Steamboat Bill Jr.1928
Steamboat Bill Jr. (1928)
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Critic Reviews for Steamboat Bill Jr.
If your faith in humanity needs a little pick-me-up, there's no better place to start.
Keaton's most coherent feature-length comedies...can't stop playing with the immigrant nature of American identity: each of us is far from home, and the natives aren't friendly.
Chaplin's comic personality started from English class-consciousness; Keaton's was American and free.
Buster Keaton's final independent film is one of his finest achievements, something of a greatest hits package in its refinement of old routines.
Steamboat Bill, Jr. packs in more stunts in 70 minutes than most action franchises have in total, and does so with panache.
Audience Reviews for Steamboat Bill Jr.
The son of a rundown riverboat captain returns to his dad after college, slick and citi-fied, a disappointment to his dad and the laughingstock of the town. Only the girl he knew in school thinks anything much of him, and she's the daughter of the town big-shot (Pop's nemesis) too. How to repair his reputation, get Pop's respect, the respect of Pop's enemy, and win the girl? And a big storm coming on? The storm proves the height of Keaton's talents as some of his most memorable sight gags happen during its rage, and Keaton enters film history with pride.
Keaton was an incomparable genius and this is made pretty evident in the film's exceptionally well-directed third act, when he tries everything to escape a storm and surprises us with his incredible audacity and endless disposition to put himself in life-threatening situations.
Buster Keaton is a master of two distinct features of the silent movie era: comedy via physical trauma and injury, and he is the master of stunts. The stunts you see in Buster Keaton films are all real, and were all executed by Keaton himself. You will be in awe throughout this film as you watch Keaton get pummeled, pulled through the streets, and hit with the framework of an entire house, all while keeping a completely stone face. The framework of the film isn't actually all that important, as his past films also demonstrate. The film starts with his father asking him home to help beat out his competitor in a steam liner business. While this shapes the film there are also plots that follow his father to jail, and then Bill Jr. as he saves his love interest from a tornado's vicious wind. The comedy of Keaton's work is still as timeless and humorous as it was in the twenties, and I highly recommend this film for silent film fanatics and comedy lovers alike.
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