I had just posted a Mystery Guest segment from What's My Line? with Buster Keaton. But I had a nagging thought that I had posted it already a long while back...and so I had.
Within the write-up for the almost re-posting, I wrote that what's remarkable in the appearance is when the blindfolded-panelist question gets asked if the guest's film career goes back as far as silent movies and later is asked if he has a current movie -- and the answer to both is "Yes."Keaton's first film credit was in 1917, and this broadcast was 1966. I have to assume that his "YES!" answer for any current film must have been for A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, which was released that year. That said, the previous year, I noted, he was in a remarkable eight different productions. That includes the wonderful silent short, The Railrodder, where he travels across Canada on a rail cart. From the National Film Board of Canda, the film won an award at the Berlin International Film Festival in 1965.
Now, I may have already posted that What's My Line? video with Buster Keaton, but I don't think I've ever had The Railrodder. It's a little long, but it's nonetheless a joy, watching Buster Keaton do at the end of his life what he always did so wonderfully from the very first, half a century before. This is no easy undertaking, as you'll see. (Almost as good as the short itself is a documentary on the making of it, Buster Keaton Rides Again, where you see Keaton working hard to come up with comic gags, some reasonably dangerous for anyone, let alone a 69 year old man not in the best of shape.) Buster Keaton passed away the next year, all the more reason to treasure that this film got made.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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