Images of Buster Keaton

The most basic and obvious allure of film is the image.  Although I sometimes feel like a cheat when I post pictorials dedicated to classic stars on this blog, they are also the posts I revisit most often.  I never tire of looking at these people and I know I’m not alone.  Today calls for another such tribute.  He would have celebrated a birthday today.  His talents eclipsed sound, shined brighter than almost anyone else’s.  His signature, dead-pan stare spoke a thousand words.  His motion was poetry.  He was Buster Keaton.

“One who never smiled, carried a face as still and sad as a daguerreotype through some of the most preposterously ingenious and visually satisfying comedy ever invented. That was Buster Keaton.”  James Agee in “Comedy’s Greatest Era” in LIFE magazine (5 September 1949)

“Tragedy is a close-up…

“With his dark, sensitive looks, his face in repose evoking years of quiet contemplation, he resembled a mixture of Buddhist monk and fashion model. He offered the ideal face and acting style for motion pictures, proving less is more. He would become a master of knowing when to do nothing at all.” – Marion Meade

“…comedy, a long shot.”

Theatrical posters, lobby cards and vintage ads…

1924

1925

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1928

1928

1929

1930

1932

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“All my life I have been happiest when the folks watching me said to each other, “Look at the poor dope, will ya?”

…for almost a century we haven’t been able to help ourselves.  Remembering because he shouldn’t be forgotten, here’s to Buster Keaton.

8 thoughts

  1. What a wonderful post, Aurora. Your words were poetry. As I looked at these stills and his photos, I tried to recall any time that I have ever seen him smile and I couldn’t think of a single moment. He didn’t have to though. We saw it all in that one expression. The first Keaton movie I saw was The General, many years ago. I remember sitting stunned and cracking up throughout (…and to hear later of the injuries he sustained from those stunts!!! My goodness!). Now, the one most special to me is Steamboat Bill, Jr. One night my daughter and I watched it together (it was the first time I’d seen it) and she was simply captivated. It’s the one she longs to see each time it comes on (I really need the DVD).
    Thanks for sharing this today.

    1. Hey, Tonya! Seems like years since I’ve been so busy. I’m glad you liked this. He was really such a great talent, unforgettable images. I love that your kids are exposed to these and that they love them. I wish more people would give them a chance because I know they’d soon be riveted.

      Aurora

  2. It’s not cheating, it’s fun! I appreciate you taking the time to find and post all of these. I never tire at looking at them either, and you always find new ones for me to see. This is such a fun post Aurora… 🙂

  3. Aurora~ what a fantastic tribute to Buster. And so fitting following my visit to the Buster Keaton Celebration last weekend. What a talent! And love all your amazing photos! Thanks for a great piece on Buster, Aurora!

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