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College: Ultimate Edition [Blu-ray]

Buster Keaton , Anne Cornwall , James W. Horne    Unrated   Blu-ray
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 39.95
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Product Description

Special Features

Audio commentary by film historian Rob Farr, founder of Slapsticon, Visual essay on the film's locations, "The Scribe," a 1966 industrial short that was Keaton's final filmed performance, Kino Lorber trailers and more!

Product Description

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 a 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, particularly during the film's exhilarating climax.

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Most helpful customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Lost in the VHS Transfer Aug. 31 2000
Format:VHS Tape
While this VHS format of "College" may be considered a "Hollywood Classics Collector Edition" by some critics, it is certainly that, and something else; irritating to watch.
The story and the acting aside, the main problem is the substandard transfer from film to video. The result is a poor quality picture with loss of detail, poor focus, and exaggerated and disturbing contrasts of black and white. This is due, no doubt, to the poor decision by someone to transfer the video using the slowest speed possible of EP/SLP. The low cost of this video reflects it's inferior picture quality. The video may have been of better quality if recorded on the standard speed (SP).
The secondary problem is the ridiculous sound track which has been added to the video with absolutely no regard for the story or the action. It is merely "elevator music" and would better have been used in a circus. In addition, the style of the music is not of the same era as the story, and therefore doesn't match.
The movie itself, although not the best of Keaton's, is entertaining and worth having in your "Muster, Buster" video library. Just not this taped version! The poor quality of this video interfers greatly with the enjoyment of the comedy - at least for this viewer.
There has to be a "College" out there with a far better image.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Go Bus Go May 10 2000
By Cheated
Format:VHS Tape
The following review applies to the Kino VHS/DVD version that includes 3 Buster shorts as well as the main feature, "College".
COLLEGE (1927): Bus stars as the valedictorian of his high school who goes to college to exceed in athletics in order to impress the girl he's in love with. It's fun to watch him fail in all aspects of sports that the college offers, but I think he went too far to make himself look ridiculous at playing the game of baseball, which in reality he happened to be very talented at. What's more funny are the scenes of the jobs he gets while working his way through college. The interior of the soda fountain/drugstore he works at would make a 21st century antique dealer drool. He also tries his hand working as a black waiter and intentionally looks as bad in minstrel makeup as Al Jolson did.
THE ELECTRIC HOUSE (1922): The Electric House involves his interest in gadgets. Buster is hired erroneously to electrify the house of a family who's away on vacation. Not wanting to refuse the job, he (incredibly!) finds out about and installs electrical gadgets in the house from a learner's manual - all this in the time span of an average vacation period (!). The gadgets are really clever though, including a moving stairway, which Buster actually broke his leg on and caused him to stop shooting The Electric House until the cast came off. The filmed exteriors of the house were actually of Buster's own home (it's neat-o!).
HARD LUCK (1921): This gag-infested short stars Buster as a loser who repeatedly tries to commit suicide and bungles each time. One gag shows him drink out of some guy's bottle marked "poison", dramatically fake a death act, then realize he drank bootleg hootch, and goes back for more.
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4.0 out of 5 stars College* Nov. 22 2001
Format:VHS Tape
(*Kino tape) COLLEGE is one of Buster's weaker silent features (it's still very good). He made College right after The General and was on a tight budget. College revolves around Buster's attempts to become an athlete to impress a girl. The best scenes are when Buster is a "colored" waiter. However, it is unfortunate that Buster used blackface because just about every laugh could have been realized without it. This tape also includes three shorts: THE ELECTRIC HOUSE, HARD LUCK and THE BLACKSMITH. Buster broke his leg while making first version of The Electric House (which was destroyed). The Electric House contains a variety of electric inventions. Hard luck is very good, but parts are missing (it was considered lost until recently). The Blacksmith is also very good with Buster and Joe Roberts running a blacksmith shop.
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4.0 out of 5 stars An athletic Keaton playing a collegiate nerd March 24 1999
Format:VHS Tape
For some reason College provokes the most extreme reaction of any Keaton film-- I've seen it called both his best and his worst by critics. It is undoubtedly a lightweight work, and marred by some racial stereotyping, but the main setpieces, in which Buster runs through gags on all the major collegiate athletic activities, show off his physical dexterity at its best and are as close to pure Keaton as it comes. (The idea of him playing a weakling is pretty quickly belied by the sight of his muscles in athletic clothes.) The tape includes three shorts that also fall pretty much in the middle of the pack, although Hard Luck is worth noting both as one of the last lost Keaton films to be rediscovered and as one of the blacker comedies he ever did.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but no "General" Aug. 1 2001
Format:VHS Tape
Buster Keaton does well here, but the movie lacks the sense of adventure and fun his better works. Still an important addition to any proper Keaton collection.
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