Tuesday, March 24, 2015

A stunt for the ages


I was intrigued to read about this stunt performed by Buster Keaton in the 1928 silent movie 'Steamboat Bill Jr.'





According to the book 'Buster Keaton: Cut to the Chase' by Marion Meade:

As he stood in the studio street waiting for a building to crash on him, he noticed that some of the electricians and extras were praying. The window was just big enough to give two inches of clearance on either side. Keaton drove a nail in the ground to mark his position. When the moment came and the house front came down, he froze. The open window hit him exactly as planned. Afterwards, he would call the stunt one of his greatest thrills. He said later that he did not care whether he lived or died: "I was mad at the time, or I never would have done the thing."

Impressive!

Peter

5 comments:

Old NFO said...

No computers and no CGI there, just a man with balls...

Anonymous said...

Indeed, the man must have clanked when he walked. And all that for 'the picture show' - Wow!

gunfreezone said...

And he was missing part of his right index finger to boot. He lost it as a child.

Now think about a the other stunts he performed....

Sherm said...

One of the best stunts ever and all he did (on camera) was stand there.

It's worth watching in context to get the full effect:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjl2Fj-_Hg0

I can recall my delight when I first saw this some 30 or 40 odd years ago.

Inconsiderate Bastard said...

IIRC, Universal Studios has - or, maybe, had (it's been many years since I was there) a live "cowboy action show" that ended with the same gag.