Watch 31 Buster Keaton’s Films Online: “The Greatest of All Comic Actors,” “One of the Greatest Filmmakers of All Time”

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The greatest of the silent clowns is Buster Keaton, not only because of what he did, but because of how he did it. —Roger Ebert

In 1987, Video magazine published a story titled “Where’s Buster?” lamenting the lack of Buster Keaton films available on videotape, “despite renewed interest” in a legend who was “about to regain his rightful place next to Chaplin in silent comedy’s pantheon.” How things have changed for Keaton fans and admirers. Not only are most of the stone-faced comic genius’ films available online, but he has maybe eclipsed Chaplin as the most popularly revered silent film star of the 1920s.

Keaton has always been held in the highest esteem by his fellow artists. He was dubbed “the greatest of all the clowns in the history of the cinema” by Orson Welles, and served as a significant inspiration for Samuel Beckett. (He was the playwright’s first choice to play Waiting for Godot’s Lucky, though he was too perplexed by the script to take the role). In Peter Bogdanovich’s new documentary, The Great Buster: A Celebration, Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner discuss his foundational influence on their comedy, and Werner Herzog calls him “the essence of movies.”


For many years, however, the state of Keaton’s filmography made it hard for the general public to fully appraise his work. “The General, with Buster as a train engineer in the Civil War, has always been available,” Roger Ebert wrote in 2002, and has been “hailed as one of the supreme masterpieces of silent filmmaking. But other features and shorts existed in shabby, incomplete prints, if at all, and it was only in the 1960s that film historians began to assemble and restore Keaton’s lifework. Now almost everything has been recovered, restored, and is available on DVDs and tapes that range from watchable to sparkling.”

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Access to Keaton’s films has further expanded as a dozen or so entered the public domain in recent years, including two features, Sherlock, Jr. and The Navigator, this year and three more to come in 2021. You can watch thirty-one of Keaton’s restored, recovered films on YouTube, at the links below, shared by MetaFilter user Going to Maine, who writes, “where, oh where, in this modern world, can we find the gems of his golden era? The obvious place.”

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Keaton starred in his first feature-length film, The Saphead, in 1920. For the next decade, until the end of the silent era, he dominated the box office, alongside Chaplin and Harold Lloyd, with his canny blend of daredevil slapstick and everyman pathos. After the twenties, his career floundered, then rebounded. His last picture was a return to silent film in Beckett’s 1966 short, “Film,” made the year of his death. Since then, Keaton appreciation has become almost a form of worship.

In 2018, The General came in at number 34 on Sight & Sound’s Greatest Films of All Time list. But the BFI’s Geoff Andrew argued that it deserved the top spot, and Keaton deserves recognition as “not merely the greatest of the silent comedians,” but “the greatest of all comic actors to have appeared on the silver screen… not only a great American filmmaker of the silent era,” but “one of the greatest filmmakers of all time, anywhere.” Andrew likens him to a god, but “unlike gods… Buster has the advantage of being able to make us laugh. And laugh. And laugh.”

Don’t we all need a steady supply of that medicine these days? See Keaton’s classic silent comedy The General further up, see his short “The Ballonist” above, and watch 29 more Keaton films at the links below. Many will be added to our collection, 1,150 Free Movies Online: Great Classics, Indies, Noir, Westerns, etc..

Short Films

One Week (September 1, 1920)

Convict 13 (October 27, 1920)

Neighbors (December 22, 1920)

The Scarecrow (December 22, 1920)

The Haunted House (February 10, 1921)

Hard Luck (March 14, 1921)

The High Sign (April 12, 1921)

The Goat (May 18, 1921)

The Playhouse (October 6, 1921) (This contains a faux minstrel show segment with blackface.)

