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harlowkeatongirl

Buster Keaton and Jean Harlow fans in the house?

65 posts in this topic

Hi,

I'm obviously brand new to the board and as is obvious from my name, Jean Harlow and Buster Keaton are two of my favorite screen personalities from Old Hollywood -- although I have many. Others include Clark Gable, Marie Dressler, and Charlie Chaplin.

 

I never realized TCM had a message board in the time I've been watching the channel. It's nice to see so many old movie buffs out there, some a lot more seasoned than me, I'm sure. Classic movies is a relatively new hobby of mine. :-)

 

~Shyla

 

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Hiya Shyla! Welcome to the boards, and I can tell by your username that I'm totally gonna like ya: Harlow is one of my own absolutely favorites, and so is Buster! (Good taste! ;) )

 

So anyway, welcome again and I know you're gonna love your time here!

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I've only casually watched several Keaton flix, but I really liked 'em and want to check out s'more. I'm a big Harlow, though!

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Okay; that last sentence should've read, "I'm a big Harlow fan, though!"

 

Ooopsie

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Hey Shyla! Welcome! I'm a fan of Jean Harlow too. "Dinner at Eight" is one of my all time favorites. I like Buster too, but I haven't seen a whole lot of his work.

 

I hope you enjoy the boards - we're a cool, easy-going group, and just about everyone is real friendly. Have fun!

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Love Jean Harlow. At first my thoughts of her were low, but after watching her I really love her. She's beautiful, because of her lively personality, spunk, energeticness, and her vivacious sex appeal. She's wonderful. But all in all she was a lady. I guess its true what they say about her- men wanted her, women wanted to be her friend. Had she lived who knows what would of happen, but I enjoyed what she did leave behind, and I love the way she often changed her look and style to show she wasn't a hussy or platinum blonde dumbie. Actresses today couldn't stand up against Harlow.

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I find that people that don't do their homework on classic films automatically list Chaplin as the greatest silent clown. For all of us that have seen (most) all the films by the silent clowns, there is no doubt that Buster Keaton is the greatest. A month devoted to him on TCM would be a fitted tribute. And who could forget Harlow in Red Dust! Thank God MGM shaved her eyebrows and started penciling them in, that look suited her bect.

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are you sure its not those peoples preference that they find Charlie funnier and not a lack of knowledge?

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And I didn't want to come off sounding like an egg-head film scholar or anything, I'm far from that. I just feel that if Buster Keaton did nothing other than Sherlock Jr. for his whole career, that was funnier than anything Chaplin ever did. Chaplin mixes sentiment with his work, while Buster goes straight for the funny bone!

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Thanks for saying thatPgm80s, because I didn?t think I was being particularly negligent when it came to studying classic film... even if Charlie is my all time favorite!

 

Apparently you are the spokesperson for all people who have seen the work of the silent clowns in saying that Keaton was the greatest...

 

Firstly, I adore Keaton, Lloyd, Langdon and Linder. Keaton holds a special place in my heart, and Sherlock Jr. is one of my favorite films end-of-story?

 

but Charlie Chaplin is still my all time favorite because of the fact that he does mix sentiment with his comedy? he goes further than the funny bone, he even aims for the heart. I do not like him because I don't know any better, or because I haven't done 'my homework' on the silent comedians (You should see what my bookshelf looks like-- nothing but film books). It's because he makes me laugh, he makes me cry, he makes my day brighter on the whole... he's done it since I was ten years old and he always will... That's why I love Charlie. Not because it's fashionable or popular...

 

To the contrary. I find that a lot of the time, being a Chaplin fan does not make one popular but brands someone as a "poser" who doesn't know the first thing about silent films. I wish I knew why admiring the first acknowledged genius of the cinema puts me in a class like that... hmm, interesting...

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Before I get crucified here I would like to make my point clear. I find that people that don't know a lick about silent movies automatically list Chaplin as the best. Afterall hearing the name Charlie Chaplin conjures up the little tramp, he is a household name for the most part. These same people probably have never seen any of Keaton's work (for one it isn't as readily available). I think if 100 people were taken off the streets and shown the work of both these artists Buster would be the dominant choice. I think people will find Chaplin's work a bit hokey for the 21st century. We are afterall a nation that wants results immedietaly, and Buster provides them. On a personal note I thought your comments toward me littletramplover were a bit snide and uncalled for. I am only exercising an opinion made by me, and do not speak for anyone else.

