Flashback
A look back at this day in film history
July 01
October 4, 1895
Baby Buster

Buster Keaton was born on this day in 1895 in Piqua, Kansas, where his mother Myra happened to be while touring with Keaton’s father Joe, the co-owner with Harry Houdini of a traveling show called the Mohawk Indian Medicine Company (they sold medicine on the side, hence the name). Keaton was born Joseph Frank Keaton VI but got the nickname “Buster” at about the age of six months: he fell down a long flight of stairs and when he was seemingly unharmed by the tumble, Houdini declared “That was a buster!” – and it stuck. Being from good ol’ vaudeville stock, it was only a matter of timer before Keaton was lured by the smell of the greasepaint and at the age of three he was performing with his mother and father in The Three Keatons. The act involved Myra playing sax, and Keaton Sr. manhandling cheeky Buster, throwing him around the stage, against scenery and into the orchestra pit; seemingly, he was indestructible. Despite the perception that Keaton was being subjected to child abuse, he later claimed that he loved the pratfalls, which didn’t hurt him because he knew how to fall properly. Keaton, in fact, says he would laugh while being kicked through the air, but noticed that the audience laughed less when he did so. As a result, while still little more than a baby, Keaton realized he had to put on a poker face, and so the trademark of a comedy genius came into being.


More Flashbacks
Thea Von Harbou July 1, 1954
Thea Von Harbou dies

In 1954, after attending a special screening at the recently founded Berlin Film Festival of her 1921 collaboration with Fritz Lang, The Weary Death, screenwriter Thea Von Harbou slipped and fell.

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July 1, 1925
Farley Granger born

Farley Granger grew up to play sensitive, sometimes nervous characters whose sense of uncertainty seemed to reflect the actor’s own ambivalence.  Granger was born into the American dream at a time of national prosperity: his father owned a successful car dealership in San Jose, and his mother was a doting homemaker.

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30 June 1989
RKO hijacks Ambersons

When your first film is Citizen Kane, now widely acknowledged as the greatest film of all time, then by definition it's all downhill from there.

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1 July 1954
After M, Nothing

In 1954, Thea von Harbou, a woman who for over a decade was one of Germany's most important artists, died quietly and nearly unknown in Berlin.

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