Buster Keaton

Silent movie actor (who transitioned into talkies as a cult figure) known for his deadpan face and physical comedy: eventually he split into two parts and became Woody Allen and Jackie Chan.

The Playhouse (1921) -- Directed with Edward F. Cline.  A short two-reeler, the best segment being the opening dream sequence where Buster Keaton plays every role (showing up to nine Busters on the screen at one time): an effect that looks good even by today's standards and one that also makes a good joke about Buster Keaton being able to do everything (writing, directing, acting, stunts, etc.).  The rest of the movie is entertaining enough, though doesn't compare to the first few minutes. B

Cops (1922) -- Directed with Edward F. Cline.  A short movie that starts kind of dull and gets better as it goes, as the gags (and number of cops) increase. B

The General (1927) -- Directed with Clyde Bruckman.  My favorite silent movie (of the few I've seen), this one still holds up in the world of Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround.  A truly funny movie with some of the greatest stunts (not to mention train crashes) ever shot.  Buster Keaton mixes slapstick with good acting and emotion that actually gets you involved in the story for more than just the jokes.  The closest thing I've ever seen to a live-action Mickey Mouse "gag" picture. B

Copyright (c) Apr 2006 by Rusty Likes Movies