From director Gerald Potterton (Heavy Metal), this short film starring Buster Keaton was one of the last films of Keaton's long career. As "the railrodder" he crosses Canada from east to west on a railway track speeder. True to his genre, the film is full of sight gags as Keaton putt-putts his way to British Columbia. Not a word is spoken throughout, and Keaton is as spry and ingenious at fetching laughs as he was in the days of the silent slapsticks.

A quote from the article "On the Rails"  (From Eighteen Bridges; Stories that Connect)

At one point in the documentary (which itself is a black-and-white tribute to a vanished Canada) the citizens of Rivers, Manitoba gave Keaton the key to their city. A painfully shy man who loathed public appearances, especially when he was the centre of attention, Keaton was nonetheless moved nearly to tears by the gesture. A kilted band had piped him and his wife into the ceremony (O Canada of the kilts and Manitoba mayors handing out keys!), and even this quaint homage humbled the great comedian. The emotion on his famously-stoic face is deeply moving to witness now. He had lived large for a long time, and his life, like The Railrodder, was approaching its terminus. The blend of the comic and tragic, the blend that defines our lives, is writ clearly on the private Keaton’s face as he blinks at the citizens of Rivers, and writ with even greater clarity on the screen Keaton’s back as he stands on the shores of Boundary Bay and gazes westward.


http://www.eighteenbridges.com/story/rails


You Tube Link

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EiqqxyZeDXo

National Film Board Site:

http://www.nfb.ca/film/railrodder/

The Railrodder (VGuide)

http://www.ovguide.com/the-railrodder-9202a8c04000641f800000000478cf0b

Buster Keaton Rides Again (Video link)

http://www.nfb.ca/film/buster_keaton_rides_again/

NFB Blog - The Railrodder

http://blog.nfb.ca/blog/2009/12/11/buster-keaton-rides-the-rails-in-canada/