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32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Value
I bought this Keaton set expecting the prints too be poor, because f the very low price. I was very wrong. About half of the films in this collection appear to be from "The Art of Buster Keaton" that costs $200 in America.

This 6-DVD set includes almost all of Keatons finest films (it misses the High Sign and Hard Luck) including the Saphead. The best features...
Published on 27 July 2006 by Jim

versus
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great Films Awful Copies
Let's Get this straight Buster's Films are wonderful but these copies are not
if these copies were the only ones available it wouldn't be so bad but they aren't, there are vastly better copies out there the complete Buster Keaton short films for example or Cinema clubs set of Steamboat Bill Jnr, Collage & 3 Ages. Why we still have to be flogged these dire old...
Published on 21 July 2007 by .


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32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Value, 27 July 2006
By 
Jim (Scotland) - See all my reviews
I bought this Keaton set expecting the prints too be poor, because f the very low price. I was very wrong. About half of the films in this collection appear to be from "The Art of Buster Keaton" that costs $200 in America.

This 6-DVD set includes almost all of Keatons finest films (it misses the High Sign and Hard Luck) including the Saphead. The best features in this set are the General, College, Our Hospitality, the Navigator and the Saphead. The two best shorts are probably Neighbours and the Love Nest.

Most of the features in the collection are in excellent condition, apart from College and the Tree Ages, both of which are from the Rohauer Collection and suffer from focus and contrast problems. The General and Our Hospitality are the Thames Silent versions that are beginning to look dated (but still have the brilliant Carl Davis scores).

Most of the music is very good especially the jazzy Sherlock Jr. score.

The shorts in this collection generally look OK, but many of the films do not fill the screen or are not really restored. Once again the prints from the Rohauer collection are quite poor.

The only extra is a 1968 documentary, "The Great Stone Face" which does not offer much but contains most of Fatty at Coney island. Overall a very good set.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good Keaton set for beginners, 17 Feb 2010
By 
R. J. Warner (Tunbridge Wells, Kent United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Buster Keaton Chronicles [Repackaged] [DVD] (DVD)
This set contains all ten features made by Buster at his own studio in the 1920s, plus 17 of his nineteen shorts and his early acting role in the Metro feature "The Saphead". Mostly, these are the restored versions done by David Shepard in the USA, originally for release on videotape and laserdisc. The exceptions are "The General" and "Our Hospitality", which are presented in the Thames Silents versions done by Kevin Brownlow and David Gill, with music by Carl Davis (superb), plus the following films, which, unfortunately, are taken from ancient (and not very good) prints prepared by Raymond Rohauer: SHORTS The Boat, The Blacksmith, Cops, One Week, The Balloonatic FEATURES Three Ages, College, Steamboat Bill Jr. However, the only truly horrendous print is Steamboat, so, overall, this is a good set for Keaton beginners. A really good library of Keaton silents can be assembled by adding the MK2 3-disc set containing superior restorations of Three Ages, Steamboat Bill Jr and College, plus the Masters Of Cinema set containing the 2 missing Keaton shorts (Hard Luck, The High Sign), Keaton's early films with Roscoe Arbuckle, plus better copies of some of the other Keaton shorts (although a few on the Keaton Chronicles are actually superior). Also available from Amazon France are Buster's last two silents - The Cameraman and Spite Marriage, made at MGM.
In summary, the Keaton Chronicles set is well worth having!
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65 of 68 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great value for first-time Keaton purchasers, 22 Mar 2006
By A Customer
This is a big collection and merits a bigger review than I'm going to give it, but as noone else has so far attempted it, here goes. I am not going to review each individual film; that information is readily available elsewhere.
I guess most people who are reading this are like me, and never bought a Keaton recording before. This collection at about £22 (currently) for nearly all of the silents directed by and starring Keaton seemed almost too good to be true. However that is what I got. I was able to enjoy again the films I'd seen before and discover some gems among the ones I hadn't. I am thoroughly satisfied with the purchase.
A few warnings to the unwary: It may seem obvious to say this, but these are films made in the 1920's. In these days of spectacle it may be difficult to appreciate the innovation and technical skills of the special effects, and indeed the stunts, without having an idea of the technology of the time. But more than this, the films contain attitudes to race, women's roles, child care and animal treatment that may jar today.
One further consequence is that the original negatives and prints have not survived. These films are all, at best, copies of copies of copies, and have had to be converted from the original frame rate(s) eventually to the 25 frames per second of the DVD. None of the films can said to be in crisp focus compared with modern films, all suffer from some flickering but all are still watchable without any eyestrain.
The films vary quite a lot in visual quality; many are clear, but some are scratchy and dusty and have sections missing and may be tinted by a heavy hand. The soundtracks vary too, some with full orchestra, some with a cinema organ, some with a small band or piano and a few with sound-effects added.
I am sure with modern technology these films could be cleaned up enormously so I guess that there may be future (more expensive) releases of these films. I understand there is already such an edition of "The General".
With six discs packed with feature material, there isn't really room for much bonus material. The one extra offered here, "The Great Stone Face", itself a period piece, is a bit of disappointment. The bulk of the film consists of excerpts from films in the collection with little extra information offered. The best part is the beginning of the film which does give a brief biography of Keaton and a large excerpt from a Roscoe Arbuckle short that featured Keaton.
I didn't intend this review to seem so negative. This package will surely more than satify most people who, like me, aren't avid collectors or lack the money to be one.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars keaton at his best., 30 May 2006
By 
Mr. A. E. Ward Davies (Canterbury , England) - See all my reviews
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this is the kind of dvd release i have been waiting for, and here it is.

