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Buster Keaton Collection - Help, Please?


GinnyMae
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I want to collect Buster Keaton shorts and movies, but want to do so and have as few duplicates as possible. You know how it is when you buy two collector's sets, and between the two of them, there will be at least two films that are on both sets. :)

 

I just finished my Chaplin collection about a month or so ago. The way it was set up made it very easy for me to avoid duplicates all together. Someone had the bright idea of separating all of Chaplin's shorts by the studios he worked for. So I have the Keystone collection, Essanay, Mutual, and First National. Plus I bought his movies which were under his own, private productions through United Artists.

 

So, do any of my fellow Keaton film collectors know - is it that easy with Keaton's films? What collections do you recommend? Etc...

 

All help is much appreciated. =-) Meantime, I'm off to do a little research.

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Buster Keaton is susceptible to the "Public Domain" virus - please don't support cheap Public Domain exploitation, they benefit none of the people doing the hard work of restoring these films and they occassionally rip off these very people. The following are the official Buster Keaton discs in America...

 

Kino's The Art of Buster Keaton DVD box set featuring the pre-MGM feature films - http://kino.com/video/item.php?product_id=597 (Note: This is outdated and made from 1990s Laserdisc transfers. The new editions from the most up to date restorations are listed below.)

 

 

Kino's set of the restored silent short films - http://kino.com/video/item.php?film_id=1219 (available on Blu-ray and DVD.)

 

 

Kino's set of the Educational Pictures era short films - http://www.kino.com/video/item.php?film_id=1084

 

 

Kino's new restoration Blu-rays and DVDs of the silent feature films:

 

 

Our Hospitality - http://www.kino.com/video/item.php?film_id=1187

Sherlock Jr/Three Ages - http://www.kino.com/video/item.php?film_id=1161

Go West/Battling Butler - http://www.kino.com/video/item.php?film_id=1233

Seven Chances - http://www.kino.com/video/item.php?film_id=1253

The General - http://www.kino.com/video/item.php?film_id=936

Steamboat Bill Jr. - http://www.kino.com/video/item.php?film_id=1087

 

 

(Note: The Navigator, College, and The Saphead aren't available yet, they will come out sometime this year. The old editions should be available for purchase but it's better to wait.)

 

 

Warner's set of The Cameraman, Spite Marriage, and Free and Easy - http://www.wbshop.com/Buster-Keaton-Collection-The-TCM-Archives/1000002226,default,pd.html

 

 

Sony's collection of the Columbia Pictures short films - http://www.amazon.com/Buster-Keaton-Anniversary-Collection-Nuisance/dp/B000E1EHQI

 

 

Dougboys, Sidewalks of New York, and What No Beer? are available from the Warner Archive (http://www.wbshop.com/Warner-Archive/ARCHIVE,default,sc.html)

 

 

Parlor Bedroom & Bath, The Passionate Plumber, and Speak Easily are not yet available but will eventually end up available through the Warner Archive.

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> {quote:title=JonasEB wrote:}{quote}Buster Keaton is susceptible to the "Public Domain" virus - please don't support cheap Public Domain exploitation, they benefit none of the people doing the hard work of restoring these films and they occassionally rip off these very people.

Hogwash....did you ever consider that maybe many of us DO NOT have unlimited funds to just buy everything, like you perhaps do?

 

There is NOTHING wrong with downloading something that's in public domain. If a copyright has expired...then it has expired.

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You buying the public domain discs and the people who make money off of it are entirely different things, I never wrote anything about the people buying the discs, my problem is with the people who make them - pay attention.

 

The simple solution is the following: don't pay for cheap public domain discs, download them. If you want to buy the films, get the real thing instead, which will help companies like Kino continue to release more obscure things like this - http://www.kino.com/video/item.php?film_id=988

 

Pay for a Kino, get more great films that desperately need attention. Pay for a Madacy Entertainment thing, you just fund more poor quality sets that repeat the same cheap public domain content over and over.

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Snap up the Harold Lloyd Comedy Collection seven disc set from New-Line (since absorbed into Warner Home Video), if it is still available. It's the best collection by far ever on one Silent Stars work. A must have for Silent Comedy fans, and collectors.

