This real stunt from 1926

This real stunt from 1926

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Keaton did all his own stunts. No idea how he survived some of them. A true cinema pioneer.


I also do all my own stunts. But never intentionally.


I also do my own stunts. So far, I have attempted (and completed!) zero.


All my stunts do me






Who came first?


His stunt double


I *came* first.


You da real MVP


I wish I had a stunt double to do things like call out of work, or go to the dentist.


You pay for the dentist trip and I will go in your place as many times as you like. Hell, I will brush your teeth for you like an anime pervert if you pay for my dentist trips!


You mean you have failed zero!


I did a lot of unscheduled gymnastics when I was skiing


Skimone Biles in the house


*”Unscheduled Gymnastics”* I’m stealing this. Unabashedly.


I’ve been told I’m a Cupid stunt


He once broke his skull doing a stunt and realized it was broken a few hrs after shooting stopped


He got X-rays when he started having migraines late in life. He'd broken his spine multiple times without treatment. Guy probably had insanely high pain tolerance.


Or access to opium and cocaine as a medical treatment


Or those rare conditions where one does not feel pain.


Or he was dead the entire time


i know, he had amyloidosis.


I heard he had ligma


Who the hell is Steve jobs?


*Energy noise*


What’s updog?


Not much, 'sup with you?


Has to be lupus.


It's never lupus. It's way more likely to be paraneoplastic syndrome combined with a rare allergy to the dishwasher detergent the upstairs neighbor uses.


I don’t think we can say that word anymore


I used to do a lot of medical background interviews and in addition to that rare condition there really is a broad spectrum of varying pain tolerance. I have interviewed people with crazy, life changing injuries who just didn't have the pain others did, or at least it didn't bother them. One guy, Vietnam vet with shrapnel and burns, came home and got hit by a train. Had a hole in his thigh the size of a fist, pins everywhere, skin grafts. Put his daily pain levels lower than most of what I'd classify as medium level injuries. My grandpa was one. Just did not mind pain a bit.


> Just did not mind pain a bit This is a good way to word it, I don't have anywhere near what you described, that is like superhero level. But generally I just don't mind pain so much, its not that it doesn't hurt, its just that it doesn't "feel" like its a problem for some reason. Any blunt force, cuts, scrapes, doesn't really bother me, if anything I actually enjoy it a sometimes. The feeling just after something painful happens is like bliss, pretty peaceful and calm, I ripped my fingernail off in a disc brake once being a dumb cunt and it stung like fuck but I couldn't help but love the feeling of it under cold water stinging, it was just so interesting. Also dentists and having blood taken is so good, I genuinely love having blood taken, the needle feels so fucking surreal. Fuck back pain, stomach pain, and this weird thing that happens in my fingers where it can twang and then it hurts like fuck to extend it straight for a bit but that's a little specific.


I wish I was like that. But I'm also not willing to put myself through painful things just to build my tolerance which I imagine is at least in part how some of these people got like that.


I'm not sure it's built, though I think that happens. I just think some people don't feel it the same way as others. Like taste, some people just have naturally hyperactive or lower than normally active senses of taste and smell for various reasons, including super tasters who just make the rest of us seem taste blind.


Or, Ozzy Osbourne who has rare genetic mutations which means that his body is built to detoxify alcohol much faster than normal. And, he also has other rare genetic mutations. SOURCE: https://www.discovermagazine.com/health/genes-addiction-or-why-ozzy-osbourne-is-still-alive


"LOL how did grandma get addicted to cough syrup?" cough syrup ingredients Cocaine THC Licorice More Cocaine Opium Sugar Ethanol Apples


I had my hand x-rayed when I broke my wrist. The technician was like man you’ve broken every single one of your fingers multiple times. I used to play ball, figured they were just jammed, threw on a splint when it happened or tape two together. Not much else you can do. Hurt like a bitch though when you jam/break one. Can’t do shit with that hand for a while. Long fingers so my middle fingers caught it the worst usually, probably typical though. My coach probably made it worse, he would count to 3 and pull on 2 thinking they were jammed and it never worked.


