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The Buster Keaton Collection Volume 4: Go West And College Blu-ray Review

“The Buster Keaton Collection Volume 4” offers up 2 more Buster Keaton classics.

In the fourth volume of the wonderful Buster Keaton Collection Blu-ray series, film buffs are treated to 2 more silent comedy classics with “Go West” and “College.”

1925’s “Go West” finds a nameless young man (played by Keaton) literally barreling into the desert where he finds work as a ranch hand. Of course, he’s entirely out of his depth here and has no idea what he is doing. He does, however, befriend a cow named Brown Eyes. What follows is a series of misadventures with the nameless man attempting to work, trying to save Brown Eyes from the slaughterhouse, and finding himself caught in the middle of a cattle dispute. 

1927’s “College” revolves around a bright High School graduate (Ronald) who seeks to win the heart of his crush Mary. Alas, Mary is upset at Ronald though as he criticized athletes and is seeing a creepy jock named Jeff. Despite being broke, Ronald looks to attend the same college as Mary by working his way through it. He also tries his hand at being an athlete although he is out of his league in that department. Not all hope is lost though when Ronald lands a spot on the rowing team.

While neither film is on the level of “The General” or “The Cameraman,” “Go West” and “College” are both fun comedies. The western themed “Go West” is the better of the two as it’s a sweet, fast paced story of a man and his cow friend. Not only is it a clever spoof of westerns and romantic stories, but the chemistry between Buster Keaton and Brown Eyes is nothing short of delightful. Of course, given that this is a Keaton film, there’s also some grand stunts and a deeply impressive climactic sequence with a cattle drive through a city.

“College” is a bit uneven at times (the blackface scene is disgraceful), but the film’s ending salvages the whole shebang. The movie plays the long game but it pays off in the end in only a way that Keaton could do. After seeing Keaton’s Ronald character fail for virtually the entire movie, it was inspiring to see this dedicated scholar use everything that he learned from his sports trials to save the day while also winning a sporting event in a thoughtful fashion. 


Presentation: 1.33:1 1080p. How do the films look? The 4K restorations give the two so much more clarity. “Go West” looks particularly stunning here. The “College” transfer is good, but the white colors look a bit too bright and blinding in spots.

Audio Track: 2.0 DTS-HD MA. How do the films sound? Expect crisp sounding scores by the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra (“Go West”)  and Rodney Bauer (“College”).

* “Go West” and “College” re-release trailers
* “Buster Keaton: Screenwriter”- An hour long audio recording of Keaton coming up with a concept he hopes to pitch to “Wagon Train.”
* A 1923 Hal Roach short with monkeys called “Go West”

March 25, 2021 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , , , ,

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