In 1928, Buster Keaton was reeling from a couple of big-budget flops when he signed a contract with MGM, who quickly squelched his creativity and forced him into films that didn’t put his talents to the best use. But before everything cratered, Keaton did get to make one great film at MGM: his first one, The Cameraman. Co-directed with the studio-approved Edward Sedgwick (and co-written by Keaton’s longtime gagman Clyde Bruckman), The Cameraman stars Keaton as a photographer who gets a job with MGM’s newsreel department, and then bumbles into one disaster after another, including getting caught in the middle of a Chinatown gang war. Even though Keaton had no idea at the time of how the arc of his career at MGM would go, The Cameraman is like a metaphor for Keaton’s new job. The difference is that The Cameraman is much, much, funnier. It airs on Turner Classic Movies just after Sunday midnight, at 12:30 a.m. Eastern.
December 12, 2014 Cable Pick Of The Day