Buster Keaton

  • Charles Reisner & Buster Keaton – Steamboat Bill, Jr. (1928)

    Buster Keaton’s 1928 silent movie Steamboat Bill, Jr, now on rerelease, is most famous for that staggeringly clever and ambitious shot of the house front with the strategically positioned open window collapsing on top of our hero, leaving him unscathed. It is a sublime vision of innocence being protected by comically benign forces – famously pastiched by British artist and Oscar-winning film-maker Steve McQueen in his 1999 video piece Deadpan. Steamboat Bill, Jr is a Romeo-and-Juliet drama and also a gently tender story of a man coming to respect and love his son. Bill Sr (Ernest Torrence) is the captain of a tatty old pleasure boat who hasn’t seen his son since the boy was a baby. He’s hoping for a strapping lad to help out with the business.Read More »

  • Edward Sedgwick & Buster Keaton – The Cameraman [4K Restoration] (1928)

    Quote:
    Hopelessly in love with a woman working at MGM Studios, a clumsy man attempts to become a motion picture cameraman to be close to the object of his desire.Read More »

  • Edward F. Cline & Buster Keaton – Three Ages (1923)

    Buster Keaton backed into feature filmmaking with this 1923 effort, which essentially consists of three two-reelers (Keaton’s accustomed format) edited together. The structure is a vague parody of D.W. Griffith’s Intolerance, with Buster fighting to win his woman from a stronger rival in the Stone Age, the Roman Empire, and modern times. It’s good but not great Keaton: the gags are chiefly basic slapstick, with little of the surrealistic refinement and visual sophistication he brought to his later features.Read More »

  • Edward F. Cline & Buster Keaton – One Week (1920)

    A newly wedded couple attempts to build a house with a prefabricated kit, unaware that a rival sabotaged the kit’s component numbering.Read More »

  • Clyde Bruckman & Buster Keaton – The General (1926)

    Quote:
    When Union spies steal an engineer’s beloved locomotive, he pursues it single-handedly and straight through enemy lines.Read More »

  • Buster Keaton – Seven Chances (1925)

    Buster Keaton plays a young lawyer who will inherit $7 million at 7 o’clock on his 27th birthday–provided he is married. Long before discovering this, Keaton has pursued a lifelong courtship of Ruth Dwyer, whose refusals have become ritualistic over the years (the passage of time is amusingly conveyed by showing a puppy grow to adulthood). He proposes again, but this time she turns him down because she thinks (mistakenly) that he wants her only so that he can claim his inheritance. The doleful Keaton is thus obliged to spend the few hours left before the 7 PM deadline in search of a bride–any bride. Read More »

  • Edward Buzzell – Easy to Wed [+Extras] (1946)

    Quote:
    This is one of the few times at MGM Lucy was given a chance to exploit her full comedic range, and she goes at it with gusto. From the moment she makes her whirlwind entrance looking absolutely gorgeous in a white wedding gown, she commands the screen whenever the camera is on her. In fact, though the movie ostensibly “stars” Van Johnson and Esther Williams, the bland leads take a back seat to the lively pairing of Lucy and Keenan Wynn, as her somewhat morally corrupt boyfriend. Forget comparisons to “Libeled Lady”; “Easy to Wed” is of a different era, and much more slapsticky, and, as noted, Lucy is a gem whether getting drunk and playing the piano or evincing true pathos as a wronged woman. She has rarely been photographed more appealingly, either.Read More »

  • Roy Rowland & Buster Keaton & Edward Sedgwick – Excuse My Dust (1951)

    SYNOPSIS: In 1895, amateur inventor Joe Belden, a resident of Willow Falls, Indiana, is scorned by almost everyone in town, except his mother, his best friend, Ben Parrot, and his sweetheart, Liz Bullitt. Joe’s latest, and most ambitious, invention is a gasoline-burning horseless carriage he is building in his mother’s barn. He is overjoyed when his “gasomobile” finally starts up, but his jubilation is short-lived as the barn soon catches fire. After the volunteer fire department, which is headed by Joe, finally puts out the fire, the worried pharmacist, Horace Antler, refuses to sell Joe more gasoline, and Harvey Bullitt, Liz’s gruff father, angrily tells him to stay away from her. Read More »

  • Donald Crisp & Buster Keaton – The Navigator (1924)

    Wealthy Rollo Treadway (Buster Keaton) suddenly decides to propose to his neighbor across the street, Betsy O’Brien (Kathryn McGuire), and sends his servant to book passage for a honeymoon sea cruise to Honolulu. When Betsy rejects his sudden offer however, he decides to go on the trip anyway, boarding without delay that night. Because the pier number is partially covered, he ends up on the wrong ship, the Navigator, which Betsy’s rich father (Frederick Vroom) has just sold to a small country at war.Read More »

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