They Were Collaborators #39


Roscoe Arbuckle and Buster Keaton

5 comments:

Rob said...

These two were my faves over Chaplin any day. This was silent comedy at its most sublime - every move and gesture was calculated to make me laugh, and by God, it worked! I was totally subsumed. I miss Roscoe and Buster - even their names make me crack a grin.

BCNU

Tom Sutpen said...

The older I get the more I like just about everybody over Chaplin (though seeing a few minutes from a Mutual two-reeler like The Rink can renew my admiration for Chaplin all over again). Virtually nothing he did after 1940 impresses me anymore (except for isolated moments of brilliance which got fewer and fewer), while Keaton, Arbuckle, Lloyd, Chase, Langdon, L&H, Normand, all of them just rise and rise in stature to these eyes.

Keaton is God, of course.

Rob said...

Well, Keaton's 'A' God, for sure, but my pantheon is quite catholic, and many deities dwell therein.

BCNU

Tom Sutpen said...

Okay . . . point well taken. I get carried away by Keaton to such an extent that I elevate him above all others perhaps more than I should.

But dammit, he warrants such elevation.

swac said...

I'd seen some Keaton and loved it, and seen some Arbuckle and loved it...but when I first saw the two of them together...wow, incredible stuff. It's like when you first hear Miles Davis and Coltrane together. Sure, they would do great work on their own, but there was something different that clicked in those brief moments where they were joined. That rediscovered short The Cook is beyond belief (as is The Garage, The Bell Boy and so on...).

As far as the pantheon goes...it's a big one in my mind (sort of like Valhalla, with Keaton as Odin...Chaplin can be Loki or something like that). I keep discovering people like Lupino Lane, Joe Rock, Lloyd Hamilton who all have their place, and should be better appreciated, or Larry Semon, who's name is known but whose films are generally not seen (but should be, if only for his outrageous gag construction, which usually sacrificed internal logic along the way).

And there's still so much I haven't seen...