Directors: Buster Keaton & Clyde Bruckman
Cinema’s oldest wet t-shirt competition.
The oldest movie I’ve ever seen (apart from excerpts from Birth of a Nation), this classic Buster Keaton silent comedy only really holds up in the sense that it’s interesting and historically significant; the actual entertainment value is pretty marginal. Some regard it as the best film ever made; I find that hard to fathom… are they really genuinely entertained and amused by it, or just impressed given it was made so very long ago? The best part is the farcical train chase, which goes on quite a while and has plenty of gags to get through. I kept wondering (and still do) precisely how a lot of those train scenes were shot; it looks very much like they just did a lot of it practically rather than with any cinematic trickery, which is impressive if true. I know the bridge/train shot was done practically, and was apparently the most expensive stunt of the silent era, and it’s hard not to be wowed by it. Worth watching for cinema buffs, but probably won’t find much of an audience beyond them these days.