The Great Buster: A Celebration

Critics Consensus

The Great Buster: A Celebration isn't as breathlessly entertaining as the filmography that inspired it, but as a long-overdue primer, it's close to essential.



Total Count: 39


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User Ratings: 102
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THE GREAT BUSTER celebrates the life and career of one of America's most influential and celebrated filmmakers and comedians, Buster Keaton, whose singular style and fertile output during the silent era created his legacy as a true cinematic visionary. Filled with stunningly restored archival Keaton films from the Cohen Film Classics library, THE GREAT BUSTER is directed by Peter Bogdanovich, a filmmaker and cinema historian whose landmark writings and films on such renowned directors as John Ford and Orson Welles have become the standard by which all other studies are measured. Keaton's beginnings on the vaudeville circuit are chronicled in THE GREAT BUSTER, as is the development of his trademark physical comedy and deadpan expression that earned him the lifelong moniker of "The Great Stone Face", all of which led to his career-high years as the director, writer, producer and star of his own short films and features. Interspersed throughout are interviews with nearly two-dozen collaborators, filmmakers, performers and friends, including Mel Brooks, Quentin Tarantino, Werner Herzog, Dick van Dyke and Johnny Knoxville, who discuss Keaton's influence on modern comedy and, indeed, cinema itself. The loss of artistic independence and career decline that marked his later years are also covered by Bogdanovich, before he casts a close eye on Keaton's extraordinary output from 1923 to 1929, which yielded 10 remarkable feature films (including 1926's The General and 1928's Steamboat Bill, Jr.) that immortalized him as one of the greatest actor-filmmakers in the history of cinema.

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