Reel NW

Buster Keaton in the Northwest

Buster Keaton, The General (1926)
Buster Keaton walking along the tracks of Oregon in The General
When you think "Buster Keaton" your mind most likely doesn't go straight to "Pacific Northwest." Fair enough, BUT the screen legend practically book-ended his career right here in our backyard. The most expensive single shot in the history of silent film--the train crash in The General (1926)--was actually filmed in Cottage Grove, Oregon. As a matter of fact, both the Confederate and Union armies were played by 500 extras from the Oregon National Guardsmen. See for yourself here:

Although it was filmed nearly 40 years later, Keaton doesn't miss a beat in the 1965 short film The Railrodder, in which he travels across Canada, passing through Vancouver before (spoiler alert) having his motor car commandeered by a Japanese gentleman walking out of the Pacific Ocean. See this beautiful, humorous tour of Canada here:

The Railrodder from National Film Board of Canada on Vimeo.


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