Buster Keaton was convinced by those around him to break with independent film production and sign as a contract star with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer early in 1928. Keaton made his final two silent films for MGM before his sound feature film debut in 1930.
Keaton’s inability to cope with large studio control over his work and the studio’s misunderstanding of his onscreen persona led to an inevitable decline in Keaton’s creative output. Declining film profits and alcohol abuse crushed his film career in the 1930s. — Carl Bennett
2004 DVD edition
Buster Keaton Collection (1928-2004), black & white and color, 245 minutes total, not rated,
including The Cameraman (1928), black & white, 76 minutes, not rated, Spite Marriage (1929), black & white, 76 minutes, not rated, Free and Easy (1930), black & white, 93 minutes, not rated, and So Funny It Hurt: Buster Keaton at MGM (2004), color and black & white, ? minutes, not rated.
Warner Home Video, 67009, UPC 0-12569-70092-5.
Two single-sided, dual-layered, Region 1NTSC DVD discs, 1.33:1 aspect ratio image in full-frame 4:3 (720 x 480 pixels) interlaced scan MPEG-2 format, ? Mbps average video bit rate, 192 kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 mono and stereo sound, English language intertitles, English, Spanish and French language subtitles, chapter stops; two plastic DVD trays on cardboard wrap in cardboard slipcase, $39.95.
Release date: 7 December 2004.
Country of origin: USA
This DVD collection of Buster Keaton’s first three films for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer also includes the modern documentary So Funny It Hurt: Buster Keaton at MGM by Kevin Brownlow. The overall quality is generally excellent, with improvements in the source materials for The Cameraman over MGM’s laserdisc and VHS editions from the 1990s.
Also included as supplementary material is audio commentary by Glenn Mitchell, author of A-Z of Silent Film Comedy: An Illustrated Companion on The Cameraman; commentary by John Bengston, author of Silent Echoes: Discovering Early Hollywood Through the Films of Buster Keaton and Jeffrey Vance, author of Buster Keaton Remembered on Spite Marriage; and photo montages from the silent films.
USA: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 1NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.com. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
Canada: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 1NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.ca. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.