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Re: THE ROUND-UP starring Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle

Posted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:19 pm
by Ed Watz
I'm very much looking forward to CineMuseum's THE ROUND-UP restoration, congratulations to Paul and everyone involved! It's interesting that Irving Cummings has a featured role in both THE ROUND-UP and Buster Keaton's starring feature debut THE SAPHEAD that same year. As a director Cummings later helmed HOLLYWOOD CAVALCADE (1939), with its affectionate nods to both Buster and the late Roscoe Arbuckle.

Re: THE ROUND-UP starring Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle

Posted: Sat Apr 28, 2018 11:25 am
by Paul E. Gierucki
Lea Stans, creator of the Silent-ology website, has some kind words for CineMuseum's new DVD / Blu-ray release of THE ROUND UP starring Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle! Thanks, Lea! ... hony-2017/

Posted on April 27, 2018
by Lea Stans

It’s with a resounding “Hurrah!” that I greet CineMuseum’s newest release, a Blu-ray/DVD combo of Roscoe Arbuckle’s first feature film, The Round Up (1920). If you’ve read any of my Comique Month series from last July, you’ll know that I’m a big Arbuckle fan. So having this charming Western available is a nice boon for my collection.

Prior to making The Round Up, Arbuckle had been first a Keystone comedian and then a top-notch comedy director and star at his own studio, Comique. He famously gave Buster Keaton his first film roles. Around 1919 he got an offer to star in features, so he handed over the Comique reins to Keaton and went to work on feature #1.

The Round-Up (1920) Stars: Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle, Mabel Julienne Scott, Irving Cummings, Tom Forman ~ Director: George Melford

Sadly, after working like crazy on several features in a row (early 1920s studios churned out features as fast as a mini donut machine), the infamous Rappe scandal hit and Arbuckle films were pulled out of circulation. And thus, The Round Up was unavailable for nearly a century–until this very spring!

An interesting bit of trivia: This feature was based on a 1907 play that starred well-known stage actor Macklyn Arbuckle. Macklyn was the actor who coined the doleful phrase “Nobody loves a fat man,” but after The Round Up was released in 1920 the phrase was forever associated with the other Arbuckle–Roscoe!

Arbuckle was given the role of Sheriff “Slim” Hoover so he could work while films more tailored to his talents were being prepared. In general, cowboy heroes in silent Westerns tended to be lean, strong-jawed types like Tom Mix, so Arbuckle’s role was a little atypical. But he does an excellent job, still using his familiar comic timing and flourishes but within a more subtle, “light comedy” format.

As a whole, The Round Up is a pretty standard Western drama with familiar situations and characters (Wallace Beery plays a villain, because of course), enlivened by Arbuckle’s presence. This particular DVD set, however, has the advantages of Donald Sosin’s evocative new score (Sosin’s one of my favorite silent accompanists), and the beautiful print quality. CineMuseum performed a stunning 4K digital transfer and restoration from the 35mm archival master print preserved by the Library of Congress and Paramount Archives. As a result, we’re presented with a crisp, perfectly tinted film looking pretty much the way a 1920 audience would’ve seen it. This is the sort of thing we silent film fans live for!

And by the way, you’ll want to keep your eyes peeled for a certain famous “Easter egg” in the form of Buster Keaton making an unbilled appearance as an American Indian. (By a painful-looking fall ye shall know him.)

Also included in the set are the Keystone shorts A Bandit and Peeping Pete (both 1913, and both in very nice quality), a commentary track by historian Richard M. Roberts (I always enjoy CineMuseum’s commentaries!), a gallery of posters and other promo items, and a booklet. This release is fascinating for both silent comedy fans and lovers of old Westerns–and it’s certainly important for Keaton completists! You can buy it here:

Re: THE ROUND-UP starring Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle

Posted: Fri May 11, 2018 1:03 pm
by Paul E. Gierucki
High praise for CineMuseum's release of THE ROUND UP, and our lad Roscoe Arbuckle, from the great Leonard Maltin!

-- Paul E. Gierucki ... -and-more/

Leonard Maltin Blu-Ray Reviews
May 10, 2018

Specialty distributors haven’t given up on DVDs and Blu-rays. In fact, they seem to be busier than ever releasing rare films and archival oddities, faster than I can possibly review them. Here is a sampling of some goodies I’ve enjoyed recently.

As you probably know, Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle’s career ground to a halt once he became the center of a headline-making scandal in 1921. This left half-a-dozen feature films on the shelf, most of which are considered lost. Fortunately, his first feature, The Round Up (1920) exists in a stunning 35mm print at the Library of Congress. Cinemuseum has just released a beautiful dual-disc set on DVD and Blu-ray with a first-rate piano score by Donald Sosin. The irony is that The Round Up was not only Arbuckle’s first starring feature: it was also his first major dramatic role. If you’re looking for typical roughhouse slapstick, you’ll have to look elsewhere. The star plays Sheriff Slim Hoover, who gets involved in the social misadventures in his community. Arbuckle treats his part with a light touch that suits him well. If your eyes are razor-sharp you may spy Roscoe’s pal Buster Keaton in a bit part as an Apache. It’s much easier to identify two future comedy directors in major roles: A. Edward Sutherland and Lloyd Bacon. (If you want a guide to all of this, you can listen to Richard M. Roberts’ commentary track.) The Round Up was based on a play by Edmund Day and was directed by the prolific George Melford, who one year later made Rudolph Valentino’s The Sheik. Accompanying the feature are restorations of two early Arbuckle shorts from 1913, A Bandit and Peeping Pete, with organ accompaniment by Dennis Scott. There are also generous galleries of posters, photos, original pressbook materials, and a full-color booklet that reproduces some of this appealing artwork. I look forward to more such rarities from Cinemuseum.