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The Great Buster: A Celebration – Blu Ray Review

A documentary on the great film actor and comedian Buster Keaton whose life went from a young child star in the theatre to movie stardom and then a sad downfall.

Director Peter Bogdanovich goes in depth to discover what made him the amazing actor and stunt performer he was and this documentary has a lot of contributions from people such as Orson Wells, Quintin Tarantino, Johnny Knoxville, Dick Van Dyke and many more.

The first part of the documentary focuses on his childhood and his relationship with his parents, who were performing in the theatre and how he became an essential part of the act. How he became friend with Fatty Arbuckle who persuaded him to go to the film studio after which he was instantly hooked.

His slow growth to becoming a massive star and his period of 10 years when he made his best work, which were all silent films. The arrival of sound did not destroy him at all, his big mistake was signing for MGM where he lost creative control, it’s then that we see his decline into alcohol and depression. The best part of the documentary, which I think could have been explored in a bit more detail, is showing some of his amazing stunts, all done without special effects and which still look amazing and influence many, to this day.

The Blu-ray has been released in the UK and has a great transfer, obviously some older silent films can look aged and grainy but some clips look great and show you his amazing work in detail. Extras on the disc include an introduction by mega fan Paul Merton who also has a Q&A with David Macleod, a conversation with director a narrator Peter Bogdanovich and theatrical trailer

Overall this is a loving tribute to a master comedian and stunt performer and hopefully will introduce many more people to this amazing man.

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