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1,449 Ratings

Steamboat Bill Jr.

United States, 1928
Comedy, Silent


Set on the Mississippi River in the old sidewheeler days, Steamboat Bill Jr. follows the adventures of a spoiled young man who is forced by his crusty father to learn the ropes of river-boating. Soon, his attempts expand into disaster…

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Steamboat Bill Jr. Directed by Buster Keaton, Charles Reisner
This was the first Keaton film I ever saw, and I immediately became a fan. (The director is credited as Charles Reisner, but we all know that Keaton was primarily responsible for the direction of his films of this period.) It’s not as good as The General (what is?), but it beats out The Cameraman, Keaton’s other feature of this year, by a nose.
December 28, 2018
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A charmer. Its narrative doesn’t cohere as well as Buster’s very—check out Sherlock Jr. and The Cameraman—feeling a bit too much like a string of gags in search of a forward momentum. Bonus star for the final string of wild mayhem, which is a corker. Sidenote: my god, this red state/blue state divide has been with us forever.
October 17, 2017
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To watch this film is to watch a man repeatedly throw himself into peril for the sake of comedy cinema, and perhaps there’s an increased sense of urgency to this performance with the knowledge that [Keaton] would never enjoy such freedom again.
September 17, 2015
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