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The Buster Keaton Story (1957)

An inaccurate retelling of the life of silent filmmaker and comedian Buster Keaton.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Gloria Brent
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Peggy Courtney
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Kurt Bergner
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Larry Winters
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Elmer Case
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Tom McAffee
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Joe Keaton
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Myra Keaton
Larry White ...
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Indian Chief
Michael Ross ...
Assistant Chief
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Edna - Larry's Secretary
Robert Christopher ...
Nick
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Franklin
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Storyline

Buster Keaton leaves his family vaudeville act for the movies. He starts out as a bit player but quickly becomes famous as he acts in and directs his own films. Casting director Gloria Brent is in love with him, but he favors a starlet. When she rejects him, he starts drinking, a problem which only worsens when sound destroys silent cinema and his career. Will Gloria's love and his desire to make people laugh win out? Written by cupcakes

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It's a blues - BUSTER!


Certificate:

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Details

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Release Date:

May 1957 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Mann, der niemals lachte  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,400,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The character of Peggy Courtney may be a veiled reference to Buster Keaton's mother-in-law Margaret Talmadge, who was known as Peg. See more »

Goofs

The marquee advertises The Jazz Singer as being "all taking," which it was not, nor was it ever advertised as such. See more »

Connections

Referenced in This Is Your Life: Buster Keaton (1957) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Keaton Routines are the best part of the film
16 March 2013 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

I'm sure that Donald O'Connor gave Buster Keaton the performance of his life as he would like to be remembered. It certainly wasn't anything close to the life of the real Keaton.

In his prime Keaton, Lloyd, Laurel, and Chaplin contended for being the greatest of silent screen comedians with most conceding Chaplin was best. The others are still remembered for their wonderful routines and for the fact that they survived and made the transition to sound. So did the real Buster Keaton, but not as a star.

The best part of the film is Donald O'Connor recreating some of the classic routines that Keaton did from the silent screen. No doubt Buster worked with O'Connor because he sure got them down quite well.

Ann Blyth and Rhonda Fleming played the women in Keaton's life composites of women he was actually involved with in real life. Peter Lorre has an interesting part as well as a director who Keaton runs roughshod over in his star days, but who Lorre rather subtly gets back at when the movies transition to sound.

In real life it wasn't as simple for Keaton as talking or not talking. When later on he did do the bit parts in films that he scorns on the screen when producer Larry Keating offers him a role, Keaton did have a voice that matched his stoic stone face.

One thing I disagree with. In his case it was right for him never to crack a smile, very much like George Burns. But people like Red Skelton were always laughing at their own material and the audience didn't seem to mind. Different attitudes get different latitudes.

The Buster Keaton Story is not a great film, but O'Connor does well in the role and I'm sure Buster liked it.


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