 

With Keaton I would stick to the Kino's. Warner did release a three disc set of THE CAMERAMAN, SPITE MARRIAGE and FREE AND EASY. You will want that too, if still in print. Oh, OK, I guess someone already provided a link.

 

I agree that Madacy puts out god-awful transfers. Stay away from them. Criterion will be releasing more of the Chaplin's in restored prints, including the complete 1925 version of THE GOLD RUSH, with an Orchestral score hopefully sometime this year. CITY LIGHTS is currently out of print in the United States on DVD, and has yet to debut on Blu-ray.

 

 

Don't know if the 90th Anniversary Chaplin Mutual's released by Image in 2006 with Carl Davis scores is still in print or not. Also has two fine documentaries. The films are gorgeous prints with restored sequences not generally seen in decades.

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Gagman, more than anyone I have ever met, I trust your views on silent films! You are awesome!

 

With respect to Harold Lloyd, who I adore, are you referring to the 3 volume set? I have one volume of the set, haven't been able to afford the other 2 yet, but curious if that is what you referring to?

 

Thank you for your review of the other material as well!

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Hi GinnyMae,

 

I would suggest that you get the *7 disk Buster Keaton Collection published by Kino.* They are a high end, high quality publisher that offer restored versions. I have it in my collection and am very pleased with it! I took a quick glance on the web and found that you could pick up a used set for $87. (The set originally sold for about a $150.) Go to Amazon and look around for price and availability.

 

I am of two minds on the issue of free downloads vs. buying videos. I agree with krieger that not everybody can afford to buy DVD's all the time; it's a very personal choice, often influenced by one's finances. I am aware of the advantages and disadvantages of both. Buying videos costs money. Looking at free web content also has drawbacks, as the upload could be of a poor quality, in parts and often risks being withdrawn from the hosting service at the request of the copyright holder. (Youtube films are often here-today-and-gone-tomorrow!)

 

For purposes of sharing films with this community, I absolutely revel in the free resources of the internet. Perhaps no one has resorted to posting free complete film links around here more than myself! In doing so, I am in no way trying to discourage the purchase of video copies! Perhaps a broken up youtube download might give you enough of a taste to decide to make a purchasing decision.

 

Happy shopping!

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ThelmaTodd, I have been looking at the set on amazon.com. It has the majority of his silent work. It is only missing his works from 1917-1919, and some 1920. It is also missing his three, final silents, but I have them on discs already. Really, that isn't bad at all. I've just added it to my amazon wishlist. lol

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Kriegerg, the only thing - well, two things actually - that I worry about with downloading the movies is, 1. the quality, and 2. I'm only allowed to download so much a month with my internet service. :-) With three of us sharing the service, we could eat up our allowance quickly. Thank you for the suggestion, though.

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Ginnymae, I don't know much about who puts out the best reproductions of silent classics, or who puts out the worst, how to go about downloading them from where, but I do know THIS...

 

My daughter has a Netflix account. I was at her place not long ago looking over their selection of Laurel and Hardy for my daughter to order and burn. They had barely anything! Couldn't find *Helpmates* on any of the piddly few discs offered. I'd be surprised if they offered more Keaton or Loyd. I used to have scads of L&H on VHS, copied from tapes that had five or six shorts on one cassette! Now, with DVD, I can't find ANYTHING! Or I haven't found the right place to look.

 

 

Someone here could maybe help ME as well as you.

 

 

Sepiatone

 

 

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> {quote:title=markbeckuaf wrote:}{quote}Gagman, more than anyone I have ever met, I trust your views on silent films! You are awesome!

>

> With respect to Harold Lloyd, who I adore, are you referring to the 3 volume set? I have one volume of the set, haven't been able to afford the other 2 yet, but curious if that is what you referring to?

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> Thank you for your review of the other material as well!Mark,

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The New-Line 7 disc box set has a forth volume. But I guess you must have the right set? is it still in print I was told about 9 months ago that it was going out of print, because Warner's contract with the Harold Lloyd Trust had expired after 6 years. In the U. K. the region 2 Nine disc set, not issued by Warner's and with one more movie should still be in print for awhile though.

