[Video] Buster Keaton’s Last Silent Film Was Partially Filmed In Ottawa

The Railrodder is a 1965 short comedy film starring silent film star Buster Keaton in one of his final film roles. It was produced by the National Film Board of Canada. The Railrodder was also Buster Keaton’s final silent film, as the film contains no dialogue and all sound effects are overdubbed (Buster Keaton passed away on February 1st, 1966). It’s essentially a 25-minute comedic travelogue featuring Canada as a backdrop, with scenic views of Nova Scotia, Quebec, Ontario, the Prairies, the Rockies and the West Coast. Some of the cities visited by Buster include Montreal, Vancouver and Ottawa.

The Railrodder was produced primarily for broadcast on the CBC. Afterwards, it was made available on 16 mm to schools, libraries and other interested parties. If you spent anytime in a classroom in the late 1960s and early 70s, this Youtube clip might bring back some memories. Pay close attention to the first 9 minutes of this clip, shot in Ottawa, cira 1965.

The rail tracks that Buster is riding lead to the old Union Station (now the Ottawa Conference Centre), along the Rideau Canal. In the background you can see the Chateau Laurier. Both Canadian National Railways and Canadian Pacific Railway operated regularly scheduled passenger trains through the facility until it ceased operations on July 31st, 1966.

Video source: Youtube, Image source: http://blog.nfb.ca

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