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Hey, I did not mean to come across as snide and I sincerely apologize if you felt I was attacking you. Being snide to people isn't something I specialize in, and it's not the intention I had. I simply read your post and apparently must have read it wrong, because when you said "for all of us who have seen the silent clowns Keaton is the greatest" I was just taken aback, that's all. It sounded to me like you were speaking for everyone when you said "for all of us who have seen the silent clowns" but if that's not what you meant, I am sorry.

 

But do you see where I'm coming from too? It kinda hurt my feelings a little bit, because I've been a film buff for ages, and I just didn't like being told that because I like Chaplin I must not know anything about silent film.

 

If it was misunderstanding, great, but please don't go thinking someone is attacking you personally. I was just standing up for my darling Charlie.

 

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By the way littletramplover, I enjoy your posts on this site and if a little heated argument arises once in a while it definely spices up the board. If you ask me this message board has been quite boring lately! It's all in good fun, we'll agree to disagree, your a Chaplin guy and I'm a Buster guy at least neither of us are arguing over Stiller, or Myers or some dumb crap like that!

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Rereading the line "For all of us" I can definely see that it may sound like I'm speaking for an army or something. I meant it as people (friends, family) that I converse with in my life that are into silent movies and favor Keaton over Chaplin! Sorry about that!

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I think diversity is what makes this so much fun. I highly respect and understand Carley's reasons for why Charlie Chaplin is her favorite. I agree w/her on a lot of points, too. He's one of my favorites, too.

 

But I prefer Buster, for all the same reasons people in this thread say they enjoy Buster. :)

 

And I have to disagree about Buster not being sentimental in any way. He was - in his own way. :) If you look at any of his films, he brings across a very gentle soul. In The General for example, there's that part where he reaches over to strangle the girl, and then kisses her instead. That's one example. He always treated ladies with a lot of respect. And making them part of the gag only showed to me that he thinks of them as strong capable people just as worthy of getting a laugh from the audience as himself. Because he made himself the butt of the joke just the same way.

 

As much as that girl in The General drove him nuts (LOL!), he protected her and worked WITH her. That represents in a nutshell the kind of tender person he was. "Rough around the edges" is even pushing it in regards to Buster, I'd say.

 

The only thing I regret is that Buster and Charlie never did a full-length feature together. :)

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Buster did have sentiment in his films, of course Shyla, I was not implying he didn't. You can't watch The General and think otherwise.

 

You are right Shyla, diversity is the key. I think it's nice when people can appreciate the greatness of all artists, not just Chaplin and Keaton, but Lloyd and Langdon and Linder and Laurel and Hardy, to name the few. We all have our preferences, and I think it's wonderful that we can all respect each other for those preferences and in the process, come to learn a lot more about other artists. (Like what gagman has done for me with Harold Lloyd!)

 

I would never dream of discrediting the work of Keaton...

 

It just makes me sad that people do that often with Chaplin. :(

 

 

 

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(oh hey Shyla-- thought you might like to know I'm re-reading Keaton Remembered!! :D That book is terrific. And I just realized the author is the same biographer who did a Chaplin bio too...)

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JEFFREY VANCE, is also the author of HAROLD LLOYD MASTER COMEDIAN as well! This was the follow up to BUSTER KEATON REMEMBERED. CHAPLIN GENIUS OF THE CINEMA is the third book in the series. AMC still the domestic broadcast rights to most of Keaton's features. This is why only his public domain features of the 20's and the two he made at MGM are shown on TCM. However, TCM appears to have the rights in America to show the Thames/Photoplay productions scored versions of OUR HOSPITALITY, THE NAVIGATOR, and THE GENERAL. These were released in the states on HBO home video back in the late 1980's.

