Keaton On Kampus
College (1927) Sharpens Up For Blu-Ray
Among Buster Keaton features for United Artists release, this fell into public domain and was sold to collectors during the Blackhawk era, one of few Keatons legit-available in 8/16mm. Later it was judged a weak sister once the whole of his silents reemerged on home format, lesser quality of College prints factored into that. Much is resolved by Kino's Blu-Ray, which upgrade should raise regard for the show (significant was College being last of BK features to be issued by Kino in HD). There's been speculation that Keaton made it as surer thing retreat from commercial disappoint of The General, and as coattail hanger to Harold Lloyd's very successful The Freshman. Everyone was doing college-set comedies then, higher education a fad with youth lured to four years of necking and pep rallies as promised by pic-makers. Buster as brilliant scholar/class valedictorian is welcome and believable, a part he'd again enact on Speak Easily's talkie occasion. Keaton must have been amused playing academic despite not having gone a day to school, though time would properly recognize instinctive genius for comic creation, a thing no institution could teach.
|A Short Feature Allows For Multiple Acts of Vaudeville In Ads Shown Above|
Buster's goal is to conquer sports, not to seek popularity as was Harold Lloyd mission (BK too inner-directed for that in any case), and to win fickle heart of Anne Cornwall. Amusing in itself is prime athlete Keaton obliged to bungle at games he could offscreen best anyone at; there's no better evidence of BK the actor than muddling a try at baseball, this a game he played nearly every day of prime years and excelled in. College's race to a rescue makes us wonder if Buster should have tried out for Olympics as sideline to moviemaking. Wonder how many times he attempted pole vault into that upper-floor window before ceding the stunt to a pro. Keaton's coda to College is icy splash to maybe reflect downturn at home with Natalie. Would she have got his last grim jest? (assuming Nat still bothered seeing current Keatons) College used campus and field backgrounds that are located for then-now analysis by expert John Bengston in a disc extra.