Thursday, November 3, 2016

5 Films: Buster Keaton

The General movie posterBy Kenny Howell

Now it is time to move on to the silent era with the best filmmaker of the time, Buster Keaton. Here are his five best films.

5. Three Ages (1923) - Keaton’s comedic take on D.W. Griffith’s Intolerance with a love story in three separate ages.

4. Sherlock Jr. (1924) - Keaton plays a film projectionist who is in love with the movies he shows. So much so that he wants to be a private detective like the ones depicted in the films. When he gets framed for a crime, he gets to use all he has learned.

3. Seven Chances (1925) - Keaton plays a bachelor that must marry a woman by the end of the day to receive a huge inheritance from a rich relative. One of the highlights is Keaton avoiding, or not avoiding giant boulders rolling down a hill.

2. Our Hospitality (1923) - Keaton’s take on the Hatfield and McCoy story (here renamed the Canfields and McKays). Two families firing at each other and Keaton in the middle is a great place to start for his physical comedy.

1. The General (1927) - This is Buster Keaton’s best movie hands down. Keaton plays Johnnie Gray, a man who has two important things in his life – his train, the General, and his girl, Annabelle Lee. He tries to enlist in the Civil War, but is turned down because the South think he is more important to them as an engineer. This causes Annabelle Lee to think he is a coward. Union Soldiers capture the General, and Annabelle Lee happens to be on it. He sets out to rescue his train, and win his girl. This has to be the most jaw dropping of Keaton’s films. It seems he should have been killed several times during filming, but he never fails to get the shot. Words can’t describe how amazing this film is, you just have to hit play and watch Keaton do what he did.

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