Before ‘The Great Buster’, Watch ‘Buster Keaton Rides Again’


By Pat Mullen

Silent cinema fans get a big treat this week with the release of The Great Buster: A Celebration. But before catching Peter Bogdanovich’s new documentary, which opens Friday at Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema, revisit an NFB classic featured in the film. Buster Keaton Rides Again is a great 1965 behind-the-scenes documentary directed by John Spotton that chronicles the production of Keaton’s NFB short drama The Railrodder.

As one sees in Bogdanovich’s feature, candid footage of Keaton isn’t nearly as plentiful as archival snippets of his films are. (Bogdanovich’s doc includes little footage of Keaton that isn’t from one of his films.) However, the NFB doc captures Keaton’s artistic process in true verité style as the great star of the silent era hitches a ride on the Canadian National railroad for the Board and returns to his comedic styles that changed with the advent of sound. Leave it to the NFB to give a star like Buster his last great ride!

Watch Buster Keaton Rides Again below:
(And check back soon for our review of The Great Buster!)

Buster Keaton Rides Again, John Spotton, provided by the National Film Board of Canada