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Buster Keaton: A Hard Act to Follow 

A series about the life, career and works of the movie comedy genius.
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1  
1987  
Won 3 Primetime Emmys. See more awards »

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Using in part rare out-take footage, the film-making methods and techniques of Charles Chaplin are explored.

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Hollywood (TV Mini-Series 1980)
Documentary | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.2/10 X  

The history of the American film industry in Hollywood during the Silent era.

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Hard Luck (1921)
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Strange things ensue after a young man attempts to take his own life.

Directors: Edward F. Cline, Buster Keaton
Stars: Buster Keaton, Virginia Fox, Joe Roberts
Three Ages (1923)
Comedy
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The misadventures of Buster in three separate historical periods.

Directors: Edward F. Cline, Buster Keaton
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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
Cinema Europe: The Other Hollywood (TV Mini-Series 1995)
Documentary | History
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Documentary mini-series about the rise and fall of the European silent film industry.

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Comedy | Short
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After literally walking to Canada from England, Buster takes a cross-country trip across Canada on a railway motorcar (speeder).

Directors: Gerald Potterton, Buster Keaton, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Buster Keaton
Certificate: Passed Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An unimpressive but well intending man is given the chance to marry a popular actress, of whom he has been a hopeless fan. But what he doesn't realize is that he is being used to make the actress' old flame jealous.

Directors: Edward Sedgwick, Buster Keaton
Stars: Buster Keaton, Dorothy Sebastian, Edward Earle
Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A millionaire vacationing in Mexico falls for a local girl and sets out to win her.

Director: Del Lord
Stars: Buster Keaton, Lorna Gray, Gino Corrado
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

In Paris, a stage-struck would-be actor is mistaken for an escaped convict.

Director: Max Nosseck
Stars: Buster Keaton, Madeleine Guitty, Paulette Dubost
Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Elmer Butts is a contestant in a radio amateur hour show hoping to win the first price... by dancing and juggling!

Director: Charles Lamont
Stars: Buster Keaton, Diana Lewis, Harold Goodwin
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Victor is a failure; a poor barber who has come to despise poverty with a vengeance. There had to be a way to make a big score, and live to enjoy it. Fate intervenes when Victor's new ... See full summary »

Director: Brian Anthony
Stars: Seth Barrish, Elaine Wood, Joe Biscone
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Cast

Complete series cast summary:
Lindsay Anderson ...  Narrator 3 episodes, 1987
Charles Lamont Charles Lamont ...  Himself 3 episodes, 1987
William R. Cox William R. Cox ...  Himself 3 episodes, 1987
Loyal T. Lucas Loyal T. Lucas ...  Himself 3 episodes, 1987
Eleanor Keaton Eleanor Keaton ...  Herself 3 episodes, 1987
Harvey Parry ...  Himself 3 episodes, 1987
Raymond Rohauer Raymond Rohauer ...  Himself 3 episodes, 1987
John Wilson John Wilson ...  Himself 3 episodes, 1987
Keith Fennell Keith Fennell ...  Himself 3 episodes, 1987
William Ernshaw William Ernshaw ...  Himself 3 episodes, 1987
Grace Matteson Grace Matteson ...  Herself 3 episodes, 1987
Ronald Gilstrap Ronald Gilstrap ...  Himself 3 episodes, 1987
Harold Terry Harold Terry ...  Himself 3 episodes, 1987
Dean Riesner ...  Himself 3 episodes, 1987
Anthony D. Nealis Anthony D. Nealis ...  Himself 3 episodes, 1987
Gil Perkins ...  Himself 3 episodes, 1987
Albert S. Rogell Albert S. Rogell ...  Himself 3 episodes, 1987
Anthony Simmons Anthony Simmons ...  Himself 3 episodes, 1987
John Montgomery John Montgomery ...  Himself - Journalist 3 episodes, 1987
Edward Bernds Edward Bernds ...  Himself 3 episodes, 1987
Jack Cummings ...  Himself 3 episodes, 1987
Jerome Medrano Jerome Medrano ...  Himself 3 episodes, 1987
Billy Beck ...  Himself 3 episodes, 1987
Len 'Spider' Austin Len 'Spider' Austin ...  Himself - Clown 3 episodes, 1987
James Karen ...  Himself 3 episodes, 1987
Gerald Potterton Gerald Potterton ...  Himself 3 episodes, 1987
John Gillett John Gillett ...  Himself 3 episodes, 1987
Mick Dillon ...  Himself 3 episodes, 1987
William Collier Jr. ...  Himself 2 episodes, 1987
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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


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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 September 1987 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Buster Keaton - Sein Leben, sein Werk See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Thames Television See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(3 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

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

Alternate Versions

German version runs 120 min (as aired on "arte" channel in March 2004). See more »

Connections

Features The Bell Boy (1918) See more »

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User Reviews

 
the best documentary about this comic legend
25 April 2006 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

This was an amazing documentary. Instead of the usual superficial and boring bio, it's jam-packed full of stories about the film making process and interesting anecdotes you'll hear no where else.

The show was presented in three 1-hour segments--going chronologically through his long career. One of the most memorable aspects was the film discussing his awful "bio-pic" (THE BUSTER KEATON STORY)--how it was mostly untrue and Keaton was not a hard-core drinker. Yes, he did have a drinking problem but it was short-lived and not a defining moment in his career.

Wonderful, thorough and lovingly made--an absolute MUST for fans of silent comedy.

FYI--Another similar project was created by the same writers for Harold Lloyd (AMERICAN MASTERS--HAROLD LLOYD, THE THIRD GENIUS) and Charlie Chaplin (UNKNOWN CHAPLIN). All three are terrific and must-see for fans of silent comedy!


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