The story is of a humble tintype photographer (an out-of-date profession even in the late ’20s) who falls in love with a young woman who works in a newsreel office. Hoping to win her love, he aspires to be a newsreel cameraman himself. Although his attempts at his new career are bumbling, his determined little character doesn’t give up. With top-drawer slapstick comedy and a beautifully acted love story at its centre, it is one of the best of all-time movie romances with an interesting fact: there is no single kiss.
Keaton plays a street-corner tintype photographer who falls in love with Sally, the receptionist at a newsreel production office. Looking for her attention, he applies for a job shooting on-the-spot news with the only camera he can afford, a totally outmoded, hand-cranked shoebox model. After many shooting mishaps, Keaton’s reels are screened for the office management. His lack of experience with his ancient equipment has resulted in a mess of poetic double exposures. These excellent experimental in-camera special effects are rarely seen outside of the most avant garde experimental films.
THE CAMERAMAN is a key Buster Keaton work. Not only is it full of gags and chases in the brilliant silent film and Keaton manner, it also shows Keaton to comment on the medium of film-making within his film.
Not only silent film but film in general at its best.
One amazing piece of film history and a wonderful related film to The Man with a Movie Camera (Dziga Vertov )
Directed by Edward Sedgwick, Buster Keaton
Produced by Buster Keaton, Lawrence Weingarten (uncredited)
Written by Story: Clyde Bruckman, Lew Lipton
Written by Titles: Joseph W. Farnham
Starring Buster Keaton, Marceline Day, Harold Goodwin
Cinematography Reggie Lanning, Elgin Lessley
Edited by Hugh Wynn
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date September 22, 1928
Running time 67 minutes (8 reels)
Country United States
Language Silent film with English intertitles