Steamboat Bill, Jr
Not yet rated
Time Out saysA marvellous comedy set in a lazy riverside town in the Deep South, with Buster as the foppish, city-educated boy who returns home to prove a grave disappointment to his father, a burly steamboat captain looking for stout filial support, and reluctantly joins him in his efforts to fight off a wealthy rival threatening to take over the river. Hilarious, of course, with both delicately observed jokes and energetically athletic stuntwork coursing through the movie. But what really delights is the detailed depiction of small town life, plus Keaton's comic awareness of his own persona; a sequence in which he and his father are buying a hat to replace his wimpy beret is a model of film comedy, played, remarkably, direct to camera. And the final masterstroke is the cyclone sequence, in which the entire town is destroyed but Buster remains miraculously untouched.