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Hazel Flagg of Warsaw, Vermont receives the news that her terminal case of radium poisoning from a workplace incident was a complete misdiagnosis with mixed emotions. She is happy not to be... See full summary »
William A. Wellman
Lonely in his English country estate, Sir Basil decides to gather his grown (albeit illegitimate) children around him in his declining years. He uses a ledger which keeps track of the ... See full summary »
C. Aubrey Smith
After becoming infatuated with a pretty office worker for MGM Newsreels, Buster trades in his tintype operation for a movie camera and sets out to impress the girl (and MGM) with his work. Written by
According to Rudi Blesch's biography of Buster Keaton, he came on the set the first day of shooting and, unaware of his reduced status as actor-only, began to "feel" for comedy bits and request props and characters, as he had with his own company. Director Edward Sedgwick took him aside and told Buster that he was undermining his directorial authority. Buster genuinely apologized and faded into the background. Sedgewick couldn't get the set-ups he wanted, couldn't get the actors to understand his direction, and eventually gave up and asked Buster to take over. As quietly as he had left, Buster regained control of the scene. Buster began to call Sedgewick "Junior" and they became fast friends. See more »
During the Yankee Stadium sequence, an elevated train goes by in the background in one shot, but disappears before leaving the frame in the next shot. See more »
[advice to the aspiring cameraman]
You must always grind forward... never backward.
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THE CAMERAMAN is Keaton's last true silent (SPITE MARRIAGE was without dialogue, but was a "sound" film). Feared lost until a print was discovered in Paris in 1968 and finally made available on video in 1991 when an incomplete master positive was found and merged with the inferior 1968 print, this is very close to Keaton's original "conception" process when creating a feature film. He meets the unattainable girl and then tries to win her. She is uncertain but eventually chooses Buster.
A delightful new piano score accompanies the MGM/UA VHS of this work- sadly now out of print. There are five main characters. There are a number of memorable gags:
1. Breaking the MGM newsreel office door glass times three; 2. Solo on the empty ball field; 3. Running down multi flights of stairs to basement and up to roof; 4. The ride on the tire hub of the E37st bus; 5. Sharing the pool dressing room; 6. Diving and loosing his bathing togs; 7. Riding in the jump seat in the rain; 8. The collapse of the platform during the Tong War.
A delight in the last half of the film is the adorable monkey who interacts so well with Buster and in the course of the plot, saves the day by cranking Buster's camera.
It's a delightful film and full of invention. Very worth seeing.
The master positive used as the basis for the VHS release was missing the entire first reel, plus eleven "bits" ranging from whole sequences (the ball field, for instance) to simple three second reaction shots. When the stock suddenly changes from crystal sharp and clear to washed out and grainy, it makes the single strongest statement for film preservation and makes it "silently."
Don't miss this one!
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