presented here for the first time, is every major film from the best period of "the great stone face" buster keaton.

observing these short and feature films, i can understand keaton rivalling chaplin as a genesis in silent slapstick and film-making. it amazes me how a man can take all the risks and endure the pain with his various stunts and live to tell the tale.

to really compliment this dvd set, a documentary about buster keaton was released on the same day, entitled " a hard act to follow." i have it on video and makes for a fascinating two and a half hours.

network have done an exceptional job of digitally remastering footage as old as this. i really hope they give harold lloyd the credit he deserves, and dedicate a dvd set of his films.

in the meantime, buy the keaton collection and treasure it.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic, timeless Stoneface, 29 May 2006
By 
David Double (Ipswich, Suffolk, England) - See all my reviews
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For lovers of pure comic genius this is a must, and lets face it Buster Keaton is unparalleled in cinematagraphical comedy. I wanted a collection of his best works and certainly got just that with 29 films on these 6 DVD's. The collection contains many full length classics such as "the general", "Steamboat Bill jr" and "Battling Butler" which are as funny today as they were in the late 1920's. I would thoroughly recommend this collection to anybody who appreciates classic, timeless comedy as opposed to slapstick. Laurel and Hardy and Chaplin were good, Harold Lloyd was great but Buster Keaton is superb.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great collection - but with very variable picture quality, 13 Mar 2009
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
Network's 6-disc set The Buster Keaton Chronicles is pretty much the closest thing available in the UK to The Art of Buster Keaton boxed set from the US. It offers an excellent selection of Keaton's silent features and shorts in one package, but the quality is highly inconsistent from film to film. Some of the shorts aren't complete - The Boat runs 22 minutes as opposed to the 27-minute version on Eureka's Steamboat Bill Jr. - and some, like College, are very poor prints from the Rohauer Collection, complete with new titles and replacement captions (often with different text, which enabled him to renew the copyright). The features aren't immune from this problem either: the transfer of College is the worst on the market. In many cases the transfers from Eureka and Stonevision are better even when taken from the same master material. But on the plus side it does include The Navigator, which currently isn't widely available, as well as the lovingly restored Thames Silents version of The General and Keaton's funniest feature Our Hospitality. So, while it's far from a definitive edition, there's still enough here to warrant picking up but don't be surprised if you find yourself seeking out better transfers of some of the films.

As for the films themselves, most of Keaton's greatest moments are here: the house stuck on the railway track in One Week, the vintage train ride in Our Hospitality where he's followed the whole way by a trotting dog, the breathless montage that sees him jump from one location to another as the film he's found himself trapped in constantly changes scene in Sherlock Jr, being chased by dozens of brides - and boulders - in Seven Chances, the accidental decathlon he completes trying to save his sweetheart from a fate worse than death in College, and the still amazing stunt where the side of a house falls down around him in a storm in Steamboat Bill Jr. There are unexpected moments too, such as the scene where he discovers his wife cheating on him in The Frozen North, which has a payoff you'd never expect from Keaton. Of the 11 features - The Three Ages, Our Hospitality, Sherlock Jr., The Navigator, Seven Chances, Go West, The General, College and Steamboat Bill Jr. - only The Saphead and Battling Butler disappoint, but even they have just enough moments in the last reel to make them worth a watch.

Sadly, unlike the Art of Buster Keaton set, there are only a couple of extras - a booklet and the 1968 feature-length documentary The Great Stoneface, so it's worth picking up Network's DVD of the three-part documentary Buster Keaton: A Hard Act to Follow as well.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great Films Awful Copies, 21 July 2007
Let's Get this straight Buster's Films are wonderful but these copies are not
if these copies were the only ones available it wouldn't be so bad but they aren't, there are vastly better copies out there the complete Buster Keaton short films for example or Cinema clubs set of Steamboat Bill Jnr, Collage & 3 Ages. Why we still have to be flogged these dire old prints is beyond me. Buy this set for fairly good copies of 7 chances, battling butler, the navigator, our hospitality, go west and the saphead but get the other features elsewhere. Get the 2 DVD set of the General from Cinema club a better print and lots of good extras through you don't get the carl davis score, about half the shorts are also dire prints so get the complete Buster keaton short films
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Warning:, 23 Jan 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Do not let word get out you've got this boxset if you know more people than will fit in front of your telly. It could lead to arguments, violence, or trampling among your friends + relations. Also, you could end up feeling that they only want you for you DVDs, which is a bit depressing.
Seriously - As a few other reveiws have said, some of the films are in quite bad condition; but none are unwatchable, + most are very clear. Other than that, there's really nothing not to love about this collection. No endless mazes of menu screens, no superfluous commentaries + cutting-room sweepings that you'll never get round to watching taking up valuable disc space, even the scene select function has been put to good use.
Oh yes, + all those films are worth a look, as well. As you're probably aware. + Buster Keaton himself was a very talented, creative, + (dare I say it) pretty individual who I could write a whole essay on, but for this 1000 character limit. + there's lots of funny little old cars + hats + telephones + things, which I also find facinating. But perhaps it's just me, no-one else has mentioned it.
+ 18 for 6 discs of historically informative entertainment is... fantastic.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A must for any fans of silent comedy., 7 April 2014
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A complete collection of the master Buster Keaton at a great price. For me he's still funny unlike Chaplin who I admire, but feel has suffered over time. Buster Keaton however is still hysterical.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars good collection bad music, 2 Feb 2014
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This review is from: The Buster Keaton Chronicles [Repackaged] [DVD] (DVD)
great collection, great price but not original music, featuring electric guitars at some point...... it says performed by some orchestra but really doesnt work for me and changes the picture too much
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