Buster Keaton: Steamboat Bill, Jr.

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Steamboat Bill, Jr. is a 1928 silent comedy film starring Buster Keaton and is best known for what may be Keaton’s most famous film stunt: The facade of an entire house falls all around him while he stands in the perfect spot to pass through the open attic window instead of being flattened.

Released by United Artists, the film is the final product of Keaton’s independent production team and set of gag writers. It was not a box-office success and became the last picture Keaton made for United Artists. Keaton ended up moving to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, where he made one last film in his trademark style, The Cameraman, before his creative control was taken away by the studio.

Charles Reisner directed the film, and the credited story writer was Carl Harbaugh. The film, named after Arthur Collins’s popular 1911 recording of the 1910 song “Steamboat Bill”, also featured Ernest Torrence, Marion Byron, and Tom Lewis. In 2016, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress.

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