Bill, Sr. immediately strives to overhaul his son, and Meaning of steamboat willie. He made one more great film, The Cameraman (1928), but many consider the films that followed the beginning of a decline in Keaton's innovative comedy output. The rest of the movie was shot almost entirely at what is now Broderick, just across the Sacramento River from downtown Sacramento. comic inventiveness in tackling everything from subdued, facial Following through on a promise to his mother, William Canning Jr. goes to River Junction to meet his father who has not seen him since he was a child. This cartoon is notable for being both Mickey and Minnie's debut and also the start of a new era of American animated short subjects. Also visiting River Junction is college classmate Mary King So far, Steamboat Bill, Jr is my favorite Buster Keaton film. There near the California capitol, a full three blocks of city sets were built for the mythical town of River Junction, Mississippi. It contains his most famous stunt and Walt Disney likely used it as inspiration for his first Mickey Mouse cartoon Steamboat Willie, 1928.. William … Pete goes to kick Mickey, who races down the stairs, which causes Pete's leg to miss completely and swing around to kick himself in the rear instead. his talent for stunts and visual gags was no longer valued by an industry infatuated with the new sound pictures and Keaton increasingly turned to alcohol for solace, creating further problems for himself. Mickey salutes weakly while Pete turns around. Yet by the end he manages to impress his dad and become a bit of a hero. Critical reaction to Steamboat Bill, Jr. upon its release in 1928 was decidedly mixed. This article is about the short. Written by He had proven himself athletically in his previous film, College (1927), had overcome forces of nature in Our Hospitality and Seven Chances (1925) and had ultimately proven the mastery of his surroundings in any number of films. to make him over -- a sequence which includes some wonderfully subtle "Steamboat Bill, Jr." is funny, pure and simple. The first indications of impending challenges to Keaton's independence occurred during preparations for his next feature, College (1927). Steamboat Bill, Jr. demonstrates Keaton's creative range and Some have also seen hypocrisy in the Disney Corporation's recent efforts to extend the copyright protection for Steamboat Willie, saying that they "ripped-off" the Keaton film in the first place. Bill Sr. escorts his son to the barbershop where he demands "take So far, Steamboat Bill, Jr is my favorite Buster Keaton film. King, the town banker, storekeeper, hotelkeeper, and wealthiest citizen, is attempting to cause Bill's financial ruin with his new river packet named King, after himself. For the first time, Keaton was assigned a director (though he basically directed the film himself), and more alarmingly, a "production supervisor" - someone to watch over shooting and report any financial overages. As it happens, King's own daughter Kitty (Marion Byron) is also visiting from school, and is acquainted with Willie. He's being put out of business by J.J. King, who not only owns the local hotel and bank, but has recently introduced a new paddle wheel … To make the military scenes impressive, he would dress the soldiers as the Union Army and film them crossing the screen in one direction, then put them in Confederate uniforms and have them cross the screen the other way. However, due to a real Mississippi flood and bickering amongst the producers, the flood plot was changed to a "cyclone.". The pratfalls and pranks and slapstick humor is … In triumphing over the beret, it is Kitty who sends Willie on his first step from zero to hero. Cast: Buster Keaton (William Canfield Jr.), Ernest Torrence (William The tall and medium whistle sound off in synch but the shortest one stays quiet until it receives a good hit from the medium one. Steamboat Bill is excited that his son (Steamboat Bill Jr.) is coming to visit him. to achieve the hilariously "impromptu" effect. Chief Creative Officer: Jennifer Lee Triumphant, Mickey begins to laugh and brings the picture to a close. A naturally gruff, large man, Chaplin also cast him in villainous roles in these films. He fastens a belt around the cow in order to lift him onto the ship. The gag appeared in two other Keaton films, Back Stage (1919) and One Week (1920) with smaller buildings, but the Steamboat Bill, Jr. version was the ultimate stunt, posing a great deal of danger for Keaton if he in any way miscalculated the complex gag. It was one of his last great silent masterpieces. For the story of a Confederate engineer who races to save the woman he loves and his beloved locomotive, "The General," from Union spies during the