Cover image for Buster Keaton remembered
Buster Keaton remembered
Keaton, Eleanor, 1918-1998.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Harry N. Abrams, [2001]

Physical Description:
238 pages : illustrations ; 31 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PN2287.K4 K43 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize Non-Circ
PN2287.K4 K43 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize

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In this unique illustrated survey of Keaton's career, Eleanor Keaton, his wife of 26 years, & film historian Jeffrey Vance provide a personal account of this icon of American cinema. - Tie in with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.

Reviews 4

Booklist Review

During his centenary, 1995, a couple of Buster Keaton biographies emerged, but this book, completed by Vance after his coauthor, Keaton's widow, died in 1998, trumps them. Loaded with pictures, it is primarily a film-by-film chronicling of Keaton's career, from the shorts he made with Fatty Arbuckle during the years 1917^-20 to his final cameo appearances in feature films. Of course, Keaton debuted in vaudeville when he was three and appeared on stage and TV frequently after his glory days, the 1920s. Both those bodies of work are noted, as is, in a charming appendix, Keaton's technique for making his trademark porkpie hat, which involves literally tearing, cutting, and breaking down a good felt fedora. Eleanor Keaton lights all the commentary with her affection, though she trades not in name-dropping anecdotes but in appreciative description of her husband's achievements as performer and director. Kevin Brownlow contributes an afterword recalling his single meeting with Buster. All in all, a lovely book. --Ray Olson

Publisher's Weekly Review

In a final tribute to the comedic genius of silent film icon Buster Keaton (1895-1966), his third wife, Eleanor, began Buster Keaton Remembered. Completed by film historian Jeffrey Vance (coauthor of Wife of the Life of the Party), it features an afterword by Kevin Brownlow (Mary Pickford Rediscovered). Illustrated with 235 black-and-white photographs, this gracious, unsentimental work reveals the public and private lives of a man who began his career in vaudeville, catapulted to silent-screen fame with elaborately choreographed stunts and ended his illustrious career as a star for the emerging MGM movie studio. ( May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

As it did with 1999's Mary Pickford Rediscovered (LJ 9/15/99), the publisher raids the archives of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to present a lavish photographic tribute, in this case to silent film comedian Buster Keaton (1895-1966). Comprising formal and behind-the-scenes stills, staged publicity shots, and previously unpublished personal photos, this book is the most comprehensive pictorial retrospective on Keaton to date. In contrast to the Pickford book, however, the quality of the text and illustrations is not entirely balanced. Whereas in the former publication, Kevin Brownlow provided a thorough retrospective from both historical and critical standpoints, here he contributes only the afterword. As a result, the book doesn't delve into Keaton's technical prowess as an innovator of films whose complex sight gags, integrated narratives, and overall visual style transcended slapstick comedy so much as it celebrates his achievements as a performer. But while the biographical material and film synopses are less scintillating than the photographs, they do not detract from this gorgeous testament to a legend and to the often overlooked achievements of film curators and preservationists. Recommended for large public and academic libraries. Jayne Plymale, Univ. of Georgia, Athens (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Few books will dazzle the reader on first encounter more than this one. The great stone-faced, silent-film comedian with porkpie hat has been remembered before in excellent biographies by Rudi Blesh (Keaton, CH, May'67) and Marion Meade (Buster Keaton: Cut to the Chase, CH, Feb'96), but both pale in comparison to this exquisitely produced volume of stunning photography and compelling story of the great comic genius. Combining the personal memories of Keaton's late wife, Eleanor, with professional and personal papers, studio notes, scrapbooks, and interviews, this presentation of the gifted and distinguished engineer of comedy is a true celebration. Vance's commentary is bright, fresh, and enjoyable, rather than critical and academic. As such, the book will be as welcome on the coffee table as it is in film collections, inviting readers to scan its pages and reflect on the life and image of this stellar comedian/director. Here is a stylish and magnificent tribute to the silent deadpan artist who helped to bring vaudeville into the movies and who found his calling in both the art and technology of the emerging medium. A visually stunning monument for Buster Keaton and his gift to filmgoers, this is a book for all collections. T. Lindvall Regent University