Film 147 in the “1001 Films to See Before You Die” challenge is 1928’s “Steamboat Bill Jr.” This Buster Keaton comedy looks at the life of Steamboat Bill Jr. This film may only be 66 minutes long but I barely managed to watch half of it before I turned it off. I found nothing in this film to be funny. Shoving contest and men falling in rivers would be funny in a different movie but in this… not so much. All I got out of this film was that you shouldn’t let your dad control how you live. If you want to run away with the boy/girl of your dreams, that ain’t happening if your dad’s around. In old films like this that are silent, you usually get a lot of cue cards. Not in this one. There’s a small handful that I spotted and they weren’t that helpful in trying to explain the plot or what is meant to be happening. Why can’t the two dads just sit down and chat about maybe working together? That ain’t happening because Willie’s dad is dirty and poor while The King is rich and wears suits. I did try my best to watch this but after seeing the same jokes over and over again, you just become disinterested in the film. On that note, if you have seen this film then let me know what you thought of it in the comments. Here is what I had to say while watching 1928’s “Steamboat Bill Jr.”
Film – Steamboat Bill Jr.
Year – 1928
Director – Charles Reisner & Buster Keaton
Written by – Carl Harbaugh, Buster Keaton
Staring – Buster Keaton, Tom McGuire, Ernest Torrence
IMDb Rating – 8/10
My Rating – I QUIT
Length – 66 min (1h 6min)
Genre – Action, Comedy, Drama
This music reminds me of carnivals
We open at the arrival of a new steamboat
Looks like these two are rivals just by showing up
He talked for so long the cameraman decided to visit a bank and a hotel
He’s looking to put Steamboat Bill out of business
Bill won’t stand for it and willl stay
It’s a telegraph from his son! He’s coming to visit
He and his mate then talk about how big Willie is
Why is the king’s daughter wearing a swinsuit hat just to drive a car?
Bill has found…. an african american
Willie did arrive! He got off on the wrong side of the train
Why does it look like Willie went to college in France?
Why would he leave his bag behind?
Oh… So his dad can discover that that’s his son
And Willie has just made a kid cry
I shall calm him down with my guitar skills
Clearly Bill is not impressed as his son isn’t like him
Did he just shove a guitar in his ass?
To the barber shop
I want you to remove my son’s mustache
This is the worst barber I’ve ever seen
I asked you remove his mustache! Not his hair!
Willie and some girl reunite before leaving
Bill takes his son to a tailors where he goes hat shopping
HOW DARE YOU WEAR A FLAT CAP?
Stop ajusting every hat you wear
I have yet to find anything funny
We’lll take this hat ane not pay
Doesn’t matter as his hat is blown away in the wind
The King’s Daughter and her dad meet Bill and Willie for a chat
That didn’t last long
Bill forces his son to find clothes that only men on boats would wear
HE JUST BROKE HIS GUITAR
The King’s Daughter doesn’t like any of this
Why is Willie decided to wear a suit?
We didn’t need that life ring
This boat is clearly designed for small people
I think he landed on his head taking that trip
Is he trying to avoid his dad?
The King’s Daughter escapes her dad’s boat to try and make Willie work for her dad
Her dad says no
She decides she wants to work with Bill
Willie says no to that
The King threatens to kill Willie if he boards his boat
Time for a shoving contest to see who wants Willie
Willie just punched The King’s worker into the river
It’s clear Willie and The King’s Daughter are in love but the two dads won’t have any of it
Willie had just crashed the boat into The King’s boat
He did it again
How did The King fall in the river?
Bill finds this funny – I don’t
Eat this lump of coal