Comedy – Buster Keaton – The Street Cleaner & The Cop Chase & The Soda Jerk


Keaton signed with MGM in 1928….a business decision that he would later call the worst of his life….as he realized too late that the studio system MGM represented….would severely limit his creative input…..for instance, the studio refused his request to make his early project, Spite Marriage, as a sound film….and after the studio converted….he was obliged to adhere to dialogue-laden scripts.  However, MGM did allow Keaton some creative participation on his last originally developed/written silent film The Cameraman, 1928….which was his first project under contract with them….but hired Edward Sedgwick as the official director.  Keaton was forced to use a stunt double during some of the more dangerous scenes….which was something he had never done in his heyday….as MGM wanted badly to protect its investment.  “Stuntmen don’t get laughs,” Keaton had said.  Some of his most financially successful films for the studio were during this period….as MGM tried teaming the laconic Keaton with the rambunctious Jimmy Durante in a series of films, The Passionate Plumber, Speak Easily, and What! No Beer?  The latter would be Keaton’s last starring feature in his home country. The films proved popular….and thirty years later….both Keaton and Durante had cameo roles in It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World….albeit not in the same scenes.

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