For Immediate Release
New York, NY - June 13, 2012 - Kino Classics is proud to announce the release of Buster Keaton's first feature-length film, The Saphead (1920), on Blu-ray and DVD. This is the ninth of Buster Keaton's feature-length comedies that Kino Classics has brought to the Blu-ray format, along with the complete collection of his silent short comedies last summer.
The Saphead comes to Blu-ray and DVD on July 10th. The SRP for the Blu-ray is $34.95, and the SRP for the DVD is $29.95. Both are currently available for prebook.
The special features contained in this edition include a complete alternate version of the film, comprised entirely of variant takes and camera angles. Also included are: "A Pair of Sapheads", an eight-minute featurette comparing the two versions of the film; "Buster Keaton: Life of the Party", a rare audio recording from 1962 in which Keaton recalls the memories and songs of his vaudeville youth, amid an intimate gathering of friends; and a gallery of personal photographs from Keaton's childhood in vaudeville.
This disc also features two musical scores for the film: music arranged and directed by Robert Israel (in 2.0 stereo and DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1), and music composed and performed by Ben Model (in 2.0 stereo).
Buster Keaton stars as Bertie Van Alstyne, the pampered and spoiled son of a powerful Wall Street broker (played by acclaimed stage actor William H. Crane in a rare film appearance). Bertie has only known a life of privilege, and finds himself involved in a series of misadventures, including an attempt at courtship, visiting an illegal gambling den, and finally tumbling on to the floor of the Stock Exchange, blissfully ignorant of the obstacles that stand before him.
The Saphead marked Keaton's feature-length film debut as an actor. Since 1917, Keaton had been working in films with Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle's company, where he appeared alongside the great comedian in a series of two-reel comedies.
In 1920, at the same time that Keaton was offered the chance to star in his own series of short comedies for producer Joseph M. Schenck, Metro offered him the lead role of Bertie Van Alstyne in The Saphead. The film was based on a hit Broadway play ("The New Henrietta") that had starred Douglas Fairbanks; Fairbanks declined the role in the film version and instead recommended Keaton for the part.
Unlike his later feature films, Keaton was not the primary creative force behind The Saphead (which was directed by Herbert Blache). Still, the film contains his trademark deadpan humor, and was in fact hugely influential in the development of Keaton's screen persona: the lonely, stone-faced man thwarted by circumstance, inept at the art of romance, yet undaunted in his struggle for love within a chaotic world.
* Complete alternate version of The Saphead, comprised entirely of variant takes and camera angles
* "A Pair of Sapheads", an eight-minute featurette comparing the two versions of the film
* Buster Keaton: Life of the Party, a rare audio recording from 1962, in which Keaton recalls the memories and songs of his vaudeville youth, amid an intimate gathering of friends
* Gallery of personal photographs from Keaton's childhood in vaudeville
Music arranged and directed by Robert Israel, in 2.0 Stereo
and DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Music composed and performed by Ben Model, in 2.0 Stereo
Produced for video by Bret Wood
1995 edition produced for video by David Shepard
The Saphead (1920)
Director: Herbert Blache
Blu-ray SRP: $34.95
DVD SRP: $29.95
Street date: July 10, 2012
U.S. 1920 Color tinted 77 min. 1.33:1 1920 x 1080p Not Rated
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News Editor June 19, 2012, 7:18 am