Battling Butler (Buster Keaton / USA / 1926)

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Battling Butler (Buster Keaton / USA / 1926)

Postby A » Tue Nov 22, 2005 2:28 am

Saw Battling Butler yesterday, and was a bit disappointed. The cover said that Keaton considered this his favorite film, and I don't understand why. Maybe he had fond memories of the shooting, but the film as a whole imo isn't anywhere as great as say "Our hospitality" or "Steamboat Bill Jr."
Anybody know more about this quote.
What was surprising to me was the slow pace and very few stunts compared to his other films. I could relax very good during it, there wasn't much to keep you on the edge of your seat. Maybe this is due to Keaton directing the film by himself, instead of having another director as was mostly the case. The photography was again top-notch, with some impressive "dolly"-shots.
Overall I rated the film **1/2 / ****.

Re: Battling Butler (Buster Keaton / USA / 1926)

Postby wpqx » Tue Nov 22, 2005 3:12 am

Well I remember reading something similar, but here's the story behind that. When a new movie comes out from a director (just as an album for a performer), they almost invariably say it's their best work yet. This quote could have been made by Keaton at the time, which would explain it. I certainly agree that it's not his best, but I don't think it's a particularly bad film, certainly beats Harold Lloyd's boxing movie The Milky Way. BTW I wonder if Lloyd is going to start getting more credit now that his films are available on DVD for the first time.

Re: Battling Butler (Buster Keaton / USA / 1926)

Postby A » Wed Nov 23, 2005 4:36 am

I hope so. I have heard great things about Lloyd, but have only seen Safety Last! Other silent films by him weren't available here.
The focus on Keaton and Chaplin puts similarly great comedians (I'm sure there were some more in the silent era) on a side-track. Some Academics seem to accept only a certain number of greatness, or if two or three people get aknowledeged, they tend to believe the important work has been done. Now with the DVDs a wider public gets to also decide the truth of it.

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