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Buster Keaton: From Silents to Shorts (2006)

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Ed Sikov ...
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Documentary | Short

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7 March 2006 (USA)  »

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Probably the best film in "The Buster Keaton Collection"
17 February 2009 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

If you are a casual fan of Buster Keaton or don't know a whole lot about the guy, this is a very good documentary that is included as an extra with "The Buster Keaton Collection"--his very poor sound comedies that he made for Columbia Pictures in the late 30s and early 40s. As for the comedy shorts, they are pretty sad--as Columbia treated Buster like he was a one of the Three Stooges and this style of comedy was all wrong for this silent master. While the folks in the documentary were rather kind towards these later films, it's obvious from their comments that they, too, didn't think much of the two DVD set. While I certainly would never recommend you buy the set, if you find it on Netflix, it's worth a look and is included on disk #2.

So why did I say it was more for the casual fan? Well, because there just isn't much you can really say in 24 minutes and 50 seconds. Plus, the definitive biography "Buster Keaton: A Hard Act to Follow" is simply perfect and so well done, I can't see why a rabid fan like myself would want to see the shorter and lesser documentary. At 160 minutes and with an amazingly high rating of 9.2, it's the obvious choice.


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