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Buster Keaton Rides Again (1965)

7.3
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The film is a documentary about the filming of one of Buster Keaton's movies: "The Railrodder (1965)"

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Title: Buster Keaton Rides Again (1965)

Buster Keaton Rides Again (1965) on IMDb 7.3/10

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Himself
Eleanor Keaton ...
Herself
Gerald Potterton ...
Himself (director of 'The Railrodder')
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Michael Kane ...
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Storyline

The film is a documentary about the filming of one of Buster Keaton's movies: "The Railrodder (1965)"

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30 October 1965 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Buster Keaton bei der Arbeit  »

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1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The running time of this documentary is more than double the length of the film that it profiles. See more »

Goofs

The barker car is seen heading from and then heading towards the Liberty Cafe between shots. See more »

Connections

References The Frozen North (1922) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Behind the scenes with an aging legend
5 December 2005 | by (Westchester County, NY) – See all my reviews

I must confess that although I'm a lifelong fan of Buster Keaton's work I've never much cared for The Railrodder, the short comedy he made late in his life for the National Film Board of Canada. That's the one where Buster travels across Canada in a strange-looking mechanized rail car, and it feels more like a travelogue or an extended commercial than a comedy, like something made to please the Canadian Tourism Bureau. While the colorful scenery is pleasant enough, the material Buster was given to perform feels slight and only mildly amusing at best. Still, I'm glad the film was made for several reasons. First, seeing as how Keaton had been neglected and shoved aside for so many years, reduced to supporting roles and cameos, it's a pleasure to note that here, at last, he received star treatment in a film built entirely around his persona, even if the gags are on the weak side. God knows it beats the Beach Party series! Buster and his wife Eleanor had a good time making The Railrodder, and we know this because a second camera crew was on hand recording the process for a behind-the-scenes documentary, a separate film that came to be known as Buster Keaton Rides Again. This fascinating movie gives us a rare look at Keaton at work, a Portrait of the Artist as an Old Man that is poignant, informative and funny, and considerably more satisfying than the project it set out to document.

Viewers unfamiliar with Buster's life and career who are interested in learning something about him will find a brisk outline here, giving the basic details. There is a summary of Keaton's stage career featuring a number of interesting photos, and clips from his best-known feature film The General, unfortunately backed with inappropriate, jangly piano music. The biographical section is okay as far as it goes, but the real reason to see this is the behind-the-scenes footage of Buster interacting with wife Eleanor, The Railrodder's young director Gerald Potterton, and various others. Buster tells stories about Louis B. Mayer, signs autographs for excited young fans, celebrates his 69th birthday, accepts the Key to the City in a dreary-looking town, and even strums his guitar and sings a couple of old ditties in his croaky, four-pack-a-day voice. Those songs alone are worth the price of admission.

Buster's singing gives us a taste of old-time vaudeville, and also points up the waste of his talents at MGM in the early talkie era. Why didn't they have him do this sort of thing? Well, no matter, at least this documentary captures the man at work and play, and more than makes up for the weaknesses of The Railrodder.


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