8mm Feature: Steamboat Bill Jr.


Steamboat Bill Jr. is a silent film that was released in 1928. Buster Keaton, a comic actor and filmmaker was the star of the film. Although the film was not a box office hit, there were some remarkable scenes that caught the audience’s attention.

image via Film Site

Steamboat Bill Jr. tells the story of William “Bill Jr.” Canfield Jr., a man who is trying his best to follow his father’s footsteps and become a steamboat captain. In the process, Bill Jr. falls in love with the daughter of his father’s rival. The couple then hatches a plan to mend their fathers’ relationship.

image via Mark Schiff

One of the most notable scenes of the movie is the cyclone scene. According to facts, this scene was added on short notice. The original plan was to have a flood but since the devastating Mississippi flood of 1927 had just happened, a cyclone scene replaced the original sequence.

images via Films Muets, Doctor Macro and IFC

Here’s a short clip showing the cyclone sequence from the movie.

Critical reception for the movie varied. Some critics say that this was of Buster Keaton’s best performances, while others described the film as somewhat gloomy. Despite mixed reviews, Steamboat Bill Jr. still made its way in the book 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die. Steamboat Bill Jr. was released on 8mm film on May 12, 1928.

Film Society

written by jeanmendoza on 2011-10-24 #lifestyle #black-and-white #classic #comedy #8mm #steamboat-bill-jr-silent-film #8mm-feature


  1. orteke
    orteke ·

    one of my favorite actors !!

  2. vicuna
    vicuna ·

    I love Buster Keaton!!!

  3. nerpman
    nerpman ·

    One of my favorite silent actors! I have a few of his films on 8mm......Cops, The Balloonatic, The Blacksmith too I think. Lots of fun to watch with the old projectors!

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