Home Hollywood What Happened To Buster Keaton? His Hollywood Rise, Fall, And Revival Explained

What Happened To Buster Keaton? His Hollywood Rise, Fall, And Revival Explained


After The Photographer, silent films began to fade from view. Keaton was forced to work more closely with the script and started speaking. It wouldn’t have bothered him if it wasn’t for the overuse of dialogue in the early sound films. He explained to CBC that the influx of New York writers into Hollywood has started “looking for those funny lines, puns, little jokes” in scripts. Keaton, a body cartoonist, made the point that “when you have some place in there to do things without dialogue, you should take advantage of that,” he told the BBC.

As the years passed, MGM gave Keaton less and less control. He was forced to play dysfunctional roles in weak films, such as the 1932 comedy “Talking Easy,” starring fast-talking comedian Jimmy Durant. “They pick stories and materials without consulting me, and I can’t refute them. I’ll just argue so far and let go,” he laments (through hard action). He turned to alcoholism and gambling, which led to the end of his marriage and an eventual contract with MGM.

From there, Keaton fled to Europe, where he made The Champs-Elysees, a forgotten film dubbed in French dialogue. He then returned to the United States, signed with Educational Pictures, and resumed production of the two-volume comedy. From a creative standpoint, it’s pretty cheesy stuff — a big miss for Buster. Everyone thought it was the end of Keaton’s career.

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