Buster Keaton's THE NAVIGATOR – Anything But Silent! – Live Organ Accompaniment by Ben Model


Cinema Arts Centre - Cinema 1 Tue, Jan 24, 2023 7:30 PM


Anything But Silent

Tuesday, January 24th at 7:30 PM

Buster Keaton’s


Live Organ Accompaniment by Ben Model

Members $12 | Public $17

Rollo (Buster Keaton) decides to marry his sweetheart Betsy (Kathryn McGuire) and sail to Honolulu. When she rejects him, he decides to go alone but boards the wrong ship, the “Navigator" owned by Betsy's father. Unaware of this, Betsy boards the ship to look for her father. whom spies capture before cutting the ship loose. It drifts out to sea with the two socialites each unaware of there being anyone else on board. Keaton’s 1924 comedy masterpiece about a spoiled rich boy and his sweetheart who are stranded on an abandoned, drifting ocean liner is one the master comedian’s most magical films. As Dave Kehr once noted, “the situation is perfectly suited to Keaton’s natural sense of surrealism–everything is too big, too full, and too much. Keaton and his girlfriend become two innocents lost in a threatening, mechanistic Eden, alone in their oversize world.” The movie came about when Keaton’s art director discovered the 500-foot SS Buford being sold for scrap; in its 33 years of service the ship had ferried troops to the Spanish-American War and carried the deported Emma Goldman to Russia. The classic diving-suit sequence, in which Keaton uses one swordfish to duel with another, was shot in the clear, frigid waters of Lake Tahoe, the star and cameramen punctuating their 15-minute submersions with slugs of whiskey. (USA, 1924, 59 min, b/w, DCP)

Lobby card for Buster Keaton

Still from Buster Keaton

Film poster for THE NAVIGATOR (1924)

Ben Model is one of America’s leading silent film accompanists, and has been playing piano and organ for silent films at the New York MoMA since 1984 and the CAC since 2006. Since March 16th, 2020, Ben has been hosting a weekly live-streamed silent film show from his living room, “The Silent Comedy Watch Party.” Click here to visit Ben's YouTube page!

Silent film accompanist Ben Model