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Steamboat Bill, Jr. (1928)

The effete son of a cantankerous riverboat captain comes to join his father's crew.

Directors:

Charles Reisner (as Chas. F. Reisner), Buster Keaton (uncredited)

Writer:

Carl Harbaugh (story)
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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Buster Keaton ... William Canfield Jr.
Tom McGuire ... J.J. King
Ernest Torrence ... William 'Steamboat Bill' Canfield
Tom Lewis Tom Lewis ... Tom Carter - First and Last Mate
Marion Byron ... Kitty King - King's Daughter
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Storyline

Following through on a promise to his mother, William Canning Jr. goes to River Junction to meet his father who has not seen him since he was a child. The younger Canning isn't quite what the elder was expecting but the old man has bigger problems. He's being put out of business by J.J. King, who not only owns the local hotel and bank, but has recently introduced a new paddle wheel steamer that puts Cannings older boat, the Stonewall Jackson, to shame. Bill Jr. and Kitty King take a liking to each other much to the dismay of both of their fathers. When a fierce storm hits River Junction, Bill Jr. is forced to save Kitty, her father and his father. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Fun! - Fast and Furious - runs riot on the Mississippi. See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 May 1928 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El héroe del río See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The famous collapsing wall gag was previously used by Buster Keaton in Back Stage (1919) and One Week (1920) with smaller buildings. This was to be the ultimate version of the stunt. The comedian remarked later in his career, "I was mad at the time, or I would never have done the thing." See more »

Goofs

When Bill Jr. enters the jail and the sheriff closes the door, the hand of a crew member can be seen outside reaching for the door. See more »

Quotes

William 'Steamboat Bill' Canfield Sr.: [upon seeing Bill Jr. for the first time, to Tom] If you say what you're thinking, I'll strangle you!
See more »

Connections

Featured in So Funny It Hurt: Buster Keaton & MGM (2004) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
That Hurricane Scene Blew Me Away!
19 September 2006 | by ccthemovieman-1See all my reviews

Reading the back of the video or DVD case can be misleading as it made this movie to be one in which Buster learns from his dad the ropes of running of steamboat. Well, in the end it looks like he did just that, but his "training" was about less than a minute in this 71-minute film.

The rest of the movie is about other things, such as Buster - reunited with a Dad who never knew him - meeting his father, getting a new outfit (especially a different hat), beginning a romance with the daughter of the competing steamboat operator, later trying to get his father out of jail, on and on.

The part that makes this one of the more memorable silent films of all time is the hurricane segment near the end. There are some amazing scenes in that, including a very famous one in which an entire side of house falls on Buster, who escapes without injury because an open door on the house is exactly where Keaton is standing. He had not been exactly on the right mark, the famous comedian could have been seriously injured in that stunt. The man had guts, that's for sure.

Anyway, our hero does show in the end that he learned a few things about navigating the boat as he rescues all the major characters following the hurricane. Great stuff and a suspenseful finish.


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