Author Archives: John Bengtson

Keaton’s Battling Butler – A Knockout Finish to the SF Silent Film Festival

The 2018 San Francisco Silent Film Festival closes Sunday, June 3 with a screening of Buster Keaton’s self-directed comedy Battling Butler (1926), hosted by Leonard Maltin, and honoring recently deceased festival Board member, beloved television writer and director Frank Buxton, … Continue reading

Posted in Buster Keaton, Film Noir, The Turning Point, Three Stooges | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Keaton’s Seven Chances – On The Clock

Late for church, during Seven Chances (1925) Buster Keaton must marry by 7:00 p.m. that evening in order to inherit a fortune. But what time is it? Having just lost his pocket watch down a sewer drain, Buster stops in … Continue reading

Posted in Buster Keaton, Seven Chances | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

The Surviving Sherlock Jr. Bungalow

A bungalow that appears in Buster Keaton’s Sherlock Jr. (1924), and in his early short film Convict 13 (1920), is still standing today at 4908 McKinley Avenue, when it was moved 11 miles away from Buster’s studio in 1926, the … Continue reading

Posted in Keaton Studio, Sherlock Jr. | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Chaplin’s The Great Dictator – Author Presentation at the Alex

Charlie Chaplin’s brilliant and courageous challenge to tyranny, The Great Dictator (1940), remains sharply relevant today. I will be introducing this classic film at the beautiful Alex Theater in Glendale on Thursday, April 19, 2018, and signing copies of my … Continue reading

Posted in Charlie Chaplin | Tagged , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

From Roach’s to Roaches – Stan & Ollie Meet Starsky & Hutch

Guest blogger Jim Dallape, creator with Robert Winslow of the remarkable Hal Roach Studios Backlot Tour, reports how TV’s Starsky & Hutch and Charlie’s Angles filmed in the same places as Laurel & Hardy and other Roach stars. Take it … Continue reading

Posted in Charley Chase, Hal Roach Studios, Laurel and Hardy | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Restoration Premiere of Soft Shoes – Crossing Paths with Chaplin, Laurel, and Lloyd

The San Francisco Silent Film Festival 2018 schedule has just been announced! One highlight is the Thursday, May 31 world premiere restoration of Universal’s 1925 Harry Carey action/drama Soft Shoes, in which Carey (right) seeks to rescue a young woman … Continue reading

Posted in Charlie Chaplin, Harold Lloyd, Stan Laurel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Surviving Keaton Studio Neighbors

Buster Keaton unwittingly documented the urbanization of the once agricultural Colegrove region of Hollywood in the background of his films. As reported in my book Silent Echoes, the quaint Cahuenga Valley Lemon Growers Exchange warehouse once stood across the street … Continue reading

Posted in Buster Keaton, Keaton Studio, The Goat, The Scarecrow | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments