Steamboat Bill, Jr.

Event has passed (Sat Sep 23, 2017 - Sat Sep 23, 2017)
Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA)
Film / Television, Museums


The charming Mississippi River setting (actually filmed along the Sacramento Delta) is but one of Steamboat Bill, Jr.’s many pleasures. The film seems to have a direct line to Buster Keaton’s youth and soul in the tale of a sensitive lad trying to figure out the mettle of manhood in his overbearing dad. The climax is one of Keaton’s most dangerous and carefully planned stunts: a wall comes crashing down on him but he passes, untouched, through an open window. Keaton was the true he-man among matinee idols—the scene was done unfaked, with a real wall.