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Big screen classics

Steamboat Bill, Jr.

+ intro by Geoff Andrew, Programmer-at-large

Keaton’s brilliantly inventive comedy is full of amazing sets and stunts.

Image from Steamboat Bill, Jr. + intro by Geoff Andrew, Programmer-at-large

USA 1928
Dirs Charles Reisner, Buster Keaton
With Buster Keaton, Ernest Torrence, Marion Byron
75min
Digital 4K
Certificate U
With Carl Davis score

Keaton was famously a stickler for authenticity, and here his evocation of life in a lazy Southern riverside town – which he likewise famously destroyed in the film’s climactic cyclone sequence – is beautifully achieved through superb sets and costumes and by means of imaginative, sometimes memorably lyrical compositions. The protagonist’s relationship with his gruff father makes for a fascinating critique of traditional ideals of ‘masculinity’.

Also available on BFI Player.

See other screenings of Steamboat Bill, Jr. and our Relaxed screening.


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