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The Boat [Silent] [1921]

Director:Buster Keaton
Edward F. Cline
Writer:Buster Keaton
Edward F. Cline
Composer:Robert Israel
Length:20 minutes
MPAA Rating:UR
Sorting Category:Comedy
IMDB Rating:7.2/10
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Synopsis: Buster's handmade boat, The Damfino, is finished and he and his family take it for an inaugural jaunt.

Reaction: Pretty funny and enjoyable.

Personal Rating: 7/10

Buster Keaton => Director / Writer / The Boat Builder (as 'Buster' Keaton)
Edward F. Cline => Director / Writer / SOS Receiver (uncredited)
Robert Israel => Composer
Sybil Seely => His Wife (uncredited)

Random Trivia For This Title:

  • When James Mason bought Buster Keaton's old house in 1952, he found this film and several other lost Keaton shorts in the cellar. As the rolls were nitrate, disintegration had taken its toll. Mason made sure that this and the other classics were saved and restored at a film lab.
  • Buster Keaton's technical effects man, [?] Fred Gabourie, constructed two boats for the filming. One was designed to sink, for the famous launching scene; the other was a fully working boat for the rest of the filming. Unfortunately, the boat that was designed to sink refused to do so; even when loaded with scrap iron, the bottom simply fell out of it and the shell bobbed on the surface. Conversely, the boat which was intended to float also refused to fulfill its obligations, constantly taking on water and threatening to sink. Gabourie finally solved the problem of the boats by attaching the launching scene boat to steel cables holding it to tracks below the water line, thus forcing it underwater; the second boat only floated by virtue of a crew manning hand pumps, concealed in the hull.