January 13, 2023

Buster Keaton: The Cameraman (Yankee Stadium, 1928)

Buster Keaton shows off his baseball moves in an empty Yankee Stadium in the summer of 1928. Keaton's pantomime on the mound is impressive and he hustles around the bases (he was 32 at the time). The distance to the wall in left-center – beyond the flagpole, seen when Keaton enters – was 490 feet from the plate.

This clip is from "The Cameraman", a silent romantic comedy film, starring Buster Keaton and Marceline Day. Day died at age 91 in 2000 (so she was 20 when she made this film). I'm sure she was not the only silent film star to live into the 2000s, but silent movies and any year beginning with a 2 seem like they should be distinct and separate worlds.
The Cameraman was at one point considered a lost film, destroyed in the 1965 MGM vault fire. However, a complete print was discovered in Paris in 1968. Another print, of much higher quality, although missing some footage, was discovered in 1991.
The complete film can be seen here. The baseball clip begins at 15:53.

The New York Times, September 17, 1928:

1 comment:

Jere said...

Nice. The only disappointing part was that rather than use the train's appearance in the bit (he's literally positioning phantom outfielders and looks right at it, why not some gesture toward it or something?), they ignore it, turning a good edit into a bad edit.