THE MAS­TERS OF CIN­EMA SE­RIES PRESENTS BUSTER KEATON (VOL­UME 3)

OUT 24 AU­GUST / CERT U / 222 MINS

Empire (UK) - - REVIEW - NEIL ALCOCK

Eureka!’s third Buster Keaton three-film set brings us tan­ta­lis­ingly close to be­ing able to own all of The Great Stone Face’s si­lent-com­edy clas­sics in pin-sharp high def­i­ni­tion. The jewel in the crown here is Keaton’s first fea­ture-length mas­ter­piece, from 1923, Our Hos­pi­tal­ity: the story of a fam­ily feud wherein Buster de­fies death in in­creas­ingly hair-rais­ing ways. It’s a tri­umph of wit, in­ven­tion and mas­sive hats, and Buster team­ing up with a length of rope for a large chunk of the film is one of com­edy’s great­est col­lab­o­ra­tions. Go West (1925) and Col­lege (1927) are un­doubt­edly lesser films, but still boast some of the finest slap­stick com­mit­ted to film. Sadly, Col­lege fea­tures a scene with Keaton in black­face, so while the 2K and 4K restora­tions might make these cen­tury-old films look like they were shot yes­ter­day, some of the hu­mour is very much of its time.

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