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Buster Keaton deserves a tribute


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First off, I want to congratulate TCM for its comprehensive month-long tribute to Charlie Chaplin. The combination of shorts, feature films (virtually every Chaplin full-length feature) and comprehensive documentaies on practically every one of Chaplin's feature films made for a truly memorable month - BRAVO TCM! It is programs like this that make TCM the peerless TV channel for film viewing.

Now that Chaplin has had his month-long tribute, doesn't his comedic genius rival, namely Buster Keaton, deserve similar treatment? There are many cinefiles who believe that Keaton was the superior filmmaker even if his career did not sustain the general public's interest beyond the silent era as did Chaplin's. Still here are 4 feature films and one lengthy documentary (3 hours in length as I recall) that would serve as the foundation of a retrospective for this truly great artist.

Our Hospitality

Sherlock, Jr.

The Navigator

The General

and

Buster Keaton: A Hard Act To Follow" (1987) - the documentary by Kevin Brownlow & David Gill . Several Brownlow & Gill documentaries were also featured in the Chaplin series tribute.

Come on folks, jump on the bandwagon and let's rally TCM to our cause. Surely, we will all be the richer for experiencing the talents of Keaton. There are many, many scenes in just the 4 films that I listed above, that will amaze/startle/thrill and simply entertain us all.

Let TCM know what you think. There is strength in numbers!

Let's GO FOR IT!

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Fullmoonwalker7,

 

Reserve my seat on the bandwagon! I agree with you on a Keaton Tribute. I love all of the silent comedians. I would say Keaton is probably my favorite, but I am such a fan of Chaplin and Harold Lloyd, as well. TCM has been very generous in showing both of their films, but we don't see Keaton nearly as much. I would also add 'Steamboat Bill jr.' to your esteemed list, but I am totally with you in supporting a Buster Keaton Retrospect. Either way, I am always pleased with TCM's programming.

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Thanks Keith! I hope our bandwagon will be filled to overflowing!!! Yes, yes Steamboat Bill, Jr. and let's not forget The Saphead or The Three Ages - all feature length films as I recall. Then, there are at least 3 short films GEMS that Keaton made - namely, One Week, The Playhouse & Cops. What a treat everyone will be in for -IF AND ONLY IF TCM is listening, taking good notes and then reacting accordinly. Not that I want to criticize TCM in any way - I firmly believe they are the best channel on the entire TV network system WORLDWIDE if I may be so bold - AND all I am suggesting is a way to maintain that stature with a COMPARABLE TRIBUTE to the one recently afforded Charlie Chaplin. For those less familar with Keaton's work - many, many folks in-the-know consider him the superior artist.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I don't know if this is too late to join this discussion but I agree. I've recently became a Buster Keaton fan and would like a tribute for him. I think TCM does an amazing job at getting older movies out there but I wish they would play more of his films especially Dough Boys.

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I'm not sure it's ever too late to join a discussion. I came to Keaton late in my movie life. What a surprise. He is so athletic and graceful at the same time. I' ve taped most of my collection from TCM. In addition to the films everyone knows I enjoyed "Our Hospitality" and "Battling Butler". TCM has usually shown them in blocks. I saw this week that the Library of Congress had selected Buster's "The Cameraman" as part of their film preservation collection. Good for them.

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Thank you for the encouragement. That is good news to know about Buster's film. I wish TCM would show another block of his films. I really liked Dough Boys but it's not on film. I wish they would show that again. Like you I became a fan of Buster's late too. Now I'm hooked. I was a little disappointed with TCM for not showing his films during his birthday or even acknowledge it was his birthday. I guess you can't have everything. Uh? What is your favorite out of all of his films?

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The one I keep going back to is "Seven Chances". I love how the film is so fast and packed over the last twenty minutes or so. Dodging several hundred women and all those "rocks" just showcases how athletic he is while showing off his comedic talent. I enjoy all those I've seen through the 20s. I haven't seen his short films or the talkies. One of my favorite gags is from "The Navigator" where he is going to see his girlfriend so he gets in his car and drives -- across the street. Simple but funny.

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