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Buster Keaton "The Cameraman" 1928


“The Cameraman” was a 1928 comedy film directed by and starring Buster Keaton and Marceline Day. The main characters were Buster himself and Sally. This was Buster Keaton’s first film with Edward Sedgwick and with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) Pictures. Like previous Keaton films, this also included stunts and obstacles for Buster to achieve a goal.

Buster was a cameraman who falls in love with Sally, who worked for MGM newsreel. Buster was trying to get a job there so he can work with Sally. He traded in his regular camera for a modern motion picture camera, and he did not know how to use it. Once he got the camera, he tried to begin filming crazy events. During each of the events, he failed filming by having mishaps such as riding on a fire truck that went back to fire house instead of the site of a fire and trying to film a baseball game where there was no game that day.

Buster was able to get a date with Sally. They went to an indoor pool where there were a lot of mishaps and funny scenes. A wild scene was that another guy was pushed into Buster’s changing room at the pool. They were bothering each other while changing in the same stall. The man wanted to kill Buster or to beat him up. They end up putting on the wrong bathing suits, where one was too small for the other guy and the other was too big for Buster. At the pool, Buster tried to approach Sally, but he was blocked by other people because they were also interested in dating her as well. Throughout the movie, there was a lot of competition between Buster and other men. At the end of the date, a man picks up Sally and Buster and it was pouring rain and the driver had no room to fit Buster in the car with protection from the rain, but he got soaked. Despite these embarrassments, Sally still thought her, and Buster had a wonderful date together.

This was an entertaining film to watch because Buster Keaton had so many obstacles to make the story more fun to follow. Throughout the film, comedic montages were used including a man jumping on and off of a diving board. Keaton individually simulated a baseball game at Yankee Stadium and there was a big gang war. These actions created a lot of laughs and obstacles for Buster to reach his goal of becoming a cameraman and a boyfriend to Sally. This was Buster Keaton’s penultimate silent film before his first sound film, two years later. Like Sherlock Jr. and other Buster Keaton comedies of the 1920s, this film was no different than his previous films, despite this being a transition period.

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