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College [Blu-ray] [1927] [US Import]

Buster Keaton    Blu-ray
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: £12.85
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Product details

  • Actors: Buster Keaton
  • Format: Silent
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Unrated (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Kino Video
  • DVD Release Date: 5 Mar 2013
  • Run Time: 66 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 165,069 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



For many, Buster Keaton is the greatest comedian of the silent era rated even above Chaplin, and College (1927) is one of his finest films. A poor student who has to work his way through college, Buster is desperate to win the attention of a pretty girl and takes up sports. His attempt at the high jump is a classic piece of clowning, and as the cox in a boat race Buster displays his full genius for comic invention. Through every disaster, the great "stone face" as he was nicknamed betrays not a flicker of emotion, enduring all humiliations with aplomb. If not quite the equal of The Navigator (1924) or its immediate predecessor The General (1927), College shows Keaton at the top of his form. Tragically, the following year he lost his independence when he signed for MGM. His career collapsed, his marriage broke up and he became an alcoholic, never to regain former glories.

On the DVD: The organ music accompanying this silent feature is pleasantly unobtrusive, and apart from a short section in the middle where it deteriorates, the print quality is reasonable. In addition there are two excellent Keaton shorts, One Week (1920) and The Blacksmith (1922).-- Ed Buscombe

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Testifies to the Keaton genius 23 Jan 2003
So 'College' is not the VERY best of the bunch. So what? Buster Keaton was and is the greatest and 'College' certainly testifies to his genius and was maybe the last feature that ever did. The venue, a college campus complete with jocks, nerds, cheerleaders, sympathetic headmasters (!) and bossy athletics coaches, is a source and vehicle of typical Keaton versatility, although you might feel that the most brilliant of jokes are a little far between.
Keaton creatures a psychologically well-rounded portrayal (and who would have thought?) of the bookish young man trying out for athletic fame to win the heart of a pretty girl. He is virtuosic in his physical comedy and really heartwrenching in his stonefaced martyrdom. Keaton is one screen persona though who, ultimately, will not let anybody override him, and he bounces back with a vengeance. The last half-hour of 'College' is vintage Keaton. You'll enjoy it, and you will savour the meticulous transfer on this DVD.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars  15 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An athletic Keaton playing a collegiate nerd 24 Mar 1999
By Michael Gebert - Published on
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.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Lost in the VHS Transfer 31 Aug 2000
By Monte L. Henrie - Published on
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.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Buster Keaton Wins the Day 18 Jun 2013
By LA MovieGuy - Published on
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
The new Blu-Ray version of "College" from Kino will please any Buster Keaton fan and most others too. The story finds Buster as a smart high school grad with difficulties fitting in with the popular crowd. He follows his sweetheart to college and has to compete with the "big man on campus" for the attention of his high school sweetheart, the very attractive Anne Cornwall. Buster's attempts to fit in at college and with the popular crowd are thwarted in some very funny ways. Buster tries to hold a job as a "soda- jerk" at the local ice cream parlor but fails in funny fashion.Later he tries to impress the girl by being a college baseball player but fails at that too. Then it's on to track and field where he tries to emulate other teammates in all the events of the day(1920's). These include some field events that are no longer used. All of this leads to some very funny bits and eventual failure. He finally becomes the hero of the day as the coxwain for the rowing crew. Of course he finally defeats his rival, wins the hand of his beloved and all ends happily.
Many of the college scenes were shot on the campus of the Univ.of Southern California and in the Los Angeles Memorial
Coleseum built for the Olympics.Over-all a very funny film.
The only down-side is the unfortunate use of some "black-face" comedy scenes in which Buster tries to work in a restaurant as a waiter with disasterous results.
The disc includes a nice addition of John Bengtson's "Silent Echoes" in which he traces Buster's actual locations in the film through historical photos he has researched.
The disc also includes a short film that is believed to be Keation's last filmed performance. It's an industrial film promoting saftey at construction sites. It's a sad end to a remarkable career as one of film's greatest comic actors.
On the down-side, I could not get the disc's audio comentary by Rob Farr to operate. It may be a problem with the disc that I will investigate further. The musical setting by John Muri, though-out the film, was adequate.
Over-all, I give it four-stars.
8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars New Blu-ray adds a significant amount of picture to all sides & increases the details over the old DVD. 21 Feb 2013
By Paul J. Mular - Published on
Comparing this new Blu-ray release to the old Art Of Buster Keaton DVD shows much improvement.