Broken fingers are relatively common for humans who do sports or hard work.. Most people dont go to the hospital for sore fingers and toes


Yeah, I'm sure I've got at least a couple breaks in my hands, including a new one in my pinkie knuckle! Stupid door. But like you said, why even go to the doctor, not much can be done for fingers if they're still straight, and I don't play piano.


Yeah I did a late edit. My coach would claim that if you instantly pull the jam out it fixes it. But what if they were broken lol? Just making it worse.


Hell, is yanking the finger even really good for a jam?


According to him if you didn’t do it straight away it would swell up. It always swelled up anyway, and he did it hard. I can see the logic, but never saw the results.


It makes dads fart.


He was thrown around in the family vaudeville show starting at an extremely young age. Probably got very accustomed to pain.


Several years ago, my mother wiped out hard on her snowmobile while on vacation. After returning home, she went to the doctor with neck pain. The doctor took some X-rays and said to her, "Looks like you've broken your neck again." My mother replied, "What do you mean, 'again'?"


The house one really gets me. Small window. Very small margin for error.


That's one of the more controlled stunts though. As long as the hinge and wall are well designed and constructed, you can easily measure out the arc to make sure you're in the exact right place and mark it accordingly. Just don't miss your mark!


True. But it's missing the mark that sticks with me. Even six inches off and that wall could have hit him. Even a graze could do some serious damage. I'd be scared as hell to do that, even in a controlled environment. Keaton was an OG. Edit: He had four inches of clearance.


Keaton is a boss, but that particular stunt while visually impressive is one of his safer ones! Hitting the mark is a lot easier in black and white, you can hide a paint mark on the ground much easier (well, before the advent of cgi anyway)


Just did a little more digging. He used a nail to mark his position. He only had two inches of clearance on either side.


Wow, that’s insane! And with only 1 inch of clearance.


Incredible! No room for error! The window was an exact fit


Somehow he survived even though his body couldn't even fit through the window!


Incredible, the wall actually clipped through both his shoulders!


Amazing to think that the window was actually only created by his body punching a hole through a weak spot in the wall as it came down.


Iirc it did actually hit him on the way down, just by his standards it didn't do too much damage when it did.


Didn't it break his arm or something when it hit him?


Guess I was wrong then. Interesting fact. I did not know this.




Yeah look closely at his arm.


[Yes and look how he just toughs it out.](https://youtu.be/FN2SKWSOdGM?t=38) Dude seriously had a high pain tolerance.


It really seems like that stunt would have looked just as good with a 6" wider window.


Except it does hit him and break his arm. He just holds face until the scene is cut.


This one is way more dangerous. Every single step he takes here is a chance to trip, fall, get caught and then be crushed by a train. But not before being gored horrifically on the push bars. Or take a railroad tie to the face. With the house one you just better make sure you're standing on the X before the bell otherwise its gg.


It's nuts. Look at his left foot when he sits back onto the cattle catcher. It's nearly underneath the train.


He notices it too. You see his visage change momentarily when he realizes how close that was.


One of those fun moments where the acting is reality.


>better make sure you're standing on the X * No leaning backwards or forwards. * Arms by your side * Don't bend the knees * Don't even tilt your head * Measure twice mark once


And don't sneeze!




Except the other one actually did hurt him. The house does smack into him and breaks his arm.


Sauce please




In one stunt, he tried to jump from the roof of one building to another building. When he didn't make the jump and fell several stories to the street below, they just rewrote the movie and kept that scene instead.


It was not several stories, there were soft mats to land on just bellow the frame. But they added more stunts and cut it so that it looks like he fell several stories. A lot of these rooftop stunts were filmed on rooftops of varying heights. So while you can see the traffic on the roads a far way down in the background they are not doing the stunts over the street but over an almost as tall building as the ones they are jumping between. It looks impressive but is no more dangerous then doing it on a sound stage.


