Arbuckle and Keaton

Their 14 Film Collaborations


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About the Book

From 1917 to 1919, Joseph Schenck produced a series of Comique comedies starring master movie comedian Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle and featuring an apprentice, Joseph Frank “Buster” Keaton. These films were initially deemed significant by modern archivists for representing the first movie appearances of Keaton, widely considered one of the most important figures in motion picture history. But the Comique films also remain the most important of Arbuckle’s career because they feature him at the height of his cinematic genius and powers.
The 14 short comedies starring Arbuckle and Keaton are incredibly important to the history of cinema and are analyzed in this book. After two chapters of biographical introductions, the rest of the book discusses their collaborative efforts and reveals the way in which the films evolved from Arbuckle’s wild slapstick to feature more of the subtlety and cleverness of Keaton. Closing sections discuss what became of Arbuckle and Keaton afterward, commenting significantly on the scandal that undermined Arbuckle’s career.

About the Author(s)

James L. Neibaur is a film historian and scholar with more than 30 books and hundreds of articles appearing in Cineaste, Classic Images, Film Quarterly, Films in Review, Filmfax, and Encyclopædia Britannica.

Bibliographic Details

James L. Neibaur
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 219
Bibliographic Info: 16 photos, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2007
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2831-1
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0999-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vii
Introduction      1

1. Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle      9
2. Joseph Francis “Buster” Keaton      20
3. The Butcher Boy      24
4. The Rough House      34
5. His Wedding Night      46
6. Oh Doctor!      55
7. Coney Island      61
8. A Country Hero      70
9. Out West      76
10. The Bell Boy      85
11. Moonshine      92
12. Good Night Nurse      102
13. The Cook      112
14. Roscoe Without Buster      121
15. Back Stage      135
16. The Hayseed      143
17. The Garage      152
18. Arbuckle Thereafter      158
19. Keaton Thereafter      172
20. Al St. John and Alice Lake      188

Afterword      195
Selected Bibliography      201
Index      205

Book Reviews & Awards

“marvelous…superbly researched…richly detailed…a valuable and vital addition. Buy this book”—Hal Erickson, AMG All-Movie Guide.