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Silent Era Home Page  >  Home Video  >  Convict 13
 
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Reviews of silent film releases on home video.
Copyright © 1999-2017 by Carl Bennett
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Convict 13
(1920)

 

This Buster Keaton short comedy has survived in rougher form than many of his other films.

coverKino International
2011 Blu-ray Disc edition

Buster Keaton: The Short Films Collection 1920-1923 (1920-1923), black & white, 390 minutes total, not rated,
including Convict 13 (1920), black & white, 19 minutes, not rated.

Kino Lorber, K756, UPC 7-38329-07562-0.
Three single-sided, dual-layered, Region 0 Blu-ray Discs, 1.33:1 aspect ratio image in pillarboxed 16:9 (1920 x 1080 pixels) progressive scan AVCHD MPEG-4 format, ? Mbps average video bit rate, ? kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 mono sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, chapter stops; three slimline BD keepcases in cardboard slipcase, $49.95.
Release date: 12 July 2011.
Country of origin: USA
This remastered collection has been mastered from the best 35mm print materials available. Not all of the source prints are of 35mm quality, however. Some prints are of only good quality as the surviving material is either contrasty and blurred from multiple print duplications or preserved from 16mm reduction prints.

For material that is quite scuffed or otherwise of distracting state, Kino offers viewer-selectable versions that have been digitally cleaned by computer processing.

Among the supplementary content created for this collection are 15 visual essays featuring contributions from Jack Dragga, Ken Gordon, David Kalat, Bruce Lawton, Steve Massa, Ben Model, David B. Pearson, R. Emmet Sweeney and Patricia Eliot Tobias, a series of alternate and deleted shots from Keaton shorts, a presentation of exerpts from comedy films influenced by Keaton, and Keaton cameos in short films of the late 1920s.

 
USA: Click the logomark to purchase this Region-Free Blu-ray Disc edition from Amazon.com. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
 
Canada: Click the logomark to purchase this Region-Free Blu-ray Disc edition from Amazon.ca. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
 
United Kingdom: Click the logomark to purchase this Region-Free Blu-ray Disc edition from Amazon.co.uk. Your purchase supports Silent Era.
coverKino International
2011 DVD edition

Buster Keaton: The Short Films Collection 1920-1923 (1920-1923), black & white, 390 minutes total, not rated,
including Convict 13 (1920), black & white, 19 minutes, not rated.

Kino Lorber, K755, UPC 7-38329-07552-1.
Three single-sided, dual-layered, Region 0 NTSC 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, ? kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 mono sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, 2 chapter stops; three-disc standard DVD keepcase in cardboard slipcover, $34.95.
Release date: 12 July 2011.
Country of origin: USA

Ratings (1-10): video: 6 / audio: 8 / additional content: 7 / overall: 7.

This remastered DVD collection has been mastered from the best 35mm print materials available. Not all of the source prints are of 35mm quality, however. Some prints are of only good quality as the surviving material is either contrasty and blurred from multiple print duplications or preserved from 16mm reduction prints.

Among the supplementary content created for this collection are 15 visual essays featuring contributions from Jack Dragga, Ken Gordon, David Kalat, Bruce Lawton, Steve Massa, Ben Model, David B. Pearson, R. Emmet Sweeney and Patricia Eliot Tobias, a series of alternate and deleted shots from Keaton shorts, a presentation of exerpts from comedy films influenced by Keaton, and Keaton cameos in short films of the late 1920s.

 
USA: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 0 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.com. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
 
Canada: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 0 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.ca. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
 
United Kingdom: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 0 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.co.uk. Your purchase supports Silent Era.
coverKino on Video
1999 DVD edition

Steamboat Bill, Jr. (1928), black & white, 69 minutes, not rated,
with Convict 13 (1920), black & white, 20 minutes, not rated.

Kino International, K135DVD, UPC 7-38329-01352-3.
One single-sided, single-layered, Region 0 NTSC DVD disc, 1.33:1 aspect ratio image in full-frame 4:3 (720 x 480 pixels) interlaced scan MPEG-2 format, 4.5 Mbps average video bit rate, 192 kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 mono and stereo sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, 4 chapter stops; snapper DVD case (reissued in standard DVD keepcase [retail] and in slimline DVD keepcase [boxset]), $29.99 (reduced to $24.95).
Release date: 26 October 1999.
Country of origin: USA

Ratings (1-10): video: 5 / audio: 8 / additional content: 7 / overall: 7.

This early DVD edition of one of the most reputedly incomplete Keaton films, Convict 13 (1920), a two-reel film that was for years identified as having only survived in one reel. New digital intertitles, made to look old, replace missing original intertitles. The majority of the first part of Convict 13 (the first reel was considered missing) is transferred from a rough 16mm print, and still obviously has portions of missing footage. Some of the footage (all in the second reel) originates from a very good quality 35mm print, beginning with Buster’s arrival at the gallows. Toward the end of the film another, darker 35mm print is used to complete the story. The film’s chase sequences somewhat anticipate Cops (1922). That’s Buster’s father Joe as the high-kicking prisoner who takes out three guards at three o’clock.

Robert Israel plays the Fotoplayer for musical accompaniment and the sound is out of sync (late) until the second reel.

 
USA: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 0 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.com. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
 
Canada: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 0 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.ca. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
 
United Kingdom: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 0 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.co.uk. Your purchase supports Silent Era.
Other silent era BUSTER KEATON films available on home video.
Buster Keaton filmography in The Progressive Silent Film List
 
 
Silent Era Home Page  >  Home Video  >  Convict 13
 

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