Author Archives: John Bengtson

Amazing New Keaton Discoveries – My Wife’s Relations

An astonishing new Keaton stunt, Buster’s return visit to a classic apartment house, and yet another surprise appearance of the Cops – The Kid – Safety Last! Hollywood alley – the Lobster Films restoration of My Wife’s Relations (1922), with … Continue reading

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Saving the Best for (Safety) Last!

There is no better way to experience Harold Lloyd’s Safety Last! than in a giant 1920’s movie palace packed with audience members gasping and shrieking at every turn. The Los Angeles Conservancy screens this classic thrill comedy on Saturday, June … Continue reading

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Reflections on Keaton’s Cops at the SF Silent Film Festival

The San Francisco Silent Film Festival starts next week, with another wide and varied lineup of classic silent films accompanied with live musical performances. Comedy fans will be especially interested in the Saturday morning program, introduced by Leonard Maltin, where … Continue reading

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Columbo and the Silent Clowns – Chaplin, Keaton, and Lloyd

I’ve been enjoying watching Peter Falk as Columbo on Netflix, and am transfixed by the time travel elements of this now decades-old series. The population of Los Angeles has nearly doubled since the time of filming, and there’s something quaint, … Continue reading

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How Harold Lloyd Filmed Bumping Into Broadway

Harold Lloyd’s debut two-reel comedy featuring his ‘Glass Character,’ Bumping Into Broadway (1919), appears in a sparkling restoration as part of the new Criterion Collection Blu-ray release of Speedy (1928). Lloyd filmed many scenes in downtown Los Angeles, including Weller … Continue reading

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Buster in Cops Cruising Santa Monica Boulevard

Buster Keaton’s famous short film Cops (1922) remains his only self-produced movie that was filmed completely out of doors, with no interior scenes. Early in the film Buster helps Big Joe Roberts into a taxi in front of the Pantages … Continue reading

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Chaplin – Keaton Studio Connections – The Fireman and Convict 13

Because Charlie Chaplin filmed his Mutual comedy shorts (1916-17) at the same small studio where Buster Keaton later filmed his independent shorts and features (1920-28), many common locations and settings appear in their films (see above).  I explain this in … Continue reading

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