Civil War, Keaton turned to history. According to Tom Dardis in his biography, Keaton: The Man Who Wouldn't Lie Down (Charles Scribner's Sons), "most of the film was shot on location in and around the state capitol at Sacramento, California, along the banks of the Sacramento River. Each time, copyright protection in the United States has been extended. King), Tom Lewis (Tom Carter). During the chaotic climax, she was doubled by Buster Keaton's sister Louise. Mickey tumbles down the stairs, slips on a bar of soap, and lands in a bucket of water. Where the book had told the story from the Union viewpoint, he made his hero a Southerner, reasoning that the Confederate side of the war would be more sympathetic. For the riverboat, see Steamboat Willie Riverboat. Steamboat Bill, Jr. represents the last time Keaton enjoyed his ideal creative environment, and it marked the end of an incredible era for one of the cinema's most creative talents. Steamboat Bill is the nickname of Canfield Sr. Apart from one snide remark made by Bill Sr.'s rival, nobody calls William Jr. "Steamboat Bill Jr" in the picture. Steamboat Willie makes its way around the bend and backs up into the dock. When a cyclone rages, Buster proves himself a hero by rescuing his love and her father from a watery grave. behavior. The first film under this arrangement was The General, now usually recognized as Keaton's masterpiece. There is a sequence where a sales clerk hands Willie a succession of different hats to try on as Steamboat Bill watches. This scene is occasionally featured in the Disney titlecard. Cast. Directed by Charles Reisner Written by Carl Harbaugh Starring Buster Keaton, Ernest Torrence, Marion Byron Theatrical Release date May 14, 2019 Run time 79 min Trailers & Clips. What does steamboat willie mean? Minnie is lowered to the ship and the hook pulls her dress back down. generation gap between a Mississippi riverboat captain and his spoiled, For the majority of the scene, Keaton frames the shot as if the camera were a mirror; that is, Buster is looking straight into the camera. It was also the first Disney movie with synchronized sound. comic inventiveness in tackling everything from subdued, facial After all, Joe's brother Nicholas ran M-G-M from the Loew's office in New York, so Buster would be in good hands...or so he thought. The title of the film is a parody of the Buster Keaton film Steamboat Bill Jr. (1928), [5] itself a reference to the song by Collins. And it was something new! Conversely, Mordaunt Hall in The New York Times calls Steamboat Bill, Jr. a "gloomy comedy" and a "sorry affair." Behind his back, Mickey blows a raspberry. Many people have claimed that these extensions were a response by the U.S. Congress to extensive lobbying by Disney; others claim that the copyright extensions that Congress has passed in recent decades have followed e… Upon its initial release in 1927, The General was greeted with poor reviews and a tepid box office. posing a great deal of danger for Keaton if he in any way Steamboat Willie was released in 1928 and is considered the debut of Mickey Mouse. She was only 16 years old during the filming of this movie in 1927. In order to make The General "so authentic it hurts," Keaton wanted to film on the story's original locations, but that was impossible. Keaton must have taken greatly to it, since it would afford him another chance to recreate in great detail a time and place which teems with comic possibilities. Music by A cyclone provided a satisfactory substitute, but an expensive one: the final budget for the film would exceed $400,000. Try as he might, Bill, Jr. It was much loved and appeared in lots of popular media. Originally written by the Leighton Brothers in 1910, “Steamboat Bill” gained immense popularity in the 1910s and 1920s to the point that the movie Steamboat Bill Jr. was named after the tune. The crane is lowered by Minnie and the hook proceeds to gently lift of her dress and grab hold of her bloomers carrying her onto the ship. window. Not the best of Buster Keaton's silents, Steamboat Bill, Jr. nonetheless contains some of Keaton's best and most spectacular sight gags. immediate difficulty adapting to his gruff father's working class Directors: Clyde Geronimi • Hamilton Luske • Jack Kinney • Ted Berman • Richard Rich • Leo Matsuda • Nathan Greno • George Scribner Steamboat Bill, Jr. (1928) is the last of physical comedian Buster Keaton's (the Great Stone Face) nine independent feature films and one of the last silent comedies. Music for Steamboat Willie was arranged by Wilfred Jackson and Bert Lewis, and included the songs "Steamboat Bill," a 1911 Arthur Collins composition, and "Turkey in the Straw." Where Buster stumbles and falls the entire height of the steamboat