IMDb > So Funny It Hurt: Buster Keaton & MGM (2004) (TV)

So Funny It Hurt: Buster Keaton & MGM (2004) (TV) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 3 | slideshow)


User Rating:
7.4/10   159 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
Popularity: ?
Up 32% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
View company contact information for So Funny It Hurt: Buster Keaton & MGM on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
7 December 2004 (USA) See more »
A documentary which explores movie comedian Buster Keaton's five years under contract at MGM, where personal problems and studio tyranny nearly destroyed him. | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
Interesting but it also seemed a bit incomplete See more (4 total) »


  (in credits order)

Buster Keaton ... Himself (archive footage)

James Karen ... Himself - Host / Narrator

Louis B. Mayer ... Himself (archive footage)

Irving Thalberg ... Himself (archive footage)

Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle ... Himself (archive footage)

Directed by
Christopher Bird 
Kevin Brownlow 
Produced by
Tom Brown .... executive producer: Turner Classic Movies
George Feltenstein .... executive producer: Turner Entertainment
Roger Mayer .... executive producer: Turner Entertainment
Melissa Roller .... supervising producer: Turner Classic Movies
Patrick Stanbury .... producer
Film Editing by
Christopher Bird 
Sound Department
Richard Bytnar .... sound
Stewart Harper .... dubbing mixer
Jim Palmer .... sound
Camera and Electrical Department
Scott Judy .... camera operator
Ken Morse .... camera operator: rostrum camera
Editorial Department
Nick Adams .... colorist
Rhonda Crowfoot .... telecine transferer
Alan Jones .... on-line editor
Music Department
Robert Israel .... composer: incidental music
John Lanchbery .... composer: incidental music
Nic Raine .... composer: incidental music
Other crew
Bob Borgan .... archival sound (as Bob Borgen)
Heather Cuffy .... production secretary
Lynne Wake .... production assistant
Joseph Adamson .... grateful thanks (as Joe Adamson)
Bob Borgan .... special thanks (as Bob Borgen)
Serge Bromberg .... grateful thanks
Kevin Brownlow .... acknowledgment: film source
Kevin Brownlow .... acknowledgment: still photographs provided by
Robert Cushman .... grateful thanks
Chris Daniels .... grateful thanks
Gary Dartnall .... grateful thanks
A. Edward Ezor .... grateful thanks
Robert A. Finkelstein .... grateful thanks
Joan Franklin .... grateful thanks
Roy Harris .... grateful thanks
Peter Jones .... grateful thanks
James Karen .... acknowledgment: still photographs provided by
James Karen .... special thanks
Tom Karsch .... grateful thanks
Karen Kavanagh .... grateful thanks
Tim Lanza .... grateful thanks
Jo Manser .... grateful thanks
Dick May .... grateful thanks
David McLeod .... grateful thanks
Nathalie Morris .... grateful thanks
Camillo Moscati .... acknowledgment: film source
Catherine Parrington .... special thanks
Ron Rutberg .... grateful thanks
Michael Schlesinger .... grateful thanks
David Shepard .... grateful thanks
Caroline Sisneros .... grateful thanks
Charles Tabesh .... grateful thanks
Patty Tobias .... grateful thanks
Jeffrey Vance .... acknowledgment: still photographs provided by
Marc Wanamaker .... grateful thanks
David Weddle .... grateful thanks
Jessica Wiederhorn .... grateful thanks
Ric Wolfe .... special thanks
David Wyatt .... grateful thanks

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

USA:38 min | USA:39 min (excluding commercials)

Did You Know?

Included in the 2-disc DVD set "The Buster Keaton Collection", released by Warner Home Video in December 2004.See more »
Movie Connections:


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
5 out of 6 people found the following review useful.
Interesting but it also seemed a bit incomplete, 9 September 2007
Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida

This isn't your usual documentary about a film comedian, as instead of being a documentary or going through their films sequentially, it's focused only on the downward spiral of a career. In this case, Buster Keaton's early successes are only briefly mentioned and the gist of the film is how Keaton and especially MGM ruined his career. I liked this, as it helped to explain how a man who was one of the greatest silent comedians became a has-been so quickly.

As for Keaton, his drinking and lavish lifestyle did take their toll and made him truly the one responsible for his decline. Even with the irresponsible meddling by MGM brass, the film doesn't omit that Keaton drank his career into oblivion--though it did seem to excuse some of his irresponsible behaviors (such as his many affairs that lead to his wife taking everything in a divorce settlement).

As for MGM, in 1928 they brought Keaton to their studio. This SHOULD have been "a marriage made in heaven", for Keaton was now working for the richest and most influential studio in the world. However, they stupidly insisted on remaking Keaton into a "team player" and no longer allowed him the independence that lead to such classics as THE GENERAL and STEAMBOAT BILL JUNIOR. Instead, the scripts were almost completely created without Keaton's input and they stuck him in plots that were very foreign to his style--especially later when he was teamed with Jimmy Durante for three god-awful films.

All this was very interesting. However, what bothered me about the show was that it pretty much ignored Keaton's career after the early 1930s. This is a darn shame because he had a very long career--including directing shorts in the late 30s (under an assumed name), acting with Chaplin in the great film LIMELIGHT as well as a comeback, of sorts, in the 1960s (including appearances in some of the awful Beach movies as well as a few decent performances, such as his last film A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM). All in all, worth seeing but woefully incomplete. A serious discussion of Keaton's later career isn't done in this film, though it did do a good job in explaining MGM's part in sabotaging Keaton's career.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (4 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for So Funny It Hurt: Buster Keaton & MGM (2004)


If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
Garbo I'm King Kong!: The Exploits of Merian C. Cooper The Art of Amália My Best Fiend Personal Che
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
IMDb Documentary section IMDb USA section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.