Arbuckle and Keaton Their 14 Film Collaborations
by James L. Neibaur
photographs, bibliography, index
219pp. softcover 2007
From 1917 to 1919, Joseph Schenck produced a series of Comique comedies starring master movie comedian Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle and featuring an apprentice, Joseph Frank “Buster” Keaton. These films were initially deemed significant by modern archivists for representing the first movie appearances of Keaton, widely considered one of the most important figures in motion picture history. But the Comique films also remain the most important of Arbuckle’s career because they feature him at the height of his cinematic genius and powers.
The 14 short comedies starring Arbuckle and Keaton are incredibly important to the history of cinema and are analyzed in this book. After two chapters of biographical introductions, the rest of the book discusses their collaborative efforts and reveals the way in which the films evolved from Arbuckle’s wild slapstick to feature more of the subtlety and cleverness of Keaton. Closing sections discuss what became of Arbuckle and Keaton afterward, commenting significantly on the scandal that undermined Arbuckle’s career.
About the Author
James L. Neibaur is a film historian and a professional educator. He is the author of The Bob Hope Films (2005), The RKO Features (1994, reprinted in paperback in 2005) and coauthor of The Jerry Lewis Films (1994) along with Ted Okuda.
--synopsis courtesy of McFarland Publishing