Buster Keaton's Silent Shorts by James L. Neibaur

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By the mid-1920s, Buster Keaton had established himself as one of the geniuses of cinema with such films as Sherlock, Jr., The Navigator, and his 1927 work The General, which was the highest ranked silent on the American Film Institute's survey of the 100 greatest films. Before Keaton ventured into longer works, however, he had honed his skills as an actor, writer, and director of short films produced in the early 1920s.

In Buster Keaton’s Silent Shorts: 1920-1923, James L. Neibaur and Terri Niemi provide a film-by-film assessment of these brilliant two-reelers. The authors discuss the significance of each short—The High Sign, One Week, Convict 13, The Scarecrow, Neighbors, The Haunted House, Hard Luck, The Goat, The Playhouse, The Boat, The Paleface, Cops, My Wife’s Relations, The Blacksmith, Frozen North, Daydreams, The Electric House, The Balloonatic, and The Love Nest—to the Keaton filmography, as well as each film’s importance to cinema.

Offering a clear and in-depth perspective on these 19 films, the authors explain what makes these shorts effective and why they’re funny. Buster Keaton’s Silent Shorts will enlighten both scholars and casual fans alike about the early work produced by one of cinema's most gifted comedians and filmmakers.

About James L. Neibaur

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James L. Neibaur is a film historian and professional educator who has written several books on film, including The Fall of Buster Keaton: His Films for MGM, Educational Pictures, and Columbia (2010), Early Charlie Chaplin: The Artist As Apprentice at Keystone Studios (2011), and The Silent Films of Harry Langdon: 1923-1928 (2012), all published by Scarecrow.Terri Niemi has assisted James L. Neibaur as researcher, proofreader, and fact-checker on The Fall of Buster Keaton, Early Charlie Chaplin, and The Silent Films of Harry Langdon.
Published January 30, 2013 by Scarecrow Press. 275 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Humor & Entertainment. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Buster Keaton's Silent Shorts


Although Buster Keaton is not as familiar to general audiences today as the iconic Charlie Chaplin, there have been several books about the silent film star that have helped to articulate his importance and his legacy as a major innovator in film's early days.

Mar 12 2013 | Read Full Review of Buster Keaton's Silent Shorts

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