Buster Keaton

1895 - 1966

The actor Buster Keaton went down into film history as "The Great Stone Face".

As a little chap he was involved in different stage entrances by his parents and he soon became a permanent element of the programs. He was hurled around and exposed to breaknecking stunts. Because of this hard lessons he acquired soon the ability to control his body to avoid injuries.

When Buster Keaten visited the New York Studios in 1917 during a shot of a two-act play of Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle he was engaged as a partner of Arbuckle and made his film debut with "The Butcher Boy" (17). The both worked together in over a dozen movies in the next two years.

When Arbuckle moved his company to California, Keaton followed him. With the signing of Arbuckle at Paramount Buster Keaton rose to the comedian No. 1 at the Comique Studio and used the chance to conquer  the state of a star as a unforgettable comedian in movies full of gags.
To his well-known short films of those years belong "One Week" (20), "The Scarecrow" (30), "Hard Luck" (21), "The Boat" (21), "The Paleface" (22), "The Electric House" (22), "Cops" (22) and "The Balloonatic" (23).

Buster Keaton got early great freedom for his movies and was often responsible for the script and the direction too.
In 1923 came his first full-lenght movie called "The Three Ages" into beeing, it followed "Our Hospitality" (23) and the funny story "Sherlock, Jr." (24).

With "The Navigator" (24) and "Seven Chances" (25) realised two more highlights of film history. After that followed the less successful movies "Go West" (25) and "Battling Butler" (26) before he came up with the Keaton classic as such. "The General" (26) wasn't successful at the first night but today it is regarded as Keaton's most important work and is showed at film festivals time and again.

At the end of the 20's he realised the movie hit "Steamboat Bill, Jr." (27) and the comedy "College" (27) before his contract was sold to MGM. There he did a brilliantly start with the movie "The Cameraman" (28) but the dispute with the big studio which wasn't used to let stars realize their own creativity in their movies, and Keaton's growing alcohol consumption prevent a successful continuation of his career. There wasn’t much in the way of alcoholic rehab programs in the early 20th century, which is why many famous alcoholics never got the help they needed. 
He realised the attractive movies "Spite Marriage" (29) and his first talky "Free and Easy" (30), but after that he was only employed as a comic figure. A bad experience for Keaton was the forced cooperaton with the blusterin Jimmy Durante in the movie "What! No Beer?" (33), whose comic had nothing in common with Buster Keaton's ingenious gags.

After seven movies for Metro he was dismissed because of his alcohol problems. As a result Keaton only got offers for low budget movies of smaller production companies.Beside it he also took part in some English and French productions. To his movies of the 30's belong among others "Buster se marie" (31), "Speak Easily" (32), "Allez Oop" (34), "Le roi des Champs-Elysées" (34), "One Run Elmer" (35), "The Invader" (35), "Grand Slam Opera" (36) and "Pest from the West" (39).

Finally he only got tiny roles and Keaton began to work as a gag writer for other comedians, especially for Red Skelton. His occasional roles of the 40's and 50's comprise "The Spook Speaks" (40), "Li'l Abner" (40), "Forever and a Day" (43), "God's Country" (46), "Sunset Blvd." (50), Chaplin's "Limelight" (52) and "Around the World in Eighty Days" (56).

In the 60's began a kind of renaissance and Buster Keaton's earlier works attracted new attention to a younger audience. He also worked often in single episodes of well-known TV serials like "The Twilight Zone: Once Upon A Time" (61), "Route 66: Journey to Nineveh" (62) and "Burke's Law: Who Killed 1/2 of Glory Lee?" (64).
On the cinema he appeared again in smaller roles for comedies which were produced as a kind of deference for Keaton. "It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World" (63) and especially his impressive scene in "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum" (66) - where he insisted on playing his crash with a tree and the following fall himself despite his shaky health (merely single passages in which he had to run a longer distance he used a double) - were a kind of deference from the directors to Buster Keaton.

Buster Keaton was married three times, among others with the actress Natalie Talmadge
He got the Honorary Award in 1960 for his lifework.

