In 1917 a 21 year old Buster Keaton walked on to a film set for the very first time and without a single retake made his screen debut in a comedy sketch in Arbuckle's 'The Butcher Boy'. This collection includes 13 of the 14 films that Arbuckle and Keaton made together (one remains lost) and all of the 19 independent shorts Buster made after getting his own studio in 1920. It charts Buster's early development as one of the greatest performers and directors in the history of film comedy. The films are wonderful, and if you don't already know them, you are in for a treat.
The accompanying book has some nice photos, as well as extracts from Buster's autobiography and interview transcripts, but most of it is given over to a discussion between three film writers which I didn't find particularly illuminating.
My big problem is with the audio commentaries. They are by one Joseph McBride, described as a 'film historian' but who seems to fancy himself a psychoanalyst. My advice is don't listen to them, because they will kill the comedy for you. If you must, treat them with caution. McBride is OK while he sticks to explaining the technical and creative aspects of the films and providing a little historical and sociological context. But when he moves into the realm of psychology he is on very shaky ground. His comments about Buster's personal life are, at best, speculative and, at worst, inaccurate and insulting. Take no notice of them. There are plenty of Keaton experts around who would have made a better job of this, and I'm surprised at Eureka Video's choice.