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Steamboat Bill, Jr. U rating

Waterway hi jinks abound in this Buster Keaton classic, in which he plays the reluctant heir to his father's paddle steamer business.

Comedy 1928 71 mins

Director: Charles F. Riesner


Best known for the astonishing apocalyptic cyclone finale, this tale of an effete college boy caught up in a conflict between his riverboat captain dad and a powerful rival is also memorable for its lovingly detailed, beautifully shot evocation of life in a small town on the Mississippi. The stunt-work is quite breathtaking, but the most deliciously modern gag of all simply features a series of hats.

The film features Keaton's most infamous stunt shot, in which an open doorway saves him from being crushed by a falling house facade. And it's also remembered for providing the inspiration for Steamboat Willie (1928), the Walt Disney short that first brought Mickey Mouse to audiences.