In March of 1922, Buster Keaton released one of the most perfectly constructed of his short comedies, Cops. In the film, he plays a most unlucky furniture mover who has the misfortune to catch an anarchist’s bomb and light his cigarette with it…just in time for it to go off in the middle of a police parade. The bulk of the film is an epic chase — Keaton pursued on foot by an entire police department, a brilliantly choreographed ballet of chase comedy, including a memorable routine on a ladder balanced upon a fence. And plenty of characteristically brilliant toppers and twists. It never stops moving, to the very last frame. For more on the genius of Buster Keaton go here.
For more on silent and slapstick comedy don’t miss my new book: Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, just released by Bear Manor Media, also available from amazon.com etc etc etc
To learn more about show biz history, consult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.