Steamboat Bill, Jr. (United Artists, 1928). Fine+....Click the image to load the highest resolution version.
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DescriptionSteamboat Bill, Jr. (United Artists, 1928). Fine+. Insert (14" X 36").
Steamboat Bill, Jr. comes to a roaring peak with furious hurricane winds battering Buster Keaton as his small town is ravaged. Buildings and livestock fly through the air around him, and eventually, he ends up standing in front of a two-story house on the verge of collapse. Suddenly, the front façade topples straight down on Keaton. But he's unharmed because he's standing in the upper-story window opening. It's a scary moment, but as soon as it happens, we start to laugh. It is funny and terrifying at the same time. This was a real wall and Keaton certainly would have been crushed to death if he'd been standing an inch to the left or right. No wonder the cameraman looked away during the one-take shot. Keaton, of course, stands stone-faced throughout and runs away to his next pratfall. This was the charm of Keaton, the acknowledged genius of silent cinema comedy. Signs of handling include mild edge wear with small nicks and minor paper lifts. There is some toning towards the edges and stains in the borders. The insert has two tears from the left edge into the image, and there is a small amount of penciled writing in the lower left corner. There is a strip of archival tape bracing one of the tears on the verso. Fine+.
Estimate: $3,000 - $6,000.
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