Making the Grades
Discuss Hollywood's greatest comedians and the name Buster Keaton is sure to be mentioned. In this collection of ten short films, the master of mayhem muddles along, maintaining his "Great Stone Face." Meanwhile he manages such diverse mishaps as inviting his ex-wife to live with his new bride (His Ex Marks the Spot) and wearing the wrong uniform in an area under military control (Mooching Through Georgia).
Rising to fame during the silent era of filmmaking, the funny man perfected the art physical humor, body gestures and subtle expressions that spoke volumes without ever a word being uttered. While these particular movies are talkies, his trademark gags still involve plenty of the previously mentioned skills, chasing-up a chuckle with bashes, crashes, falls, and sprawls. Of course no real harm is ever intended, but you might not want to try this at home all the same.
Releasing as a 2-dics set, the DVDs also contains the featurette Buster Keaton: From Silents to Shorts, which starts with the actor and his parents' introduction into show business on the Vaudeville stage, to his golden age of fame and fortune, right through to his personal and financial crash and the love that redeemed his later years.
Included in this package is a reproduction of an actual annotated script for the skit, She'll Oil Mine. Budding moviemakers and fervent fans may enjoy perusing the hand written notes and comparing them to the final production.
Although these 1940s films may not represent Buster Keaton's best work, his amazing talent, amusing antics and silly slapstick are still sure to solicit a smile. They are also a great way to acquaint a new generation with an old classic.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Buster Keaton Collection.
How do you define violence? Does portraying aggressive behavior and physical danger in a humorous way change the way you feel about it? If the same antics shown here did happen in reality, what would happen? Do you think the lack of consequences makes the violence more tolerable or the depictions less responsible?