I don’t know about anyone else, but I have been enjoying TCM’s tribute to Buster Keaton this month. Knowing him only as the silent comedian who lit up the screen with his CRAZY antics (I mean Harold Lloyd and Charlie Chaplin are fantastic but the physical body comedy Keaton performed goes above and beyond) it was a delight for me to watch him in a talkie. Despite the odd pacing and random story line so typical in early 30’s film, Free and Easy was a delight mostly due to Keaton and Friganza. Their interactions with one another are hilarious! I also got to watch the short documentary on Keaton So Funny It Hurt; Buster Keaton and MGM, a poignant title in that his years at MGM after being an independent actor for over a decade basically ruined him. I was not aware that MGM played such an integral part of the disintegration of his stardom and aided his descent into alcoholism. Nor was I aware that once he was able to straighten his life out, that he did so much work, often uncredited, behind the scenes- he recycled his on-screen gags and wrote new material for the likes of Red Skelton and the Marx Brothers. If you haven’t had a chance to check out his body of work- tune in this Sunday as TCM continues to pay tribute to one of the greatest physical comedians ever!
Be on the look out for Ann Dvorak who is uncredited in this film- she's pretty easy to spot!
Tonight on TCM!
The Big Combo (1955) A police detective tries to convict a mob boss by going to the man's girlfriend. Dir: Joseph Lewis Cast: Cornel Wilde, Richard Conte, Brian Donlevy.