Buster Keaton's Crew: The Team Behind His Silent Films

Buster Keaton's Crew: The Team Behind His Silent Films

by Lisle Foote

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Buster Keaton told an interviewer in 1965, "When I'm working alone, the cameraman, the prop man, the electrician, these are my eyes out there.... They knew what they were talking about." Drawn from film trade magazines, newspapers, interviews and public records, this book tells the previously unpublished stories of the behind-the-scenes crew who worked on Keaton's silent films--like Elgin Lessley, who went from department store clerk to chief cameraman, and Fred Gabourie, who served as an army private in the Spanish American War before he became Keaton's technical director. "I'd ask, 'Did that work the way I wanted it to?' and they'd say yes or no," Keaton said of his crew. He couldn't have made his films without them.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781476618067
Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
Publication date: 11/19/2014
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 320
File size: 2 MB
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Lisle Foote is a contributing writer to the International Buster Keaton Society’s magazine, the Keaton Chronicle. She works as the Film and Television Archive Assistant at the Southern Regional Library Facility at the University of California–Los Angeles.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments  vi
Preface  1
The Camera and Electrical Departments 5
Dal Clawson 7 
Elmer Ellsworth 12 
Bert Haines 15
Wayne “Denver” Harmon 18 
Byron Houck 21 
Dev Jennings 25 
Gordon Jennings 33 
Reggie Lanning 38 
Elgin Lessley 40 
William McGann 48
William Piltz 51
Co-Directors 54
John Blystone 57
Eddie Cline 61
Donald Crisp 75
James Horne 84
Charles Riesner 90
Malcolm St. Clair 97
Edward Sedgwick 106
Assistant Directors 112
Writers 122
Al Boasberg 124
Clyde Bruckman 131
Raymond Cannon 142
Bryan Foy 148
Tommy Gray 152
Carl Harbaugh 156
Jean Havez 159
Lew Lipton 164
Joseph Mitchell 169
Lex Neal 171
Charles Smith 175
Paul Gerald Smith 179
The Rest of the Crew 182
Lou Anger 183
Harry Brand 189
Chrystine Francis 194
Fred Gabourie 197
Bert E. Jackson 202
J. Sherman Kell 205 
Ernie Orsatti 207
Costume Designers 215
Arbuckle’s Crew 222
George Peters 223
Joseph Anthony Roach 225
Herbert Warren 228
Frank D. Williams 229
Source Notes  237
Bibliography  297
Index  299

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