- Rated: Not Rated
- Run Time: 2 hours, 12 minutes
- Video: Black & White
- Released: January 11, 2000
- Originally Released: 1927
- Label: Kino Video
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
- Packaging: Snap Case
- Digitally Mastered
- Additional Release Features:
- Original Music Score -
- THE ELECTRIC HOUSE
- HARD LUCK
- THE BLACKSMITH
Performers, Cast and Crew:
Sight and Sound - 10/01/2000
"...[Keaton's] grace and timing are as impeccable as ever..."
Description by OLDIES.com:
Buster Keaton goes back to school and stages a hilarious send-up of university life in College
. Keaton stars as Ronald, an idealistic freshman who attends Clayton College in pursuit of higher learning, but finds himself instead embroiled in a war of athletics as he fights for the heart of his beloved coed, Mary (Anne Cornwall). More than he had in any other feature, Keaton stretched the boundaries of solo physical comedy. In a series of unforgettable vignettes, stone-faced Ronald tries his hand as a baseball player, soda jerk, waiter, coxswain and track star, performing each task with steady determination but with consistently disastrous results. These scenes are especially amazing because in demonstrating Ronald's athletic inadequacies, Keaton reveals a surprising degree of physical prowess and finesse, especially during the film's exhilarating climax.
In The Electric House, Buster turns an ordinary dwelling into an automated funhouse, whose modern conveniences go hilariously haywire at the hands of a jealous rival. Mechanical mayhem is also wrought in the shop of The Blacksmith. For decades a lost film until its recent rediscovery and restoration, Hard Luck (which Keaton Named as his favorite short work follows a suicidal Buster as he makes a final effort a fitting in with society at a swank country club.
Buster Keaton's mastery of physical comedy is on superb display in these four amazing short films. The first and longest, COLLEGE, details his exploits as a brainy student who goes to ridiculous lengths to become an athlete in order to impress his sweetheart (Ann Cornwall). Featuring a hilarious crew-racing finale, and an extended track and field sequence, this is a superb demonstration of Keaton's prowess. The DVD includes additional films. In THE ELECTRIC HOUSE, we find Keaton installing all sorts of impressive contraptions into his professor's house, including an early escalator staircase. Unfortunately, a rival sabotages his wiring, and the house goes crazy. HARD LUCK features Keaton as a guy at the literal end of his rope whose attempts at suicide only seem to land him in more trouble. THE BLACKSMITH takes place inside an old-time auto shop where Keaton destroys some cars, shoes some horses, and still gets the girl. They're all peerless gems of silent comedy, with musical scores.
One of the later entries in Keaton's series of classic silent comedies. In this one he plays a bookish college student who tries to please his girlfriend by becoming a star athlete. The problem is, he's a weakling and a klutz. In a series of typically breathtaking, balletic and brilliantly funny Keaton gags, the diminutive hero attempts to master a variety of different sports -- all the while suffering the taunts of his brawny rival. Among the celebrated sequences in the film is a boat race in which Buster turns himself into a human rudder and steers his team to a triumphant finish.
- Additional cast members: Flora Bramley (The Girl's Friend); Sam Crawford (Baseball Coach)
- Music credits: overture, "Orpheus"; Joseph Plunkett's "Postcard Frolic"; "Boston," with Reeves and Leu; "New York," with Layman and Kling, the Indiana Five and Allan Mackenzie.
- "College" is the only film in which Buster Keaton ever used a stunt double. The spectacular shot in which Keaton's character pole vaults into a second-story window was actually performed by an Olympic pole vaulter. It was a point of honor with Keaton that he performed all his own stunts (and had even performed anonymously as a stuntman in other movies). The fact that he was unable to perform the pole vault himself (which may have been partially due to his increasing alcohol intake) deeply depressed Keaton.