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The Boat (1921)

7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 1,816 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 11 critic

Buster and his family go on a voyage on his homemade boat that proves to be one disaster after another.

Directors:

(as Eddie Cline) , (as 'Buster' Keaton)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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The Boat Builder (as 'Buster' Keaton)
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Storyline

Buster's handmade boat, The Damfino, is finished and is, of course, too large to get through the basement door. When he drives off with it in tow, the side of his house, then the whole thing, collapses. At the harbor he rides the boat out only to have it sink beneath him. The rest is a series of adventures he and his family have with the restored boat. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Short | Comedy | Family

Certificate:

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Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Release Date:

10 November 1921 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La barca  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

| (tinted)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Buster Keaton's technical effects man, Fred Gabourie, constructed two boats for the filming. One was designed to sink, for the famous launching scene; the other was a fully working boat for the rest of the filming. Unfortunately, the boat that was designed to sink refused to do so; even when loaded with scrap iron, the bottom simply fell out of it and the shell bobbed on the surface. Conversely, the boat which was intended to float also refused to fulfill its obligations, constantly taking on water and threatening to sink. Gabourie finally solved the problem of the boats by attaching the launching scene boat to steel cables holding it to tracks below the water line, thus forcing it underwater; the second boat only floated by virtue of a crew manning hand pumps, concealed in the hull. See more »

Goofs

The radio mast that Keaton erects on the boat is missing in the shots of the boat model. See more »

Quotes

SOS Receiver: Who is it?
The Boat Builder: Damfino.
SOS Receiver: Neither do I!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The X-Files: Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Mr. Keaton Sees The Sea
27 August 2002 | by (Forest Ranch, CA) – See all my reviews

A BUSTER KEATON Silent Short.

THE BOAT which Buster's family builds and launches immediately tries to kill them.

This funny little film is an unusual one for Buster, in that he's already quite domesticated - with wife & children - when the story commences. The viewer is supposed to read Buster's lips to get the film's final joke.

Born into a family of Vaudevillian acrobats, Buster Keaton (1895-1966) mastered physical comedy at a very early age. An association with Fatty Arbuckle led to a series of highly imaginative short subjects and classic, silent feature-length films - all from 1920 to 1928. Writer, director, star & stuntman

  • Buster could do it all and his intuitive genius gave him


almost miraculous knowledge as to the intricacies of film making and of what it took to please an audience. More akin to Fairbanks than Chaplin, Buster's films were full of splendid adventure, exciting derring-do and the most dangerous physical stunts imaginable. His theme of a little man against the world, who triumphs through bravery & ingenuity, dominates his films. Through every calamity & disaster, Buster remained the Great Stone Face, a stoic survivor in a universe gone mad.

In the late 1920's Buster was betrayed by his manager/brother-in-law and his contract was sold to MGM, which proceeded to nearly destroy his career. Teamed initially with Jimmy Durante and eventually allowed small roles in mediocre comedies, Buster was for 35 years consistently given work far beneath his talent. Finally, before lung cancer took him at age 70, he had the satisfaction of knowing that his classic films were being rediscovered. Now, well past his centenary, Buster Keaton is routinely recognized & appreciated as one of cinema's true authentic geniuses. And he knew how to make people laugh...


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