Last night my wife and I rented the Buster Keaton classic Steamboat Bill, Jr. She’d never seen anything by Keaton, but has heard me (and fellow Scrogue Jim Booth) talk about his particular genius.
One of the most remarkable talents America has ever produced, Keaton was an insanely gifted physical comedian who was able to communicate tremendous nuance even within the confines of the silent genre. A lot of actors through the years have gotten pretty accomplished at “deadpan,” but I’m not sure I’ve ever seen anybody who could match Keaton’s mastery of the stoneface. It’s amazing how much he can convey with seemingly zero expression.
He was also a pretty remarkable athlete. (More…)