Written by: FFT Webmaster | January 23rd, 2011
New York, NY – January 18, 2011 – Following the release of four previous Buster Keaton titles (The General, Steamboat Bill Jr., Sherlock Jr. and Three Ages) in the Blu-ray format, Kino International is proud to announce the release of Keaton’s Our Hospitality (1923), coming to Blu-ray and a special 2-disc DVD edition. This period comedy about two feuding families in the South is co-directed by Keaton and John G. Blystone.
This “splendidly cast, flawlessly directed and intelligently photographed” (Variety) film comes to Blu-ray and DVD in a special edition packed with features, including a rare discovery: a 49-minute alternate cut of the film without its comedy gags. This was believed to have been made by Keaton himself, so he could test the plot’s durability without the comedy elements.
This edition also features two music tracks, including the Carl Davis orchestral score (never before released in the US) in 5.1 stereo, a “making of” documentary, a special short comedy, and more. The Blu-ray is priced at $34.95, and the 2-disc DVD is priced at $29.95. Both are available for prebook on February 22, 2011, and their street date is March 22.
In this, his “first full-length masterpiece” (Time Out Chicago), Buster Keaton stars as Willie McKay, a young man who is traveling back to his family’s homestead on his 21st birthday to collect an inheritance.
En route, he falls in love with a girl (Natalie Talmadge), whose family – the Canfields – just happens to be involved in a terrible feud with the McKays. When the Canfields realize that Willie is the last surviving member of the McKay family, they decide to finish the feud once and for all. As a consequence, Willie unwittingly finds himself as a guest in their home, and quickly realizes that he must use his wits in order to get out alive!
The film includes one of Keaton’s most spectacular stunt pieces: a thrilling, last-minute rescue above a treacherous waterfall that remains one of his most celebrated scenes.
The special features found on this Blu-ray and DVD are:
- Two music tracks – a score composed by Carl Davis and performed by the Thames Silent Orchestra (5.1 DTS-HD and 2.0 LPCM), and a score compiled by Donald Hunsberger (2.0 Dolby).
- “Making Comedy Beautiful” – a short documentary on the making of the film written by Patricia Eliot Tobias with David B. Pearson, detailing Keaton’s move into full-length narrative feature films.
- Hospitality – the alternate 49 minute cut of the film discovered by historian Paul Gierucki in 2008, believed to have been made by Keaton to see the film before all the gags were inserted in order to test the durability of the plot. Featuring an explanatory introduction and an organ score by Lee Erwin.
- The Iron Mule – a 1925 short comedy starring Al St. John that uses the model train built by Keaton for Our Hospitality, and features a cameo by Keaton himself. Music by Ben Model.
- 2 Galleries – Photos & Snapshots – consisting of poster art and stills, and production photos that provide a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the making of the film.
Directors: Buster Keaton and John G. Blystone
1923 / 75 min. / Tinted B&W / 1.33:1