★★★★½ Watched 12 Jun, 2022
A typically sappy romance at its heart has been forever elevated by the ground-breaking filmmaking and camera tricks, impressively long and imaginative action sequences with skillfully executed stunts which hold to this day!
Watching this with the adult eye of an experienced martial artist left an impression like no other. Keaton’s stunts are breathtaking, more so since he performs them with the ease and confidence of a seasoned acrobatic veteran. There’s no sense of hesitation at all.
One particular sequence jumped at me – when a ton of water gets dumped on top of him I noticed he got crushed by it and his legs went up in the air after he hit the ground in between the rails. After the movie, I went to check Wikipedia and found out this was the moment he unknowingly broke his neck while he also got knocked out cold. They only suspended filming for the day due to his “blinding headaches” which continued for weeks. He had no idea about the broken neck until over 10 years later when a doctor spotted a callus in an X-ray.
Growing up I preferred Charlie Chaplin and Laurel & Hardy, but now I can appreciate the physicality and genius of Buster Keaton on a whole new level.