 

With Keaton, I don't have the any of the new Blu-rays yet, because I just got a Blu-ray player Thanksgiving week. However, some of the Shorts were rescored, and in my view not for the better over the previous Kino releases. On the plus side, SHELOCK JUNIOR has a much impoved score by the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra. And OUR HOSPITALITY and THE GENERAL were finally released in teh states with the Carl Davis scores.They also restored the opening Two-Color Technicolor sequence to SEVEN CHANCES.

 

 

What a dark day. My second Youtube account was suspended this evening without warning for no reason. Considering I have not uploaded anything in at least 5 or 6 months, I feel that I am being unfairly targeted. Why don't they suspend 75% of the people for being foul mouthed jerks? My previous account was disabled with zero reason given as well. I am very upset because all my contacts are broken. Worse all my very rare Colleen Moore and Clara Bow clips, Marion Davies, Betty Bronson, clips etc, can no longer be viewed. None of which is currently on DVD, or any other medium. It is virtually impossible to contact Youtube, so I see no chance of me getting my account back. I read that Mega Upload was closed down, but I only used that site maybe a couple, three times. Never went there, unless directed, and did not even have an account.

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Gagman, thank you for that additional info! Congrats on getting a Blu-Ray, I still have an old-fashioned DVD player, but then again, I was really late to the DVD party too, pretty satisified with my trusty VCR player! :) I only switched when it broke down.

 

This is the set I have one volume of (so far):

 

http://www.amazon.com/Harold-Lloyd-Comedy-Collection-Vols/dp/B000B5XORA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1327132169&sr=8-1

Is that the same? It's still available on Amazon from mostly Marketplace sellers. Some of the silent films on the sets have audio commentaries, which I enjoy as well as an additional value.

 

Oh and sorry to hear of your youtube account! That sucks!

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> Why don't they suspend 75% of the people for being foul mouthed jerks? My previous account was disabled with zero reason given as well. I am very upset because all my contacts are broken. Worse all my very rare Colleen Moore and Clara Bow clips, Marion Davies, Betty Bronson, clips etc, can no longer be viewed.

 

Jeffrey,

 

They likely suspended your account because you had uploaded clips that you don't own the copyright to. YouTube's policy states that a person should only upload content that they own the rights to or have permission of the copyright holder (s) to upload..

 

If you don't own the rights or have permission of the rights holder, the copyright holder has the right to contact YouTube and have the content taken down.

 

I know from your posts here as well as the SSO and at Nitrateville your feelings on the matter but as numerous posters at Nitrateville have tried to explain, the copyright holder is the legit owner of the material and has the right to have content they didn't authorize taken down.

 

I hope that the latest debacle over the SOPA/PIPA bill and the talks that will likely come out of it, helps the studios to realize that they should take a more active role in bringing their classic movie fare to an appreciative on-line audience.

 

There's no reason they can't follow the example of the AFI and the Academy and have their own Classic channels on YouTube where they offer clips and movies from their vaults. It certainly beats having to hire a squad of people to troll YouTube and other carriers looking for copyright offenders.

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Lynn,

 

Generally, speaking I got warnings for audio content. Very seldom video content. The audio is what people complained about. Look Youtube states that you can use copyrighted material if it is combined with content you created yourself. I have never posted a complete movie only clips. And with my own musical selections most of the time The bottom line what I am uploading is increasingly rare and generally not currently on DVD. While what countless other people are uploading is actually costing people money. I was not costing anyone a red cent.

 

An example, the Marion Davies Holiday clip from BEAUTY'S WORTH is 100% Public-Domain. The film was released in 1922. Yet, I was told part of the audio I compiled could not be used. That's not even what their own policy says. I selected and timed the clips and matched it up with the music. Even though the film is Public-Domain, that doesn't mean it is easy to come by. Far from it. The film has been out of circulation for at least a decade. I was also told audio could not be used on one of the four clips I posted from LADY WINDERMERE'S FAN. I removed that clip of my own volition. Though it was a ridiculous claim to start with.

 

 

There are quite literally hundreds of clips of Chaplin, Lloyd, Keaton, and Pickford, movies on Youtube. And even complete films. Much of the footage is not Public-Domain, and or the restorations, or scores or not Public-domain. Yet those clips have been there for years and years. Seldom are any of them ever removed.

