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Breakdown of a Gag, Episode 2: Keaton's Dangerous Stunts


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It is just amazing - and almost unbeliavable - how Mr. Keaton took major risks doing his films. As one of the classic characteristics of slapstick is exaggerated situations, it is known that this kind of scene is common on the genre. But the iconic scene of the house falling with just a small hole to save him from serious injuries is capable of make people creepy nowadays!

 

I've already watched "The General" and must say that it is one of my favorite's classical comedy movies of all time!

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Keaton had in fact seriously injured himself while performing one of his stunts. During filming "The General" there is a scene where Keaton stops the locomotive to take on more water for the steam engine. While lowering the water pipe down to the locomotive, the pipe slams down unexpectedly knocking Keaton to the ground. Keaton suffered a fractured neck but he did not realize it until after the scene was shot. As a true dedicated performer, the camera kept rolling till the end of the shot.  

I didn't know that but it doesn't surprise me...and you're completely right about the true performer thing. There's a very cliche saying but theater people still use it, the show must go on. Keaton is an excellent example. break an arm? the show must go on! 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Keaton, what an amazing performer/comedian/stunt man! In this modern day and age, an actor would never be allowed to do comedy this physical. The insurance companies would have a fit! That scene where the house falls on him (or doesn't fall on him) was amazing. I didn't think he'd be able to clear it! The risks he took remind a little of Jackie Chan. He has constantly injured himself but he does it for his art and for the sake of the stunts/the shot. 

Additionally, I have been mostly familiar with Chaplin so to get this exposure to Keaton has been wonderful!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have to admit that Buster Keaton is a dedicated comedian of Silent Film Era. It is his acrobatic actions which are the main attractions in his comedy films. This makes him unique among the other comedians.

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