If you haven’t seen Buster Keaton’s classic 1965 short The Railrodder, you’re in for a treat. Settle back and enjoy this very amusing 25 minute long color film, and the accompanying documentary about how it was made, a fascinating look behind the scenes of Keaton’s last silent film, a travelogue of Canada.
Keaton is in London and sees a newspaper advertisement urging him to see Canada, so he jumps in the Thames and walks to Canada, where he finds a one-person motorized railroad cart, and takes it across Canada. The film features spectacular footage of a beautiful country, and plenty of amusing sight gags, most made up on the spot by Keaton.
The accompanying documentary, Buster Keaton Rides Again, was made by a second film crew who documented the making of the film, and shows how much time and effort went in to making this short film, produced by the National Film Board of Canada. In between takes, there was lots of standing around, and scenes of Keaton in his private railway car that followed the production across the country.
Keaton was a master of the silent picture sight gag, and watching him on set is a rare treat. Sit back and enjoy The Railrodder.