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Buster Keaton in the Northwest

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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