When it comes to the greats in film, we sometimes forget about those films that came before their breakthrough. Some films deserve credit and get overlooked, like Buster Keaton‘s The Saphead. In August Eureka Entertainment will bring Keaton’s most overlooked to Blu-ray for the first time released in their Masters Of Cinema range.
In 1920, having served a slapstick apprenticeship in the shorts of Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle, Buster Keaton had earned the opportunity to headline his own series of two-reel comedies. The very moment at which he emerged as a star of his own shorts, Keaton was recruited to appear in his first feature film, The Saphead, based on a popular stage play.
Keaton stars as Bertie Van Alstyne, the pampered son of a powerful Wall Street financier (William H. Crane). Having known no other lifestyle but privilege, he wanders through a variety of misadventures—an attempt at courtship, a trip to an illegal gambling den, and a tumble onto the floor of the Stock Exchange—oblivious to the obstacles that stand before him.
Though Keaton was not the primary creative force behind The Saphead, as he was on his short films, it became hugely important in shaping his on-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.
Eureka Entertainment have created a new Trailer to promote the release, check it out…
“his quiet work in this picture is a revelation” – Variety
SPECIAL EDITION BLU-RAY CONTAINS
Limited Edition O-Card Slipcase [First print-run of 2000 copies only] | 1080p presentation on Blu-ray from a restoration undertaken by the Cohen Film Collection from a first generation nitrate print | Score by Andrew Earle Simpson (presented in uncompressed LPCM stereo) | Brand new audio commentary with film historian and writer David Kalat | Brand new video essay by David Cairns | Complete alternate version of The Saphead, comprised entirely of variant takes and camera angles | A Pair of Sapheads – featurette comparing the two versions of the film | The Scribe (1966, dir. John Sebert) [29 mins] – In his last film role—produced to promote Construction site safety—Keaton plays a janitor who in his attempt to educate workers on safe practices, causes more accidents than he prevents | Previously unheard audio commentary on The Scribe with director John Sebert (recorded before his death in 2015) and writer / silent cinema aficionado Chris Seguin | Buster Keaton in conversation with Kevin Brownlow – a 2-hour audio interview with Keaton and film historian Kevin Brownlow from 1964 | 1958 Buster Keaton Interview [90 mins] | Buster Keaton: Radio Interview [*runtime currently unconfirmed] – a rarely heard interview with Keaton | PLUS: A collector’s booklet featuring new essays by journalist Philip Kemp and film writer Imogen Sara Smith, as well as an appreciation of The Saphead by film writer Eileen Whitfield | *All extras subject to change at time of announcement
USA |1920 | 84 min. | 1.33:1 OAR | USA | SILENT COMEDY | ENGLISH INTERTITLES | B&W
You can order your copy from Eureka Video Store
The Saphead will be released on Blu-ray in the UK, as part of The Masters of Cinema Series and will be available from 22nd August.