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A brilliant historical satire teeming with inventive flourishes, Buster Keaton's Three Ages is a silent comedy of truly epic proportions. This clever parody of D. W. Griffith's Intolerance follows Buster's hard-luck romantic adventures throughout world history: form the dawn of man in the Stone Age, through the gladiatorial arenas of Ancient Rome, to the city streets of the American Jazz Era. By flavoring the ancient stories with bits of modern comedy (e.g. the "spare tire" with which Buster repairs his chariot, the "home run" that he scores against an angry caveman), Keaton not only won raucous laughter from the audience but forged an original approach to history, humor, and cinema that clearly foreshadowed the Mel Brooks and Monty Python films that followed half a century later.

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Extras Accompanying Three Ages on this DVD are two rarely seen short works. In The Goat (Dir. Buster Keaton, Mal St. Clair. U.S. 1921. B&W. 23 mins. Music arranged and directed by Robert Israel.), Buster is mistaken for the nefarious gunslinger Dead Eye Dan and caught up in a prolonged slapstick-filled chase. My Wife's Relations is a comedy of domestic turmoil that seems to reflect some of the tensions between Keaton and the Talmadges, his real-life in-laws at the time.

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KI136 Three Ages DVD (1923/Buster Keaton) $24.95 $22.45