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Historic Note - 1965: Buster Keaton Tours Canada by Rail - The Railrodder by the NFB

Buster Keaton was one of the most famous silent film comedians of all time. The National Film Board of Canada has a long and storied history of producing great short films. They generously make hundreds of these films available for viewing online at

The Wikipedia entry for the NFB film called the "Railrodder" tells us about this really great film for all railway fans as follows:

"The Railrodder is a 1965 short comedy film released by the National Film Board of Canada and starring Buster Keaton in one of his final film roles. It was also his final silent film, as the film contains no dialogue and all sound effects are overdubbed. Directed by Gerald Potterton, The Railrodder is a 25-minute comedic travelogue of Canada. It begins with Keaton, playing an unnamed English gentleman, reading a newspaper in London, England. A full-page ad proclaiming "SEE CANADA NOW!" catches his attention. He promptly throws the newspaper away and jumps into the Thames. He subsequently reemerges on the east coast of Canada, having apparently swum the Atlantic, where he is greeted by a sign indicating the direction to the other side of Canada, 3,982 ½ miles away.

Buster starts his long hike, but soon finds a one-man, open-top rail maintenance vehicle, commonly known as a speeder, parked on a rail track. He sits in the driver's seat intending to take a nap, but he accidentally puts the vehicle in gear, and it speeds off down the track. The remainder of the film is a series of mini-adventures shared by Buster and the motor car as the vehicle (with an apparently inexhaustible fuel supply) follows the Canadian National Railway line across Canada". ..... Click here to read more.

To view the film, click above to view this 25 minute long film at the NFB's YouTube channel. The National Film Board also produced a 55 minute long documentary about the making of the film as well and you can click here to watch it.

Posting by Russ Milland

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