The cleverness of how his stunts were designed (and this early in cinema) is so impressive.


Jackie Chan said his greatest influence for stunts and cinema was Buster Keaton. I think his body of work reflects this perfectly! Also, The General is amazing and absolutely hilarious. It so holds up to this day.


Wasn't he basically also uninsurable because of that?


I think he survived them all.


All but a couple.


Why does this give me anxiety lol


Because it’s supposed to.


I mean, you aren’t wrong and it worked lol


"Why am I wet?" - VagariTurtle standing in the shower.




That’s dirty. Get in the shower.




Better. Warning, you may get wet.




We threatening a good time up in here?


Edit: never tell a dirty boy what to do, unless it’s get wet in the shower.


Because if it was you or I *at best* we'd probably have lost at least one foot.


That train wouldn't stop at your foot...


Maybe that's why we come installed with two feet?


The "anxiety" is just more energy cuz you're brain thinks what ourselves watching is happening in real time. Trust me you'd want that burst of "anxiety" if you got into a sticky situation :)


Anxiety is like rain. Without some, you’ll die. But too much can really fuck up your life 😕


I'm pretty sure you can say that for everything you need


Such a zoomer comment


I’m actually a millennial but thank you for making me feel younger 🥰


same. my heart was pounding when the second big log thing was in the way


I think you know why


It really shows what a well done stunt is. It’s so simple and invokes terror. Makes all that self aggrandising shit Tom cruise does look like nothing.


Oh come on dude. The guy jumps out of planes and learns to fly helicopters for his movies. I get that he is a scientology nutcase but him doing his own stunts is really great. Just because he acts in modern movies and performs stunts using modern technology and style doesn't take away from it. So what if it is less risky than this guy, that doesn't make it better. A stunt like this won't cut it for a spy action thriller.


Cat let them strap him to the side of an airplane and then took off.




I mean Tom Cruise does some amazing stunts too. This really comes off like a "Back in my day! Get off my lawn!" Type of comment. Keaton would be hanging onto airplanes right now too if he was around, he was a good stunt man.


Cmon like seriously guy. Just because you like this crap doesn’t mean you need to take someone else down a peg to bolster this. Also acting like the stunts Tom cruise does isn’t impressive is fucking delusional.


I have to assume that is very light wood. I'm not belittling the stunt but he picks them up very easily.


Wood was very expensive in those days, so they used lead, which was cheap.


They just coat the lead in asbestos for texture and then use lead paint for the rich wood colors.


mmm, azbestos


worlds richest man


Search "berkshire hathaway denies asbestos claims" Billionaires aren't good people.


I heard that all the rain you see in old movies is actually mercury


I think you mean asbestos was used for snow in old movies. The “snow” in the Wizard of Oz is asbestos.


Wood hadn’t been invented in 1926. This was most likely graphene.


It was probably a carbon-fiber steel hybrid. Super light.


Wood is very expensive TODAY


If you just steal a tree then it's very cheap


Or touch me in the right spot then it's free.


Sticks are only good for burning


WOOD is cheap PROCESSED wood is expensive


We just sold a felled log 24ft oak for $1700. Even unprocessed isn't cheap.




