Buster Keaton’s Hats

Watched Buster Keaton could get a lot of comedy out of a hat by Don McHoull from

The sources of the clips I used for this, in order: The Blacksmith, Go West, Our Hospitality, The Hayseed, The General, Steamboat Bill Jr., Our Hospitality, The Navigator, The Haunted House, The High Sign (x2). The music is Kater Street Rag by Bennie Moten’s Kansas City Orchestra.

Makes sense to use visually dramatic gags in purely visual storytelling without words.

When I was in college, my sister visited and we went to a showing of a Buster Keaton movie at a historic theater with a live pianist / organ player providing the traditional accompaniment. We were the only people in the room under 65. I recall being surprised what a good actor Buster Keaton was without having access to speech.

By Tracy Durnell

Writer and designer in the Seattle area. Freelance sustainability consultant. Reach me at She/her.

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