Slipbox The Complete Buster Keaton Short Films 1917-1923 (Blu-ray Eureka! Masters of Cinema #150) [UK]


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Jul 6, 2016
Release date: 25 July 2016
Purchase links: Eureka! - Amazon UK - Zavvi
Price: £29.99 (Eureka) - £25.95 (Amazon) - £27.99 (Zavvi)
Notes: 3 amarays in a hardbox, with chunky 180+ page perfect bound book.


Containing thirty-two films – with a running time of over 720 minutes – this collection documents Buster Keaton’s short films between 1917-1923.

Capturing Keaton’s first steps in front of a camera this box set charts his early association with ex-Keystone Kop Roscoe ‘Fatty’ Arbuckle through to starring in, headlining, and directing his own box office smash hits. Using Chaplin’s old Hollywood studios in 1920, Keaton’s sophisticated technical inventiveness coupled with his haunted-yet-handsome ‘Stone Face’ persona, created a succession of the most timeless, classic comedy shorts ever realised. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present the following films in a luxurious box set, available on DVD, as well as on Blu-ray for the first time in the UK.

Featuring: The Butcher Boy (1917), The Rough House (1917), His Wedding Night (1917), Oh, Doctor! (1917), Coney Island (1917), Out West (1918), The Bell Boy (1918), Moonshine (1918), Good Night Nurse (1918), The Cook (1918), Backstage (1919), The Hayseed (1919), The Garage (1919), The “High Sign”* (finished 1920, released 1921), One Week* (1920), Convict 13* (1920), The Scarecrow (1920), Neighbors (1920), The Haunted House (1921), Hard Luck (1921), The Goat (1921), The Playhouse* (1921), The Boat* (1921), The Paleface (1922), Cops* (1922), My Wife’s Relations (1922), The Blacksmith (1922), The Frozen North (1922), Daydreams (1922), The Electric House (1922), The Balloonatic (1923), The Love Nest (1923)

  • 1080p presentations from new restorations
  • Multiple scores on selected shorts
  • Audio commentaries by Joseph McBride on The ‘High Sign’, One Week, Convict 13, The Playhouse, The Boat, and Cops
  • Newly discovered version of The Blacksmith containing four minutes of previously unseen footage
  • Alternate ending for Coney Island
  • Alternate ending for My Wife’s Relations
  • That's Some Buster, a new exclusive video essay by critic and filmmaker David Cairne
  • An introduction by preservationist Serge Bromberg
  • The Art of Buster Keaton, actor Pierre Étaix discusses Keaton’s style
  • Audio recording of Keaton at a party in 1962
  • Life with Buster Keaton (1951, excerpt) - Keaton re-enacts Roscoe Arbuckle's "Salomé dance", first performed in The Cook
  • PLUS: A 184-PAGE BOOK containing:
  • A roundtable discussion on Keaton by critics Brad Stevens, Jean-Pierre Coursodon and Dan Sallitt
  • A new essay and detailed notes on each film by Jeffrey Vance, author of Buster Keaton Remembered
  • A new essay by Serge Bromberg on the two versions of The Blacksmith and other discoveries
  • The words of Keaton
  • Archival imagery
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happy days. :happy: like @MrSquifler i got this some time ago (when it came out, in fact), but as i have almost finished watching them all, i looked for a thread for this and there wasn't one, so... :Snap:

this is a great set, and not just for Keaton completists. considering some of the stock they had to work with and the multiple sources they had to combine and treat to get these films in the condition they now appear, how they look is nothing short of astonishing. :wow: that, of course, and (as far as i am concerned) some of the finest comedy of any sort ever made, silent or not. :notworthy: :thumbs:

i had not seen the short films really before i saw the bigger features, but so many of the famous gif-lenth gags of Keaton's career used to pepper documentaries on him are all taken from these short films. the characters he plays (and the films themselves) are much broader at first, less Stone Face, more gurning, as he plays second fiddle to Fatty Arbuckle's star. about half way through the films that make up this set, Arbuckle had the business sense to see what Keaton could do, and started allowing him more creative input, until he was soon directing more refined, carefuly planned stories, with his star rising as Arbuckle's declined. it's not all gold, but the hit rate is high, and the gag rate relentless.

the three amarays come in the usual sturdy Eureka! box, from which for some reason i have not removed the shrink wrap :rolleyes:. you do get a lot of feature for your buck with this - here's the list:
here's what you get in the set :woot::

the amarays themselves are fine, all using this very silent-era-feel green/gamboge colour and some very Stone Faced covers. no interior art to speak of. shots of the amaras under the spoiler:
but where this set truly triumphs is the massive 180 page book that comes with it. :woot: way too big to be described as a booklet, this is brilliant stuff, the now usual Eureka! gold standard. film by film breakdowns, critical essays, biographical histories, the works. perfect bound, good quality stock, and enough reading to last you a long time. and lots of pictures, too, if that sounds too worthy. ;) all under the spoiler :Snap::Snap::
if you're a Keaton fan, chances are you own this already. if you do not, time to grab one now while you can (and it looks a lot better than this gif using old unremastered stock)!
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