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"Speedy" loses his job as a soda-jerk, then spends the day with his girl at Coney Island. He then becomes a cab driver and delivers Babe Ruth to Yankee Stadium, where he stays to see the ... See full summary »
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
Buster Keaton and his leading lady Marceline Day shine in this deliciously romantic comedy from 1928, about a tintype cameraman who longs to become a successful newsreel photographer for MGM. Most of the female leads in Keaton's films were basically props, with not much substance, but Marceline's performance as Sally is outstanding. She had lots of chemistry going with Buster here, because her character was not shallow towards the little cameraman, who has obviously fallen head over heels in love with her. She treats him with respect and encourages his ambitions.
This sweet and touching classic silent movie deserves a first class restoration by Kino, with a further restoration of the original piano score that is so lovely ... not a new score, please! I don't know who composed the original music for this film; it is not listed in the IMD credits anywhere, but whoever the composer was, they should be recognized and honored. Best scenes in The Cameraman are the public pool scenes, where Buster tangles with a mafia type in his dressing room, then loses his bathing trunks while swimming; the Tong War scenes with Josephine the monkey (so adorable!); and the regatta scenes, where Luke (Buster) saves Sally, only to have her affection stolen from him by an unworthy competitor.
The current print available on the MGM video VHS release of The Cameraman available on Amazon.com is absolutely awful: over-exposed, with multi-thousands of defects. Do not buy it; instead wait till the much better print is shown again on Turner Classic Movies. This is the print to obtain to fully enjoy the movie, and this is the print that should be widely available for sale, so the public can rediscover this gem. Buster Keaton was simply the funniest performer who ever appeared in the movies, bar none. All his films deserve the best restorations possible.
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