For Buster Keaton, the era of the talkies was a tumultuous time. After signing with MGM, the quality of his ambitious, eclectic comedies began to decline, leading to a period of personal setbacks. In 1934, he signed a contract with Earle W. Hammons's Educational Pictures which, despite its name, specialized in comedy short subjects ("The Spice of the Program"). Keaton's move to Educational was a return to his roots, crafting a stream of two-reel comedies in rapid succession, as he had done in the early 1920s, when he first refined his cinematic craft.
The films Keaton made at Educational (all sixteen of which are collected here) pay homage to his earlier work (such as Love Nest on Wheels, which revives a number of gags from his very first film, The Butcher Boy), while exploring new possibilities for his recurring comic persona "Elmer".
These DVDs were transferred from 35mm negatives and fine grain masters culled from Keaton's personal collection and other archival sources by Raymond Rohauer. Some films exist in less-than-perfect condition, which is not atypical for low-budget "orphan" films such as these.