1) A significant amount of picture has been added to all sides! The old DVD was heavily cropped on all sides! But this added picture comes with some downsides, there was a framing problem in the master film and at times there is a lighter grey-tone bar at the bottom of the picture. This was cropped off in the old DVD.

2) The new High Definition transfer is sharper and does add details to the grass on the ground and the ivy on the buildings. Even the grainy replacement section at 24:51 looks way better here.

3) The old DVD was a little too bright, some of the whites seemed to wash out. This new transfer lowers the white levels to correct this. However it gives the film the look of being shot on a cloudy day. Some may like the brighter look of the old DVD, others will like this less washed-out presentation. I prefer this version, but find the old DVD acceptable.

4) Image stabilization has been used in this new transfer. The most noticeable improvement is in the opening titles, they are rock steady (but not a freeze frame).

5) The original DVD had some of it's dialogue cards replaced with black background cards. Here in this new transfer, all dialogue cards have the same curtain background. They look original, not recreations.

The downside: Soms shots are still soft here and there as inferior prints had to be used where footage was missing fromt he original 35mm master. But that is the nature of watching old films originally filmed on Nitrate film.

This 1hour and 5 minute film has the same John Muri musical accompanyment as the old DVD, but it sounds crisper here.
There is also an optional COMMENTARY TRACK by Slapsticon founder and film historian ROB FARR.

The old DVD included Buster's shorts that are now on the Buster Keaton Shorts Blu-ray, but no real bonuses.
This Blu-ray has two bonus features:

a) Silent Echos (9:55) a then & now look at the shooting locations of "College".

b) The Scribe (29:25) a 1966 Construction Safety Associates of Onterio COLOR industrial film starring Buster. This would be Buster's last appearance on film before he passed away.
Buster is a new reporter who visits a construction site to report on construction accidents. However the biggest cause of accidents on this site is Buster himself.
Buster doesn't speak in this sound film, he only points to a list of safety regulations and a narrator recites the regulation. This pantomime separates him from reality and makes it easier to watch this now elderly man get bounced around. This late example of Buster's work is a good indication on how the world sadly ignored this talented man since the 1940's.

AS FOR THE FEATURE FILM, College has never been one of my favorites. Buster is attending college (which was a new concept in Los Angeles in those days as their universities were just being built). After giving a speech on how important studies are over athletics, Buster's girlfriend tells him he must re-think his ideas if she is going to stay with him. So Buster enters that athletic world (in real life Buster is an athlete). Buster's thrill of athletics is apparent here, but 15 minutes of him blundering around on the Track & Field Stadium doesn't make good cinema. This happens right in the middle of the film, it feels like the pace grinds to a halt. We smile at his blunders, but they are not genuinely funny. The film picks up again and Buster is in top form during the boat race finale.
***PC WARNING*** Buster does apply for a job asking for "Colored Waiters" and goes in black-face for the job.

Any Buster Keaton film is still enjoyable, and if you are thinking of upgrading to this Blu-ray, I would suggest it
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yes we are Collegiate! 29 Dec 2010
By Annie Van Auken - Published on
In COLLEGE (1927), Buster Keaton portrays an anti-athletics bookworm named Ronald who, for love's sake, adopts a totally different philosophy.

At their high school graduation ceremony, Ronald alienates a girl he's sweet on by giving a speech that disparages sports. To try to win Mary's affections, Ronald enrolls in college, where he hopes to become an athlete. He fails miserably however-- an interesting premise, especially in Buster's case, for he was a naturally-gifted baseball player and acrobat capable of immense feats of strength.

Defeated and depressed, Ronald's honors-level grades plummet, so the school's dean gets involved. He sympathetically puts Ronald on the rowing team as coxswain (the man who steers). Mary comes to appreciate all of the young man's efforts, but when Jeff, her jock boyfriend is expelled from school, he takes Mary hostage, hoping she'll get thrown out, too and they can be married. This brings Ronald running to the rescue.

Also recommended: Buster's SHERLOCK, JR. (1924) has some of the most astounding trick photography ever seen. It's the story of a movie projectionist with an overactive imagination. This DVD edition also includes OUR HOSPITALITY (1923)-- a Hatfield/McCoy tale of a young man whose life is endangered when he visits his girlfriend's family.

Parenthetical number preceding title is a 1 to 10 imdb viewer poll rating.

(7.2) College (silent-1927) - Buster Keaton/Anne Cornwall/Flora Bramley/Harold Goodwin/Snitz Edwards/Carl Harbaugh/Sam Crawford/Florence Turner/Grant Withers
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