With Buster Keaton, Tom McGuire, Ernest Torrence, Tom Lewis, Marion Byron Keaton
Directed by Charles Reisner
Silent, Black and White
Reviewed by JB

     Typical silent movie nonsense about a foppish son proving his worth to his father, STEAMBOAT BILL, JR. is a frequently amusing Keaton vehicle with most of the gags based on subtle pantomime, and few really powerhouse physical gags.  Keaton saves the best for last, however, with a spectacular tornado finale that ranks among his best endings ever.  In other words, the first two thirds of the film are filled with cute gags and charmingly silly moments, most of which you will forget after the windstorm hits.  In a weird way, that makes it one of Keaton's most repeatably watchable silent features.

     STEAMBOAT BILL, JR., the third in a series of box-office disappointments after THE GENERAL and COLLEGE, was Keaton's last independent silent film.  His final two silent features (THE CAMERAMAN and SPITE MARRIAGE) would be made as an official employee for MGM. - JB

Buster Keaton     The Age of Comedy