There's actually a long history of balsawood being used in stunts and movie construction because it's so light. Sam Peckinpah blew up a bridge in Wild Bunch with men and horses on it, but had it made of balsawood so everyone could fall into the river without injury during the shoot. Also, if that had been a real railroad tie, Keaton would have had nightmare splinters from that scene. Edit: someone asked about this a little more below, so... >You can see more detail in this excerpt, but not only was the bridge built of balsawood, but Peckinpah asked for $80,000 to build it, paid Mexican carpenters to build it for $40,000, then pocketed the other $40,000 for himself, literally straight into his own personal bank account: https://books.google.com/books?id=cQ5kDwAAQBAJ&pg=PA276&lpg=PA276&dq=balsa+wood+bridge+peckinpah&source=bl&ots=9GebEYYHrz&sig=ACfU3U3O8d9YhvZO7s7XnLY06xmSxLDXvg&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiGkK3fwJXxAhXDrZ4KHdzgBJoQ6AEwGnoECBsQAw#v=onepage&q=balsa%20wood%20bridge%20peckinpah&f=false


> Keaton would have had nightmare splinters from that scene. Given everything I know about Keatons general self perservance it probably WAS full of splinters...


Doubtful. The stuff ties are coated in will make you never wish you touched it. Shits wicked.


That and some camera trickery makes you think it's more dangerous than it really is. For this stunt, the train was actually driving very slow and they doubled the framerate for playback which is why his movements look so erratic. It's still an awesome stunt, but a lot of his stunts were cleverly made to appear more dangerous than they were. He was as much of a showman as he was a stuntman


I actually thought it was obvious the train was moving very slow? I just figured they had to do it that way back in the day. But if this is sped up, the thing must have been crawling. Doesn't mean this isn't impressive, though.


There is another locomotive scene, in a different movie but similar in concept to this, except that it was actually filmed in reverse. Instead of removing things from the tracks they're actually adding them. The real skill in it was making the reverse motion look proper so that it looked natural when projected the right way forward.


The actual timber 'sleepers' needed to support the rails for years on end would not be cheap. It would be treated pine at a minimum and might even be a two-man lift. You are right that that this wood for the stunt is probably lighter.


On closer inspection that looks like solid wood. The man bust have been a beast.


There’s one shirtless scene of Chaplin in a public pool and he is fucking *jacked*. This is Keaton, but I’m sure he’s just as strong, given some of the stunts he did


[If you say so.](https://i.pinimg.com/originals/35/34/9b/35349b0d086418c8e16d33c822ff20f8.gif)


Compared to 42% of Redditors, it probably is. I made that figure up, feel free to call higher or lower.


Chaplin grew up in abject poverty, most likely including malnutrition. Most of his work was done during the Great Depression. Not many were thinking of becoming Dom Mazzetti.




Long live the legend of Buster Keaton. The general is one of the best slapstick films of all time.


happened to watch it about a week ago, so good. the mortar bit was great.


My favorite is when he’s loading wood into the boiler and she hands him little twigs.. xD


r/SilentmovieGIFs shoutout to one of my favorite little subs for anyone who enjoys these legends


I heard a story about Keaton's stunts in *The General,* I don't know if it's true but is sounds like it could be. The engineer the studio hired to operate the train thought that Keaton's stunts were too dangerous and refused to operate the locomotive. So he had the engineer teach him how to operate the locomotive. Keaton not only did his own stunts for this film, in many of the scenes he was also responsible for the operation of the locomotive while he was doing those stunts.


That’s insanely dangerous


So is 50% of jackass. That's why he has pros teach him and safety teams on standby. Probably a second in the cabin, even if he's not controlling it. Not that getting run over by a train is fun either way. But he's a pro.




Citation Needed did a fantastic episode on him recently. https://pca.st/episode/7a05c2e3-1e83-44a6-9cb4-5ec090ade79a


> safety teams on standby Uhhh, do you really think they had those standards back then? I literally was just listening to something about Pearl White [silent film actress] how her stunt double was killed because he was supposed to leap from the top of a bus onto an elevated girder. He missed the girder and died of a brain injury. Safety standards basically became a requirement after [the twilight zone accident](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twilight_Zone_accident) in 1982.


So there was nobody to stop it in case anything happened to him... Uh oh


To be fair if something happened involving the train it wouldn’t of mattered really. Even at that slow speed it would take some time to slow down and stop and by then the meat crayon would be all used up.


> wouldn't of Wouldn't have.


