STEAMBOAT BILL JR.
Starring Buster Keaton and Ernest Torrence
THE FILM SPECTATOR
June 23, 1928

Generally when I view a motion picture I peer at it intently and find things in it to make catty remarks about. I laugh at funny things, but I do it sternly and judicially, and keep my eye peeled for faults the directors commit. When the picture ends, I have notes in a little book, and I go home and sit in my backyard, hard by the hollyhocks and hear the swing that is under the peach tree, and my two dogs and two cats gather around me while I write profoundly, elaborating the notes in my little book. Donald and I went into a projection-room and viewed "Steamboat Bill Jr." I never made a blessed note, although I had my little book open under the red desk light. I don't know how Chuck Reisner directed it, whether he had senseless close-ups that should make me mad or huge kisses that offend me. I don't know the name of the nice looking girl who played opposite Buser Keaton. All I know is that Donald and I laughed or giggled all the time the picture was running, and that it kept me so amused that I forgot my little book. I am satisfied that Reisner must have made a good job of the direction, for I ma pretty sure that I would have noticed any serious lapses. I know that Tom McGuire was quite satisfactory. The important thing, however, is that I laughed all the way through it and forgot that it was my business to search for flaws in it. As the purpose of a comedy is to make us forget business and have a good laugh, I just put "Steamboat Bill Jr." down as perhaps the best comedy of the year thus far. Exhibitors should go after it.


Source: Movies Unlimited, Kino, Grapevine, Critic's Choice, Nostalgia, Amazon.com

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