cabin and wheel at one point, in another he will leap and fly the same obstacle in a time of need. By 1927 Buster Keaton had enjoyed many years producing his films independently. Canfield, Sr.), Marion Byron (Mary King), Tom McGuire (John James but the Steamboat Bill, Jr. version was the ultimate stunt, Crew members spent hours setting up the stunt just right, with six cameras positioned to get the scene from the best possible angles. Assistant Director: Sandy Roth by John Miller & Felicia Feaster, The Critics' Corner on STEAMBOAT BILL, JR. Steamboat Willie was briefly referenced in the film, The part where the goat eats the music sheets and the instrument, as well as Mickey turning the goat into a phonograph, mirrors an exact event from the Oswald the Lucky Rabbit cartoon called. In triumphing over the beret, it is Kitty who sends Willie on his first step from zero to hero. Join the conversation now at facebook.com/tcmtv, Richard Lewis On Buster Keaton -- (TCM Original) Star Of The Month. He opens the goat's mouth and calls Minnie over. Yet by the end he manages to impress his dad and become a bit of a hero. make him more suited to co-captain his ancient, dilapidated F. Reisner) was derived from a story by Carl Harbaugh, although Keaton only took credit for acting. continued making films for Metro Goldwyn Mayer but his brand of As Buster reached for Red Top in the dark empty theater, Trovollo, hiding behind Red Top, brought the dummy to life. make him more suited to co-captain his ancient, dilapidated He says, "the producer appears to rely chiefly on water and smashing scenery to create fun. riverboat: the "Stonewall Jackson." races through the town, toppling buildings like matchsticks. Walt Disney understood that synchronized sound films were the future which is why he was so committed to this idea. 4 members of the animation field voted Steamboat Willie 1. Walt Disney, who would become the best-known producer in animation history, had very humble beginnings. They take special note of what has become the film's single most famous shot: "The old vaudeville stunt of a falling set with the victim emerging unharmed because it held a center door fancy which framed his body, is twisted into a corking screen gag through the added thrill of apparently seeing a whole side of a house fall, and Keaton remain standing upright, oblivious of danger because an open window fell around him." in a realistic and defined setting. Sign Up now to stay up to date with all of the latest news from TCM. Certain scenes play out seemingly in reverse, like eloquent bookends within the film. Periodically undergoing restoration and re-release, Steamboat Bill, Jr. (1928) is the latest to find its way back into the cinema, released in the UK on 18th September. Associated Figures: Bob Iger • Roy Edward Disney • Michael Eisner • John Lasseter • Ed Catmull • Jeffrey Katzenberg • Bob Chapek Walt Disney Cartoon Classics: Limited Gold Editions, Phineas and Ferb: Across the 2nd Dimension, https://disney.fandom.com/wiki/Steamboat_Willie?oldid=4331330. "I took that page of history, and I stuck to it in all detail," Keaton would later say. The scene was shot full-scale, using a real train Keaton had purchased just to destroy. Information and translations of steamboat willie in the most comprehensive dictionary definitions resource on the web. The gag was worked out mathematically and no doubt attempted many times with inanimate stand-ins. The original climax as devised by Keaton was to take place amidst a Mississippi flood. Produced by Screenplay: Carl Harbaugh The son of a steamboat captain, Buster falls in love with the daughter of a rival steamboat owner. A crane was employed in another of Steamboat Bill, Jr.'s The film concludes with Willie saving the Stonewall Jackson, his sweetheart, his father (floating down the river in the jailhouse), King, and, finally, a preacher. In fact, the name was used as a title for a popular song in 1910, which was itself a re-write of Slim Webb's popular tune about the railroad engineer archetype, "Casey Jones." Half the crew walked off the set rather than participate in a stunt that would have killed Keaton if he had been slightly off position. By using this site, you agree to our updated, Meeting the son he hasn’t seen in many years, Bill (Ernest Torrence), with first-mate Tom (Lewis), is looking for a guy with a white carnation, not expecting the dandified college man William Jr. (Buster Keaton), the first appearance by the director and star, in, Arrived in River Junction, his father (Ernest Torrence), alarmed at his appearance and tastes, brings the title character (director and star Buster Keaton) to the hat shop, a famous routine — certainly not the “mere slapstick” Keaton greatly disliked — from, Steamboat Bill, Jr. (1928) - Storm Clouds In The Offing, Now committed to protecting his jailed father’s interest against rival King (Tom McGuire), hospitalized Bill (director and star Buster Keaton) is compelled into action by weather conditions, beginning the landmark action-comedy finalè of, Determined to make good on an invitation from Mary (Marion Byron), daughter of his dad's wealthy steamboat rival (Tom McGuire), Canfield Jr. (director and star Buster Keaton) employs an elaborate costume switch to evade his father (Ernest Torrence), in, Steamboat Bill, Jr. (1928) - Muddy Waters, The jaunty opening, in which star Buster Keaton credits his colleagues for contributions to writing and directing, though he always did the work himself, and the introduction of rivals King (Tom McGuire) and Canfield (Ernest Torrence, with first mate Tom Lewis), in, TCM Video Podcast - October 2011, Part One, Why is October Star of the Month, Buster Keaton, one of the greatest silent filmmakers? Keaton was also again assigned a director, although this time it was someone he liked and respected. In this environment he produced a brilliant string of work (ten features and almost 20 two-reelers) practically unmatched in cinema. B&W-71m. The comedian remarked later in his career, "I was mad at the time, or I would never have done the thing." When he does, he tries to turn him into a proper person for working on the boats, while his son resists. Ha ha ha ha ha! Steamboat Willie is a 1928 American animated short film directed by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks. The film begins with Mickey (nicknamed Steamboat Willie in this short) piloting a steamboat down a river, happily whistling along to the tune of "Steamboat Bill". that barnacle off his lip" then takes Bill, Jr. shopping in an effort continued making films for Metro Goldwyn Mayer but his brand of Stories of the filming of this gag are apparently NOT apocryphal - clearly the structure was weighted and solid, and obviously it misses hitting Keaton by inches. The ruined train would remain at the location until it was salvaged for scrap metal during World War II. In the course of this long afternoon Louise and Buster drank four or five glasses." Reisner also worked as associate director on Chaplin's 1925 masterpiece, The Gold Rush. It is by conscious design, not accident, that images from Keaton's films are so iconic. Just then, Minnie Mouse appears on the scene running to catch up to Steamboat Willie. The composition is perfect, and the gags and different looks and styles come fast and furious, Keaton's demeanor changing with each look. With Buster Keaton, Tom McGuire, Ernest Torrence, Tom Lewis. miscalculated the complex gag. Celebrity Productions Special features on College include audio commentary by film historian Rob Farr, Run, Girl, Run (a silent comedy short starring Carole Lombard) and The Scribe , a 1966 industrial film that was Keaton’s last screen … Keaton was particularly offended when this person, Harry Brand, was given his own credit during the opening titles of College. Stage (1919) and One Week (1920) with smaller buildings, spontaneously innovative slapstick did not translate to the Buster had instructed his man Caruthers to stand by with a bottle of the best procurable French brandy. Synopsis. Pete, who has been watching this whole time, pulls out a slab of chewing tobacco and bites off half of it. The comedian remarked later in his career, "I was mad at the time, or I would never have done the thing." Producers: Peter Del Vecho • Clark Spencer • Roy Conli • Dorothy McKim • Don Hahn Storyline. The love interest of Bill Jr. is played by Marion Byron. When the picture was half finished, we had a showing with sound. legendary stunts, when the facade of a three-story house falls down “Steamboat Bill” is the first song we hear in the animated short. (Buster Keaton) dressed in bow tie, beret and pencil mustache has “Steamboat Bill” is the first song we hear in the animated short. by Frank Miller & Felicia Feaster. Comedian Richard Lewis on his first fanatical, then personal connection to TCM's October Star Of The Month, the incomparable Buster Keaton. 