 

I have yet to see TCM run these versions, though they have aired at one time or other almost all of the rest of the Thames Silents Collection series. (Including the five Harold Lloyd features released on VHS in the early 90's by HBO.) The Killiam shows print of THE GENERAL with William Perry on the Key's, and not Carl Davis awesome Orchestral score is the only print of THE GENERAL I have seen them run. The KINO DVD version with ROBERT ISRAEL's score used to air on AMC fairly frequently. A newly scored Alloy Orchestra version of THE GENERAL has just been released on DVD by IMAGE ENTERTAINMENT. This is paired with Buster's 1928 classic STEAMBOAT BILL JR.

 

For "Harlowkeatongirl" Keaton's films I feel are just about as accessible as Chaplin's are. Harold Lloyd's films on the other hand despite occasional TCM airings over the past two years, are far lesser known today than either Charlie or Buster's. As I've said before, Lloyd's 11 silent features during the 1920's in terms of the degree of sustained quality from film to film don't have to take a back seat to anyones!

 

Lloyd was a certainly a "perfectionist" in the same vain as Chaplin and Keaton, He spent over five and a half hours for example, on less than a two minute sequence during the production of his 1921 feature "A SAILOR MADE MAN" He re-shot the scene from every conceivable angle, strove tirelessly to get the best possible laugh out of the gag. All the while improvising and ad-libbing new bits of bussiness along the way. He did the same thing in every silent feature! For Lloyd like Chaplin filmed endless retakes until he was satisfied. He than previewed his pictures with audiences before general re-lease, (sometimes as many as five times)editing out anything that didn't elect the proper response Even re-filming again! I have also commented that Lloyd is much more "contemporary" and easier for modern audiences to embrace than either Keaton or Chaplin are.

 

I'm not putting down either Chaplin or Keaton by saying this, but on a level playing film something Lloyd hasn't enjoyed since his hey-day (no current restored DVD's releases in print)Harold Lloyd put's up one hell of a fight and shows us why he was in fact more popular throughout the decade of the 1920's than any other comedian in the motion picture field!

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P.S. Buster always had the utmost respect for Charlie. I heard he was quoted as saying, when Charlie was rumored to have underpaid him for "Limelight".. he said: "I would've worked with Charlie for nothing."

 

I only wish Charlie's ego wouldn't have been so big as to speak a little more highly of Buster in return. :( He was always looking for approval from people, and any doubt anyone planted in his mind that he WASN'T the greatest, he could not take. But I don't see why he needed to worry. Charlie had his fans - Buster had his. And millions love both. ;) Charlie was a good guy but he was a little insecure in that way. More of a character flaw than anything.

 

I can tell he had major respect for Buster, though. He had a totally different approach and I have no doubts that Charlie must've looked at some of Buster's films and the stunts he did, gags he pulled, etc. and thought "Holy *@*@." LOL :P

 

No doubt, Buster did that when watching Charlie's films, too!

 

And P.S. No, Carley I don't run BusterKeaton.Com! lol :D

 

 

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Harold Lloyd greatly respected Keaton, and the feeling was mutual between them. Lloyd actually played a hand in getting Buster his own TV show during the 50's. Even Chaplin in the mid and late 1920's, adopted more Lloyd like "Thrill comedy sequences"into his films. For example, the cabin on of the edge of the cliff in THE GOLD RUSH, the High-wire act in THE CIRCUS. Chaplin also admitted publicly to being artistically "stimulated" by GRANDMAS BOY. Chaplin and Lloyd both wisely warned Keaton not to sign with MGM and give up his independent status. As a result of his not heeding that advice, Buster gradually lost "creative control" of his pictures.

 

All three of these men's influence on future generations of film makers has been quite profound. While each was a genius in their own right Lloyd is the lone one among the three who's work today has yet to receive the wide-spread level of acclaim that he so clearly deserves.

Harold Lloyd was more than just a MASTER COMEDIAN, he was also an exceptional FILM-MAKER!

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(hey gagman, that reminds me! I received those harold lloyd movies in the mail and, although I haven't finished them all, I did watch Girl Shy. I'll send you an email as soon as I can-- those DVDs are beautiful!)

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