Buster Keaton: A Hard Act to Follow (1987)

TV Mini-Series  |   |  Documentary, Biography
8.8
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.8/10 from 385 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 2 critic

A series about the life, career and works of the movie comedy genius.

0Check in
0Share...

IMDb Picks: August

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in August.

Visit the IMDb Picks section

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 1672 titles
created 04 Feb 2012
 
a list of 560 titles
created 01 Jan 2013
 
a list of 370 titles
created 11 Nov 2013
 
a list of 16 titles
created 03 Jul 2014
 
a list of 21 titles
created 3 weeks ago
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Buster Keaton: A Hard Act to Follow (1987– )

Buster Keaton: A Hard Act to Follow (1987– ) on IMDb 8.8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Buster Keaton: A Hard Act to Follow.

Episodes

Seasons


Years



1  
1989   1987  
Won 3 Primetime Emmys. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Buster plays a bumbling villain in this parody of melodrama.

Directors: Edward F. Cline, Buster Keaton
Stars: Buster Keaton, Joe Roberts, Sybil Seely
The Goat (1921)
Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A series of adventures begins when an accident during photographing causes Buster to be mistaken for Dead Shot Dan, the evil badguy.

Directors: Buster Keaton, Malcolm St. Clair
Stars: Buster Keaton, Virginia Fox, Joe Roberts
Drama | Sci-Fi | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

It is the Second World War. The Nazis have invaded Britain. There is a split between the resistance and those who prefer to collaborate with the invaders for a quiet life. The protagonist, ... See full summary »

Directors: Kevin Brownlow, Andrew Mollo
Stars: Pauline Murray, Sebastian Shaw, Bart Allison
Go West (1925)
Comedy | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

With little luck at keeping a job in the city a New Yorker tries work in the country and eventually finds his way leading a herd of cattle to the West Coast.

Director: Buster Keaton
Stars: Buster Keaton, Howard Truesdale, Kathleen Myers
Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Buster Keaton shoes horses and repairs cars, with mixed results.

Directors: Buster Keaton, Malcolm St. Clair
Stars: Buster Keaton, Virginia Fox, Joe Roberts
Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Roscoe, his wife and his mother-in-law run a seaside resort. Buster plays a gardener who puts out a fire started by Roscoe, then a delivery boy who fights with the cook St. John, then a cop.

Directors: Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle, Buster Keaton
Stars: Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle, Buster Keaton, Al St. John
Winstanley (1976)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Director: Kevin Brownlow
Stars: Miles Halliwell, Jerome Willis, Terry Higgins
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

After being mistakenly certified as an electrical engineer, Buster is hired to wire a house.

Directors: Edward F. Cline, Buster Keaton
Stars: Buster Keaton, Virginia Fox, Joe Keaton
Three Ages (1923)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The misadventures of Buster in three separate historical periods.

Directors: Edward F. Cline, Buster Keaton
Stars: Buster Keaton, Margaret Leahy, Wallace Beery
Convict 13 (1920)
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A young golfer is mugged by an escaped convict and finds himself in a prison where he foils a jailbreak.

Directors: Edward F. Cline, Buster Keaton
Stars: Buster Keaton, Sybil Seely, Joe Roberts
One Week (1920)
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A newly wedded couple attempt to build a house with a prefabricated kit, unaware that a rival sabotaged the kit's component numbering.

Directors: Edward F. Cline, Buster Keaton
Stars: Buster Keaton, Sybil Seely, Joe Roberts
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A documentary which explores movie comedian Buster Keaton's five years under contract at MGM, where personal problems and studio tyranny nearly destroyed him.

Directors: Christopher Bird, Kevin Brownlow
Stars: Buster Keaton, James Karen, Louis B. Mayer
Edit

Cast

Complete series cast summary:
...
 Narrator (3 episodes, 1987-1989)
...
 Himself (archive footage) (3 episodes, 1987-1989)
Eleanor Keaton ...
 Herself (3 episodes, 1987-1989)
Raymond Rohauer ...
 Himself (3 episodes, 1987-1989)
William Collier Jr. ...
 Himself (2 episodes, 1987-1989)
Edit

Storyline

In this series, we follow the life of the legendary movie comedy giant from his childhood on the stage to his film career. Along the way, we learn of the works of this genius and his methods in creating them. Furthermore, we see how events drove him to ruin and how they turned around in his later years to allow him to enjoy the acclaim that was his due. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@execulink.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 September 1987 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Buster Keaton - Sein Leben, sein Werk  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(3 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Connections

Features Free and Easy (1930) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

America's greatest director
18 August 2001 | by (Lexington, KY) – See all my reviews

I use the phrase "America's greatest director" not ironically, not unqualified, & not because I admire or otherwise favor silents over "talkies." I use it because I honestly think it's true. & this biography reenforces that belief more than anything I've seen or heard with the exception of actually seeing Keaton's movies. But sometimes you need something to get people to see these movies, movies which may seem quaint or curious to people used to hearing dialogue & sound effects. This documentary does it.

You see, Keaton UNDERSTOOD. Sometimes his movies are corny, sometimes they aim high & hit low, but mostly they're amazing. Mostly they happily present a very scrappy & sympathetic (but not perfect) protagonist & the many foul-ups & challenges he faces. He doesn't fret or moan but simply takes his beatings & tries again. Unlike Chaplin's main characters, Keaton's hero is very often the least important figure in the shot - because the effect is far more important than some kind of identification with the protagonist. Gags & foibles are fluid; nothing seems contrived or extraneous because so

much thought has been placed into each shot, each moment, to render everything crucial to the story. There's a reason that silent comedies are valued (in general) more than silent dramas: comedies speak more to the human condition, & the outrageous in a comedy is accepted where the theatrics & overemoting of a drama seems downright quaint. Keaton knew this. Keaton thrived within this.

How his career was cut short & reduced to nothing is documented here (I'm giving nothing away; volume 2 is entitled "Star Without A Studio") as well as his own problems with alcohol. I am especially suspectible to people who have a sense of the successes & failings of their lives & come to a grateful, gentle end; Keaton, like Harpo Marx, felt blessed by the chances he was given & modestly rated his own body of work. But listen: if you see this documentary, you'll want to see the movies, even if the documentary does show most of his most spectacular stunts. Because for Keaton, context was important: the star can be shown running at the bottom of the screen while a hundred cops chasing him take up most of it. So too can a single stunt, even the best stunt of a movie, make little sense without the context of the film.

Find this. Buy or rent this. Watch critically, note the precision of every scene, the skill with which they are composed & shot & carried out, & then seek out the originals. You'll compare them with your favorite films, you'll find that somewhere in the silent age of movies someone was actually an artist, someone making *comedy*, & you'll understand why people today mention Keaton in reverent tones.

I adore so much cinema, but I am always, always impressed by the skill of Buster Keaton.


22 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
DVD wizardfamily

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?