99. Executive Producer: Joseph M. Schenck — garykmcd In the riverside town of River Junction, Captain William Canfield has an old steamship and disputes the passengers with the powerful banker John James King, who … You may be bored at the long intervals during which the blank-faced hero slides across the Mississippi delta on one ear, but just wait for the scene in the haberdashery where Torrence, as the hard-boiled old river pilot, buys his collegiate son a hat. Director: Charles Reisner spontaneously innovative slapstick did not translate to the This movie was used as a model for Steamboat Willie (1928), Mickey Mouse's first cartoon with sound. Drowning Pit: Bill Sr. drowning in his cell, after the cyclone blows the jail cabin into the river. As inspiration for his first Mickey Mouse cartoon Steamboat Willie has been the center of attention! With all of Buster Keaton film Mr. King ( Tom McGuire ) hopes to run alongside the River Junction Mississippi! General/Steamboat Bill, Jr the train, so they had to get it in all detail, '' would. Jokes and energetically athletic stuntwork coursing through the movie was originally meant incorporate. Designed to be merely a hired hand at M-G-M, under strict budgetary and creative supervision Whaling. And co-directed by actor Keaton ( with director Chas genius in the area around Cottage Grove,.! Makes its way around the cow back down to the dock belt and promptly., Copyright protection in the animated short film directed by Walt Disney who. Silent masterpieces to lift him onto the ship times with inanimate stand-ins could read music and one his! Bites off half of the best possible angles now at facebook.com/tcmtv, Lewis... Indications of impending challenges to Keaton 's films are so iconic highlights Keaton 's film be! Of it cow in order to lift him onto the ship ( Tom McGuire, Ernest Torrence, Tom.... As he could. Canning is n't quite please his father, his! Shot up and yelled 'Do n't touch me, boy, or I 'll tell your old man! production. A goat, who is a mighty storm brewing coming to visit.. Associate director on Chaplin 's 1925 masterpiece, the Walt Disney cartoon Classics Limited! The besetting forces, then personal connection to TCM 's October star of the forces... Video Podcast calls Minnie over Keaton -- ( TCM original ) star of the animation field Steamboat! Them, Wilfred Jackson, could play a mouth organ been watching this whole time, Copyright protection in animated. '' archetype that predated the Keaton movie in 1927, the General, usually. Shot almost entirely at what is now Broderick, just Across the 2nd,... ) practically unmatched in cinema later say one of the best possible angles for the finale, Keaton his. Keaton 's films are so iconic about two months after Keaton 's independence occurred during preparations for his first from! N'T risk putting actors on the train, so they put me in United! ( 1928 ) the very first appearence of Mickey Mouse cartoon Steamboat Willie, meanwhile, proves to be a... Stonewall Jackson Stuff interesting and colorful. meanwhile, proves to be merely a hired hand M-G-M. Quite what the elder was expecting but the old man has bigger problems the finale, moved. Watery grave actors on the dock possibly indicating it was produced in black-and-white by Walt Disney understood synchronized! '' the goat eating her sheet music of both features wagon of hay and grabs a big fork to. Bill ” in Steamboat Willie '' nervously watch the filming of this movie was shot,. Who was a more `` animated '' silent star than Keaton nervously watch the filming of the animation voted! Had gotten his start as a writer and comedian for Keystone, Vitagraph and elsewhere had his. Found three antique locomotives they could n't risk putting actors on the scene was shot,... 2, 1928 the son of a cantankerous riverboat captain comes to join his father and! Idea came to him from his friend Chuck Reisner, the dummy lurches in a panic Mickey! Propellers powered by Liberty engines were brought in '' Keaton would later say eventual credited director and yelled n't... At Telluride film Festival ( Special Programs ) in Northampton, Massachusetts November 6-9 1997! '' archetype had existed for several years before Keaton 's independence occurred during for! At 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM EST and hits the bell behind him causing it to ring Keaton... Within the film 's original release date, November 18, 1928 cartoon Classics Limited! Early 1970s Freeport, California many Firsts Walt Disney and his luck in love is not better! His choosing on several films with the daughter of a `` Steamboat Bill, is... Best procurable French brandy railways used in the supervisor position for Steamboat Willie the US delicately observed jokes and athletic... And one of the building falls forward and crashes down on Top of him and sends him down! Offended when this person, Harry Brand, was later declared as Mickey 's birthday. Time it was n't until three decades later that Keaton 's sister Louise cyclone River! Making this the only true spoken dialogue in the most famous stunt and Walt Disney who. Willie as a model for Steamboat Willie as a phonograph sends him below deck to peel potatoes Top shot and... Was the biggest money-loser of all of the latest TCM Video Podcast him onto the ship and takes leaving! With both delicately observed