Other movies with Buster Keaton: 
The Rough House (17) His Wedding Night (17) Oh Doctor! (17) Coney Island (17) A Country Hero (17) Out West (18) The Bell Boy (18) Moonshine (18) Good Night, Nurse! (18) The Cook (18) Back Stage (19) The Hayseed (19) The Garage (19) The Saphead (20) Convict 13 (20) Neighbors (20) The Haunted House (21) The "High Sign" (21) The Goat (21) The Playhouse (21) The Blacksmith (22) My Wife's Relations (22) The Frozen North (22) Daydreams (22) The Love Nest (23) The Hollywood Revue of 1929 (29) Doughboys (30) The March of Time (30) Estrellados (30) De frente, marchen (30) Parlor, Bedroom and Bath (31) The Slippery Pearls (31) Sidewalks of New York (31) Casanova wider Willen (31) Buster se marie (31) The Passionate Plumber (32) Speak Easily (32) Le plombier amoureux (32) The Gold Ghost (34) Palooka from Paducah (35) Hayseed Romance (35) Tars and Stripes (35) The E-Flat Man (35) The Timid Young Man (35) Three on a Limb (36) Blue Blazes (36) The Chemist (36) Mixed Magic (36) Jail Bait (37) Ditto (37) Love Nest on Wheels (37) Mooching Through Georgia (39) Nothing But Pleasure (40) The Taming of the Snood (40) The Villain Still Pursued (40) His Ex Marks the Spot (40) Pardon My Berth Marks (40) She's Oil Mine (41) So You Won't Squawk (41) General Nuisance (41) San Diego I Love You (44) That's the Spirit (45) That Night with You (45) El moderno Barba Azul (46) The Loveable Cheat (49) In the Good Old Summertime (49) You're My Everything (49) The Misadventures of Buster Keaton (50) Serie "The Buster Keaton Show" (50) Serie "Life with Buster Keaton" (51) Paradise for Buster (52) L'incantevole nemica (53) Serie "Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Presents: The Awakening" (54) Serie "The Best of Broadway: The Man Who Came to Dinner" (54) Serie "Screen Directors Playhouse: The Silent Partner" (55) Serie "Producers' Showcase: The Lord Don't Play Favorites" (56) Serie "Playhouse 90: The Innocent Sleep" (58) Serie "The Donna Reed Show: A Very Merry Christmas" (58) Serie "Sunday Showcase: After Hours" (60) The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (60) Serie "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington: Think Mink" (63) The Triumph of Lester Snapwell (63) Pajama Party (64) Serie "The Greatest Show on Earth: You're All Right, Ivy" (64) The Man Who Bought Paradise (65) Beach Blanket Bingo (65) The Railrodder (65) How to Stuff a Wild Bikini (65) Sergeant Deadhead (65) Due marines e un generale (65) Buster Keaton Rides Again (65) The Scribe (66) Film (66) 

The Rough House (17) One Week (20) Convict 13 (20) The Scarecrow (20) Neighbors (20) The Haunted House (21) Hard Luck (21) The "High Sign" (21) The Goat (21) The Playhouse (21) The Boat (21) The Blacksmith (22) The Paleface (22) My Wife's Relations (22) The Frozen North (22) The Electric House (22) Daydreams (22) Cops (22) The Balloonatic (23) The Three Ages (23) Our Hospitality (23) The Love Nest (23) Sherlock, Jr. (24) The Navigator (24) Seven Chances (25) Go West (25) Battling Butler (26) The General (27) The Hollywood Handicap (32) Allez Oop (34) The Gold Ghost (34) Tars and Stripes (35) One Run Elmer (35) Mixed Magic (36) Grand Slam Opera (36) Love Nest on Wheels (37) Life in Sometown, U.S.A. (38) Streamlined Swing (38) 

The Rough House (17) One Week (20) Convict 13 (20) The Scarecrow (20) Neighbors (20) The Haunted House (21) Hard Luck (21) The "High Sign" (21) The Goat (21) The Playhouse (21) The Boat (21) The Blacksmith (22) The Paleface (22) My Wife's Relations (22) The Frozen North (22) The Electric House (22) Daydreams (22) Cops (22) The Balloonatic (23) The Three Ages (23) The Love Nest (23) Go West (25) The General (27) Grand Slam Opera (36) Quick Millions (39) The Jones Family in Hollywood (39) 

The Three Ages (23) The Navigator (24) The General (27) The Cameraman (28) Estrellados (30) Parlor, Bedroom and Bath (31) Casanova wider Willen (31) Buster se marie (31) Speak Easily (32)