A great find on the web. Readers frequently ask about this show — it’s Kevin Brownlow & David Gill’s superb documentary Buster Keaton: A Hard Act to Follow, from 1987 and narrated by Lindsay Anderson. It’s in three parts, at the Internet Archive.
There have been other docus on Keaton but this is by far the best, with more insight and more input via film of Keaton telling his own story. Everything seems fresh even if you’ve read the books or seen many of his pictures. I remember it being one of the few things I showed my father that he thoroughly enjoyed. Knowing that a news film camera is rolling, Keaton mimes an impromptu gag on a real railroad platform, and it’s just brilliant. Listening to the stories of movie adventures, you just fall in love with the guy.
And I haven’t seen this next movie, but it looks promising. Fun City Editions has already brought us great Blu-rays of Michael Ritchie’s Smile and Frank Perry’s Rancho Deluxe, so I’m curious about Born To Win, a comedy – drama (?) about a hustler-junkie played by George Segal, and also starring Paula Prentiss, Karen Black, Robert De Niro and Hector Elizondo. It’s a United Artists release, how come I’ve never heard of it?
Thanks for reading! — Glenn Erickson