All set for your New Year’s Eve/New Year’s Day movie marathon?
“The Ultimate Buster Keaton Collection,” just released by Kino Classics, could comprise one all by itself. The 14-disc Blu-ray box set contains all of Keaton’s independently-produced silent features plus all his starring silent shorts, and the talkie shorts he made for Educational in the ‘30s. Speaking of marathons, if you want to see an athlete in his prime, check out Buster’s hilarious 1927 feature, “College,” which makes its Blu-ray debut in this box set (it’ll be available by itself in January).
Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle, who engineered Keaton’s film debut, became a highly-regarded director after the false accusations of rape that destroyed his career, as most aficionados of silent movie comedies know. He also appeared in six Vitaphone shorts in the early ‘30s that have been difficult to see—until now.
“The Vitaphone Comedy Collection, Vol. One” (available on DVD from Warner Archive) offers all six shorts, revealing Arbuckle in good form; two of them feature young Shemp Howard (more than a decade before joining The Three Stooges on film), who stars in 13 additional shorts on this two-disc set. Let the revels –and revelations—begin.
Warner Archive also offers an opportunity to catch Joe E. Brown in several of his starring roles from the 1930s, the rarest of which is probably “Going Wild.” If you know Brown only as the wizened millionaire in “Some Like It Hot,” you’re in for a joy ride in this Depression era romp, with the comedian—a great acrobat, like Keaton—as an unemployed newspaperman who’s mistaken for a famous aviator.
If your tastes run more toward contemporary cinema, one of the best-reviewed films of 2012 is newly out on Blu-ray and DVD via Kino Lorber. “The Well-Digger’s Daughter” is a French romantic comedy about a single father and his wayward offspring, who has an affair with an air force pilot. It’s based on the novel by Marcel Pagnol and handsomely directed by its star, actor Daniel Auteuil, whose “Jean de Florette” (also based on a work by Pagnol) was one of the best films of the ‘80s.
Hot tip: If you’re in Manhattan for the holidaze, you might want to check out “Katharine Hepburn: Dressed for Stage and Screen,” an exhibit of costumes and memorabilia at New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Lincoln Center, through Jan. 12… TCM is rebroadcasting “The Iron Petticoat”—featuring Hepburn in the worst performance of her career—on Jan. 9.
More from Jordan:
‘Addams Family’ in Costa Mesa, Goya, Picasso & Dalí in Anaheim
Italian and British gems on DVD, Broadway spoofs & Oscar losers http://rootshed.com/article/italian-and-british-gems-on-dvd-broadway-spoofs-oscar-losers
More Ernie Kovacs video rarities, Edie Adams’ found Xmas album http://rootshed.com/article/more-ernie-kovacs-video-rarities-edie-adams-found-xmas-album
The ultimate Carol Burnett DVD set, overdue bio of comedian Ed Wynn http://exm.nr/NQ3DQq
‘Car 54, Where Are You?’ rides again, TV reference book in 2nd ed. http://shar.es/2s2T7
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