Meat crayon? It would have crushed him then cut him in half.


I’m sure some bits would get dragged along.


Well he died some time after this stunt so let that serve as a warning


Yeah, life will kill you in the end. That's my understanding anyway


So, having lifted these several times on Airborne Airfield seizure exercises, they each weigh about 200 pounds. This man is a Beast!


Pipe down, boot. Thank you for your cervix


Haha. Touché


Oh shit, you actually have a sense of humor! https://i.imgur.com/9kHTVTs.jpg


No point in living without one. Plus, those days have long passed for this guy.


They’re actually made out of balsa wood!


I presumed these were, was more so making a realization of how they really are.


I've lifted logs similar to this as a teen in "wood gathering" events before camps. Safe to say that it wasn't something you just snatch up with an arched back and then nonchalantly hold with one arm. A complete log of this size would take like 3 of us and smaller ones would be managable solo, but still require some balancing and they definitely couldn't be thrown around like here.


Yeah. These are obviously made out of a wood that is rather porous and light. But it’s pretty comical.


He broke his neck doing the water tower stunt and kept in character / finished the scene


That was Sherlock Jr., but you're correct on the details.


[Here](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HbNnYpxbGTk) is the scene. Timestamp 0:47 is where the neck break happens. According to the youtube description the water came on a lot more forcefully than expected.


Not only that but it looks like he literally runs after that in the scene.. how the fuck?


He didn’t actually know he broke his neck until years later, when he was being X-rated for another injury if I recall correctly, and the doctor asked him when he broke his neck. He realized it must have been from this stunt.


> X-rated for another injury haha. rated X for injury


A “broken neck” has a surprisingly wide range of seriousness and severity


This was a really cool stunt but I’m baffled that some people believe that these are real 200 pound ties as of it’s not a movie and there’s no way they can be lighter weight props. Believe it or not, the glass that’s used for smashing over peoples’ heads isn’t real either.


Also train is moving very very slow


still wouldn't be able to stop if he fell


It's still a train...


One slip and you're still dead.


Buster Keaton used to do this gag where he'd stand by a grand piano and swing one leg up onto it. Then he'd swing the other leg up and fall *smack* onto the floor. This guy asked him how he did it without hurting himself, and he replied "I don't know." i.e. He did hurt himself but it was worth it for the gag.


The trick is not minding that it hurts.


It only took 95 years to reveal that those weren't real railroad ties, only balsa.


[The General](https://youtu.be/YWm587wKKVw) Worth the watch if you haven’t seen it.


I remember being mesmerized the entire time the first time I watched this movie.


What savage colorized Buster Keaton?


One of those incredibly silly AIs that "colorize" things so that they look kind of like a dream where nothing is clear or the same from moment to moment.


Agreed. Fuck off with the colorization. It added absolutely nothing


Worse, it detracts. Respect and admire Keaton's film as a fully-formed artistic product of his time. Not as some primitive work that needs “updating” with ludicrous comic-book tones


"Keep your crayons off my movie." - Buster Keaton after he learned about Ted Turner's colorization project, probably


Buster Keaton, One of the people that inspired Jackie Chan from doing some crazy stunts


What would happen if the beam wasn't dislodged? Is it that easy to make a train derail?


It's really light wood or something painted to look like wood so no. Most likely not.


They don't call the spear-shaped grille thing-y in front of trains a cowcatcher for no reason ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)


It it were balsa wood, probably nothing. However it could inconvenience buster enough to get him dragged under the train.


I'll be glad when this fascination of poorly colorizing old photos and film is over.




Can we cool it with having every image from this era be a lousy AI colorization?


It looks so much better in Black n White


Why is it in color?


Because it's been colourised.


This was filmed in my home town


Shame this is so poorly colorized... [This one is closer to the original](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LaApqL4QjH8).


„Oops, didn’t press record. Yeah sorry john, can you do that one more time?“