny.
PART FIVE: TALKIE FEATURE PERIOD MGM tried to team Buster Keaton with Jimmy Durante, a comedian with a very different approach to comedy. Durante's career skyrocketed, while Keaton's star began to fade. SPEAK EASILY, made in 1932, found Keaton as a milquetoast professor trying to produce a musical show with an inherited fortune, not knowing anything about show business-or that he actually isn't rich. With Jimmy Durante and Thelma Todd.
The career of comedian Buster Keaton was littered with personal triumphs, plenty of laughs, but some unfortunate setbacks as well. He first came into contact with the general public in a series of films from the silent era, before an ill-fated deal with MGM threatened to end his career prematurely. Fortunately he managed to make some headway into the new era of "talkies" after a smattering of appearances on TV shows reminded the public of his inimitable talents. The latter period of his life saw Keaton feature prominently in musicals, television ad's, and feature films, before his unfortunate death in 1966. This collection gathers some of his greatest performances together, providing a great demonstration of his many talents.