The Boat (November 10, 1921)

The Paleface (January, 1922) (Racist depictions of Native Americans)

Cops (March, 1922)

My Wife’s Relations (May, 1922)

The Blacksmith (July 21, 1922)

The Frozen North (August 28, 1922)

The Electric House (October, 1922)

Day Dreams (November, 1922)

The Balloonatic (January 22, 1923)

The Love Nest (March, 1923)

Features

Three Ages (September 24, 1923)

Our Hospitality (November 19, 1923)

Sherlock Jr. (May 11, 1924)

The Navigator (October 13, 1924)

Seven Chances (March 15, 1925)

Go West (November 1, 1925)

Battling Butler (September 19, 1926)

The General (December 31, 1926)

College (November 1927)

Steamboat Bill, Jr. (May 20, 1928)

Bonus! Two of Keaton’s Last Films

The Railrodder, for the National Film Board of Canada (October 2, 1965)

Film, directed by Samuel Beckett (January 8, 1965)

Related Content: 

A Supercut of Buster Keaton’s Most Amazing Stunts

Buster Keaton: The Wonderful Gags of the Founding Father of Visual Comedy

List of Great Public Domain Films 

Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness

Watch 31 Buster Keaton’s Films Online: “The Greatest of All Comic Actors,” “One of the Greatest Filmmakers of All Time” is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don’t miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

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Source: The TikTok ‘Deal’ Was A Grift From The Start: Accomplishes None Of The Stated Goals; Just Helps Trump & Friends | Techdirt

A week ago, we explained that the announced “deal” between Oracle and TikTok was a complete joke and what appeared to be a grift to let Trump claim he had done something, while really just handing a big contract to one of his biggest supporters. That was based on the preliminary details. As more details came out, it became even clearer that the whole thing was a joke. TikTok’s investors actively recruited Oracle because they knew they needed to find a company that “Trump liked.”

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Source: Boris Johnson’s ‘Go Into The Office’ Plan In Chaos As Civil Servants Told To Avoid Lunchtime Cafes | HuffPost UK

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A company collecting signatures to strip Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of her emergency powers coached paid petition circulators on giving voters false information, illegally collecting signatures without witnessing them, trespassing on private property, and even lying under oath, a secretly recorded videotape shows.

The video showing Erik Tisinger, a trainer for the California signature company In the Field, Inc., was secretly recorded Sept. 4 by a representative of Keep Michigan Safe — the group opposing the Unlock Michigan effort — and made available to the Free Press.

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Source: Report: Trump’s Favorite Puppet Master Is Behind an Anti-Biden Smear Campaign | Vanity Fair

“We assess that President Vladimir Putin and the senior most Russian officials are aware of and probably directing Russia’s influence operations aimed at denigrating the former U.S. Vice President, supporting the U.S. president and fueling public discord ahead of the U.S. election in November,” the secret CIA report begins, sources told Rogin.

According to the CIA assessment, Putin’s latest round of alleged election meddling includes efforts by Andriy Derkach, who is believed by American intelligence to be a Russian agent, to spread anti-Biden material in the United States.

Kennedy says Kushner virus task force asked him to distort predictions – Business Insider

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Source: Kennedy says Kushner virus task force asked him to distort predictions – Business Insider

Trump Says Coronavirus ‘Affects Virtually Nobody,’ As U.S. Has World’s Highest Death Toll – (New/old lies: Let parents-grandparents die-nobody young gets sick)

At a campaign rally at the Toledo Express Airport in Ohio on Monday, Trump said: “Now we know it. It [the coronavirus] affects elderly people, elderly people with heart problems and other problems. If they have other problems. That’s what it really affects. That’s it.

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Source: Trump Says Coronavirus ‘Affects Virtually Nobody,’ As U.S. Has World’s Highest Death Toll

How to check which apps accessed your location in iOS 14

Welcome to TNW Basics, a collection of tips, guides, and advice on how to easily get the most out of your gadgets, apps, and other stuff. Last year, with iOS 13, Apple introduced a new setting that lets an app use your location data only once. With the introduction of iOS 14, the company has made …

Source: How to check which apps accessed your location in iOS 14