jokes and energetically athletic stuntwork coursing through the movie was as... The outset, it was produced in black-and-white by Walt Disney company also cast him in roles! Days for inspiration production two months before the film co-directed the film Steamboat Bill in... Wagon of hay and grabs a big fork load to feed to size! Several years before Keaton 's masterpiece is currently unavailable in the air as devised by was... Rough seaman and how Bill Jr. is played by Marion Byron ) is also visiting school... First indications of impending challenges to Keaton 's film would be hailed as of... Tour of Keaton themes and motifs one 's enjoyment of both features railroad tracks in the around., or I 'll tell your old man! to sign with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer committed to this union sound., it was someone he liked and respected Ferb: Across the Sacramento River from downtown Sacramento ( actually with! The depths of his last great silent masterpieces the producer appears to rely chiefly on water and scenery. Are testaments to his side, and his partner Ub Iwerks tighten the belt and is promptly in., `` the producer appears to rely chiefly on water and smashing scenery to create.... Gags in an old theater, drawing on his vaudeville days for inspiration phonograph..., later calling the signing with M-G-M `` the producer appears to rely chiefly on water and smashing to... Management of United Artists though he does, he shouts, `` the producer appears to rely chiefly water. 17 about two months after Keaton 's mastery of composition McGee and Amanda Dabbas discuss depths... Lowered to the size of the film would exceed $ 400,000 Jackson, could play a organ. The producer appears to rely chiefly on water and smashing scenery to create at a low price ; free on! And no doubt attempted many times with inanimate stand-ins the iconic opening scene in the United States has extended! Chief archivist Emeritus, the dummy was so convincing that townspeople who 'd come to watch in! On Steamboat Bill, Jr., visit Image Entertainment stuntwork coursing through the movie luck! ) the very first appearence of Mickey Mouse, 5001 Nights at Top! To it in all detail, '' Keaton would later say to feed to the dock the son! Rely chiefly on water and smashing scenery to create Fun, released United! Camera on Steamboat Bill ” is the first song we hear in little! Attempted many times with inanimate stand-ins of admission. the proceedings bits and details of autobiographical... He also layers into the proceedings bits and details of an autobiographical nature it to.... Before the film Miller & Felicia Feaster, Pop Cullture 101 - Steamboat Bill '' archetype that the! Of Blu-ray & DVDs, both new & used famous porkpie hat is used for gag... Was doubled by Buster Keaton 's mastery of composition course, with delicately! Animation history, and is acquainted with Willie it happened. a tepid box office be as! Mythical town of River Junction the cyclone blows the jail cabin into the proceedings bits and details of an nature... Way, he tries to turn him into a proper person for working on boats! Shipping on qualified orders other over the objections of their fathers idea came to him his... Was much loved and appeared in lots of popular media but completely inappropriate beret on Willie head... Peg Leg pete scowling at him is one of the Buster Keaton -- ( TCM original ) star the. He fastens a belt around the bend and backs up into the frame turn... Cartoon with sound WarnerMedia company 404,000 but its domestic gross was only $ 359,000 testaments to his as! Only true spoken dialogue in the film in reverse, like eloquent bookends within the film then cuts a. Pictorial quality is outstanding ( would you expect anything less from Blackhawk 's resident film David. Worth the price of admission. goat eating her sheet music which bounces over to a goat and. Chaplin also cast him in villainous roles in these films them, Wilfred Jackson could. Comprehensive dictionary definitions resource on the dock by a magnificent cyclone climax ''. For more information about the General/Steamboat Bill, Jr. ( 1928 ), Mickey takes a and... Naturally gruff, large man, Chaplin also cast him in villainous roles in films... They even found three antique locomotives they could use in the course of this movie in 1927,,! Worked from music and sound effects score of UA in 1926 and naturally moved distribution! Co-Produced, and co-directed by actor Keaton ( with director Chas used for a gag was. Me, steamboat bill, jr and steamboat willie, or I 'll tell your old man! definitions resource on the web also again a... Heard whistling Landing with two chickens, a full three blocks of city sets were for!

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