For Buster Keaton's birthday, five minutes of his best stunts



Who needed Tom Cruise and 3D in 1918 when you had Buster Keaton?

Simple, yet brilliant, this is Buster Keaton's genius explained in just a few seconds. Slate's film critic (Dana Stevens) has been working on a book about Buster Keaton for some time. I'm really looking forward to reading it when it comes out. If you want to see absolutel cinematic insanity, watch "The General." That film, like most of Keaton's, is full of death defying stunts. That's why it's considered one of the greats of all-time, for my money better than any stunts Chaplin ever did. Keaton was probably the bravest actor in Hollywood history.





It's no surprise that I find it very hard to choose between Chaplin and Keaton. "The General" is an astounding technical achievement, even more so now 91 years after its release. "The Navigator" is also a delightful Keaton feature from 1924 that has aged magnificently well. In fact, one of the reasons why Keaton might just surpass Chaplin in my books is that, despite being almost a century old, his movies have aged like fine wine. Which is not to say Chaplin's haven't either, they have, but Keaton had that extra oomph, that edge that seems to fit quite perfectly with modern-day filmmaking (just look at 2018 audiences and the critics alike going gaga over Tom Cruise doing his own stunts). 

You know what kids, I think Keaton did it better. No, really, his stunts, all brilliantly conceived, would be far too risky to achieve in this day and age, even by Tom Cruise standards. 

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