7.9/10
13,309
92 user 70 critic

Steamboat Bill, Jr. (1928)

Not Rated | | Action, Comedy, Drama | 20 May 1928 (USA)
Trailer
0:51 | Trailer
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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3 wins & 3 nominations. 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:

Buster's gayest comedy opus - simply bursting with gals, guile and gales of laughter! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The stunt where the wall falls on Buster Keaton was performed with an actual full-weight wall. Half the crew walked off the set rather than participate in a stunt that would have killed Keaton if he had been slightly off position. Keaton himself, told the previous day that his studio was being shut down, was so devastated that he didn't care if the wall crushed him or not. See more »

Goofs

Just before the house facade falls on Keaton, a stagehand can be seen through the first floor window giving it an extra push. See more »

Quotes

Title Card: Eight bells and all is wrong.
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Connections

References Tramp, Tramp, Tramp (1926) See more »

User Reviews

 
Amazing Storm Sequence
30 October 2005 | by claudio_carvalhoSee all my reviews

In the riverside town of River Junction, Captain William Canfield (Ernest Torrence) has an old steamship and disputes the passengers with the powerful banker John James King (Tom McGuire), who has a brandy new passenger vessel. William is informed that his unknown son William Canfield Jr. (Buster Keaton) will arrive by train from Boston to visit him. When Willie arrives, William trains him to work with him in his ship. However, Willie meets his friend Marion King (Marion Byron), the daughter of James King, and they date each other, against the will of their fathers. When a hurricane reaches River Junction, Willie rescues his father and his future father-in-law from the river.

"Steamboat Bill Jr." has a silly but funny beginning, and an amazing hurricane sequence, with very bold scenes. The timing and the physical capability of Buster Keaton are very impressive, and in the present days it is impossible to imagine shooting the scenes in the storm without the use of computer, so convincing they still are. From his biography, I have seen that he died of lung cancer, not in an accident as I might guess, meaning that he has survived to his risky scenes usual in most of his films. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "Marinheiro de Encomenda" ("Sailor by Order")


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

None | English

Release Date:

20 May 1928 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Steamboat Bill, Jr. See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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