Buster Keaton was an American comedian actor and director. Known primarily for his films, his “trademark” was the comedy with body movements, while retaining a stoic, fuzzy expression, winning, so nicknamed “The Large Stone Face”.
Keaton was recognized as the seventh greatest director of all time by Entertainment Weekly magazine. In 1999, the American Film Institute ranked Keaton in 21st place with the best male actors of all time. In 2002, a worldwide vote of Sight and Sound ranked Keaton’s film The General in 15th place with the best films of all time. Other three films from Keaton received votes in the journal research: Our Hospitality, Sherlock Jr. and The Navigator.
Keaton was born on October 4, 1895, in a small town in Kansas. His parents were theatrical playwrights. His father was Joseph Hallie Keaton, a native of the Vigo County province in Indiana. Joe Ketton had a wandering troupe along with Harry Hudding, the Mohawk Indian Medicine Company, who was given a show, selling pharmaceutical products behind the stage. Buster Kyton was born in Pika, Kansas, the small town where his mother, Myra Edith Cutler, was at the time of childbirth.
According to a frequently recurring story of doubtful authenticity, Keaton acquired the nickname “Buster” at about six months of age. Keaton had said in an interview with Fletcher Mark that Harry Houdini was here one day when Littleton fell off a big staircase without getting injured. When the infant recovered as though nothing had happened, Houdini exclaimed, “That was a real buster!” According to Keaton, at the time, the word buster was used for a fall that was likely to lead to some wound. After that he was the father of Keaton who used this nickname for his young son. Keaton repeated the joke several times in the years that followed, including an interview in 1964 on the Telescope show on the Canadian CBC channel.
At the age of three, Keaton entered the field of play, playing with his parents at The Three Keatons. It first appeared on stage in 1899 in Wilmington, Delaware. The show was essentially a comic sketch. His mother played a saxophone at the edge of the stage while Baster and his father played in the center of the stage. The young Keaton was supposed to annoy his father showing disobedience and his father was reacting by throwing him to the stage, where the orchestra was, or even the spectators. A suitcase grip was sewn into Littleton’s clothes to help him with the jerks. The number had evolved normally after Keaton had learned to fall safely. Very rarely injured or suffered a bruise on stage. This coarse comedy led to accusations against Kenton’s parents about child abuse and occasionally even arrests. Buster Keaton always indicated to the beginning that he did not have a bruise or some broken bone. Eventually, they called him “The Little Child Can not Dissolve” with the number being advertised as “The Hardest Number In The History Of The Theater”. Decades later, Keaton said his father never knocked him and that drops and blows were a matter of proper technical execution. In 1914 Detroit News told “The secret is to fall softly and reduce the power of falling with one hand or one foot. It’s a trick. I started so young that I land it right, it has become a second nature. Several times I would have been killed if I could not land like a cat. Imitators of our performance do not last long because they can not stand the process. ”
Keaton said he liked it so much that sometimes he started laughing when his father cast him off the stage. As he noticed that it was less laughing than the spectators, he adopted his famous, balmy expression.
The performance was in conflict with many laws prohibiting children from playing bored. It is said that when a clerk saw Keaton in his suit and makeup and asked a stage engineer how old he was, the engineer showed his mother Keaton, saying “I do not know, ask his wife!”
At the age of six, Keaton was already an impressive acrobat and mime. According to a biographer, Keaton was forced to go to school when he was playing in New York but went to school for a part of a day. Despite the jamming of the law and a devastating tour at British music theaters, Keaton was a rising star of the theater. He said he learned to read and write in old age and how his mother taught him.
Keaton signed with MGM in 1928, a professional decision that later would call his worst life as the problems began on a professional and personal level. Keaton realized very slowly that the system followed by MGM would be more restrictive than the freedom he had been accustomed to, strictly limiting his artistic expression. He was obliged to cling to dialogues loaded with dialogues. For the first time, Quenton was forced to use stun gun in shooting some dangerous scenes, since MGM wanted to protect its investment. He also stopped directing, but continued playing and made some of his most successful financial films for the company. MGM has tried to professionally join Laconian Keaton with the noisy Jimmy Durand in a series of The Passionate Plumber, Speak Easily and What! No Beer ?. The latter would be his last appearance as a protagonist. The films turned out to be popular. Thirty years later, Keaton and Durand had some small roles in The Trellus Trellus Cosmos.
In Keaton’s first spoken films, he and the rest of the actors were shooting each scene three times: one in English, one in Spanish and one in French or German. The actors memorized the foreign language scenarios, a little at a time, and turned right away. This is commented on in TCM Buster Keaton’s documentary: So Funny it Hurt with Keaton complaining because he had to shoot miserable films not just one but three times. His artistic name on the Spanish market was Pamplinas (“The Immortal”) and his nickname was Cara de palo (“Wooden Face”). The French referred to Keaton as “Malec”.
Behind the scenes, the world of Keaton was in chaos, with divorce proceedings and alcoholism contributing to production delays and unpleasant events in the studio. Keaton was so bad during the production of his 1933 film What! No Beer? which MGM released when he finished filming although the film was a huge success. In 1934, Quenton accepted an offer to make an independent film in Paris, Le Roi des Champs-Élysées. At that time he made another film in Europe, The Invader (released in America under the title An Old Spanish Custom in 1936). Immediately after returning to Hollywood, he made a re-appearance in the cinema with a series of 16 short comedies for Educational Pictures. Most are simple visual comedies, most of which are written by Keaton himself. When the series came to an end in 1937, Keaton returned to MGM as a comedian editor, including “At the Circus” (1939) and “The Marx Brothers in the Wild West” (Go West, 1940) as well as material for the famous comedian Red Skelton.
In 1939, Columbia Pictures hired Keaton to star in a series of short films. The series lasted two years. The director was usually Julie Wright, who gave a special emphasis on fervor comedy, which made the films look like the trio’s Stooges’ comedies, which were also directed by Wright. Of the ten films he made with Columbia, his favorite was Pest From the West (1939), a small remake of The Invader (1935). Pest From the West was directed by Wright . Viewers and movie owners have warmly welcomed the comedies of Keaton and Columbia, which were quite successful to be repeated many times in the 1960s.
With his personal life stabilized with his marriage in 1940, Keaton left Columbia. During the 1940s, Keaton was featured in A and B category characters. The critics once again discovered Keaton in 1949 and the producers were taking him on time and in larger and more prestigious films. He made short appearances in films such as In The Good Old Summertime (1949), The Sunset Boulevard (1950), The 80-Days World Tour , and It’s Mad, Mad, Mad World, 1963). Keaton appeared more at A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1966). She also appeared in a comedy scene for two awkward musicians, in Charlie Chaplin’s The Lights of Limba (1952), reviving the bandit of Keaton’s The Theater. With the exception of the Seeing Stars, a little-known film of 1922, Rambas’s Lights are the only time the two most prominent gnomes of the comedy star would appear together on the big screen.
In 1950, Keaton had a successful television series, The Buster Keaton Show