8.0/10
11,526
70 user 55 critic

Steamboat Bill, Jr. (1928)

Not Rated | | Action, Comedy, Drama | 20 May 1928 (USA)
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:

What a thrill! Worth the price of admission alone to see what happened to Buster when the twister hit the town. 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

Filming began in late 1927 on the west bank of the Sacramento River, just across from the junction with the American River. There near the California capitol, a full three blocks of city sets were built for the mythical town of River Junction, Mississippi. See more »

Goofs

During the final cyclone sequence, a cable pulling down the entire front of a building is clearly visible. See more »

Quotes

William Canfield Jr.: [to his father] I know what it is, you're ashamed of my baking.
See more »

Connections

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Movie Stunts (2014) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Blow
24 January 2007 | by tedgSee all my reviews

This follows a pattern that Keaton would follow in a few of his most amazing films. The first half would just set up the situation and incidentally give a few mild jokes along the way. The second part is structured around a frantic set of stunts that are both comic and athletic. These must have astonished when they were new; its an odd thing that all the really interesting effects in films of this era were not for science fiction or action, but comedy.

Today, these effects and particularly Keaton's, astonish ever so much more. Jackie Chan is the closest we have now, or recently. Chan knows that when we see something that we know is real: Chan jumping off a helicopter for instance, and when that is done with a comic tone, for some reason we chuckle more deeply.

(Stephen Chow's projects are a twist on this. We know the stunts aren't real, but they are much more extreme, and they deliberately reference other movies.) This collection of stunts has Keaton take a large river steam paddlewheeler, a rig it up to operate the boiler room by ropes from the pilothouse. Keaton's agility is absolutely phenomenal: today such acrobatics would surely be computer generated. Its not obvious that the man is risking his life. But as with his railroad movie, it is obvious that this is a real machine in a real raging river during real serious wind, though the wind might be generated with machines.

This is big stuff, important to watch and real thrill.

Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.


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