8.0/10
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71 user 61 critic

Steamboat Bill, Jr. (1928)

Not Rated | | Action, Comedy, Drama | 20 May 1928 (USA)
The effete son of a cantankerous riverboat captain comes to join his father's crew.

Directors:

Charles Reisner (as Chas. F. Reisner), Buster Keaton (uncredited)

Writer:

Carl Harbaugh (story)
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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Buster Keaton ... William Canfield Jr.
Tom McGuire ... J.J. King
Ernest Torrence ... William 'Steamboat Bill' Canfield
Tom Lewis Tom Lewis ... Tom Carter - First and Last Mate
Marion Byron ... Kitty King - King's Daughter
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Storyline

Following through on a promise to his mother, William Canning Jr. goes to River Junction to meet his father who has not seen him since he was a child. The younger Canning isn't quite what the elder was expecting but the old man has bigger problems. He's being put out of business by J.J. King, who not only owns the local hotel and bank, but has recently introduced a new paddle wheel steamer that puts Cannings older boat, the Stonewall Jackson, to shame. Bill Jr. and Kitty King take a liking to each other much to the dismay of both of their fathers. When a fierce storm hits River Junction, Bill Jr. is forced to save Kitty, her father and his father. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The screen's first big Mississippi thriller See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 May 1928 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El héroe del río See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Marion Byron could not swim, so the scenes where her character is in the river with Buster Keaton were filmed with Buster's real-life sister Louise Keaton serving as Marion's stunt double (the two were both the same size: 4'11"). The water was very cold and during a day of filming Buster and Louise consumed four to five glasses of French brandy to keep them warm. See more »

Goofs

Just before the house facade falls on Keaton, a stagehand can be seen through the first floor window giving it an extra push. See more »

Quotes

William 'Steamboat Bill' Canfield Sr.: Talk to him, Sheriff.
Sheriff: [to Bill Jr] After all the bum is your father.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The 74th Annual Academy Awards (2002) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The whole Keaton kaboodle
3 January 2005 | by highclarkSee all my reviews

Buster Keaton was a lunatic. He had to have been. The stunts he was able to pull off in this movie leave me questioning his sanity. This film has moments where you won't believe his stunts weren't done via some nifty camera forgery. It's just amazing that his stunts were accomplished while one camera(yes, just one) was aimed at a spot that was marked for Buster to hit. This precision had to be met or death and disaster could follow. This was most apparent in the cyclone scene with the wall of a house that fell to the ground. Any deviation by an inch from the mark and a house could fall on top of Buster's head. I had to watch that scene over and over again. This film is filled with great gymnastics from Buster, as he did hit all of his marks. Although this movie has some of Buster's best comedic gymnastics, there are a couple of memorable scenes of pantomime. There's the scene near the beginning of the film when Buster is trying on an array of hats for his father. Buster looks right into the camera as if looking into a mirror, just a great effect. And later there's another scene where Buster tries to break his father out of jail by pantomiming the instructions of escape by using only his hands and a loaf of bread. By the end of the film you'll be marveling at Buster's dexterity while he operates the steamboat by climbing up and over or jumping down and around the ship, running the ship by himself and with the help of a few helpfully placed ropes. This movie has it all for Buster fans. 10/10.

Clark Richards


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