 

 

There are countless TV shows, Many of them only a few years old posted on Youtube. Several that are now on DVD. Are these being removed? No, they are not. Are the people that uploaded the material being kicked off of Youtube? No they are not.

 

 

The current copyright system is a joke because it obscures older films that long since should have been out of copyright. The people who technically hold the rights are doing more harm than good by completely surpressing the material. It's counterproductive to say the least.

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Here is a treat from *Buster Keaton's* sound period, that features (the original) Thelma Todd! A very funny film. Keaton's sound films unfortunately are less known and appreciated. (As are Harold Lloyd's soundies.)

 

speak9.jpg

 

speak4.jpg

 

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speeak2.jpg

 

speakthelma2.gif

 

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speakthelma.gif

 

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Relaxing off camera on the set of Speak Easily

 

speak.jpg

 

There was a lot of physical horseplay in the film between Keaton and Thelma. How he must have relished shooting these scenes!

 

speaktumblr2.gif

 

 

 

 

speak3.jpg

 

speak8thelma.gif

 

Thelma with Chico in Horsefeathers, made the same year.

 

speakthelma4.jpg

 

speak10.jpg

 

Depression over!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*SPEAK EASILY (1932)*

 

*MGM w/ Buster Keaton, Thelma Todd, Jimmy Durante*

 

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-1286508871674453179#|http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-1286508871674453179

 

*Full movie in one clip*

 

 

 

*This film is a great showcasing of the comic talents of Keaton, Todd and Durante. Keaton plays a staid, formal college professor who leads a sheltered humdrum life. He thinks he has inherited $750,000, and uses to opportunity to add excitement to his life by bankrolling a show that had hit the skids out on the road, away from Broadway. The title of the film is a joke, from when Thelma suggests going to a "speakeasy". Keaton, as naive grammarian who doesn't know what she is referring to, corrects her saying that the proper form is "speak easily"! She cheerfully overlooks this inane eccentricity because she's looking to Keaton to be her sugar daddy!*

 

*Durante's comic trademark and genius was telling (deliberately) bad jokes, but delivering them so that you end up laughing anyway! Doing that successfully just may take more talent than telling good jokes! (As a life long pianist, I can also attest to the fact that he was one hell of a good piano player!)*

 

*I couldn't resist taking this opportunity to post some motion images of Thelma from a few other films!*

 

 

*This post is a good illustration of the power of free internet content to educate and and raise awareness of classic film among the message board community and readership! Speak Easily is in the public domain, and available on video for as low a $6-7.*

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Hi gagman,

 

I regret to hear of your youtube troubles. Find a hosting service in Russia (".ru") and these problems will be over.(Write to them in English, no problem.) The Russians act as if there are bigger and other things for them to worry about besides what a Hollywood studio doesn't like! (BTW, the Russians are becoming a major internet resource for world classic film. They have many serious film buffs over there, some of whom demonstrate a formidable knowledge of American classic films!)

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Leslie,

 

That's what I did the last time. I set up a new E-mail account with Google, but obviously that is out. And I did not try again until I had been off of Youtube for about 8 or 9 months. Under my first account I had hundreds of friends. With my last one I had less than 50 and nowhere near the views. I used to have a Yahoo E-mail account many years ago about 2004 or so, but never used it. The sad thing is, if you are not registered you can not comment on anyone else videos. A small handful of people I just met and had supscribed to their channels.

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Hi gagman,

 

Understood. The suggestion about Russia was meant for posting of submissions and content. The Russians will let you post anything (and keep it posted), provided you aren't mocking Putin!

 

It's also very possible that your youtube and google accounts were hacked, by somebody who then posted something objectionable unbeknownst to you- causing disciplinary action. A while back on the Exploitation film discussion thread, I mentioned a "phishing" attempt by someone posing as youtube, asking me to "verify" my password, The email from "youtube" referenced me as "Thelma Todd", causing me to believe that the "phisher" was well familiar with these message boards. I would reregister with these sites and use a password that is "strong", meaning a combination of caps, lower case letters and a numeral.

 

Edited by: ThelmaTodd on Jan 21, 2012 3:58 PM

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