In this National Film Board of Canada production, Buster Keaton plays a proper Englishman who, reads in his newspaper of an ad to “Visit Canada”, (cue flashes of Mounties, Eskimos, Logging, Indians, Stampeders, etc.). This convinces him to jump off a bridge into the Thames and presumably walk underwater to Canada. We next see him trudging up out of the surf somewhere in the Maritimes. He stumbles across a Canadian National Railways speeder, takes a seat, then accidentally starts the motor which begins to take him clear across Canada by rail.
See what IMDb has to say about “The Railrodder”
I first came across this short (24 minutes) film when I was a kid living in British
Columbia (West Vancouver) in the late 1960’s. I was watching CBC and this feature
would show up from time to time on our little black and white set. It was fascinating
to watch – trains flashing past, and a quick geography lesson of what Canada looked
like from east to west.
We moved back to the States in 1970 and I sort of forgot about the film. It wasn’t
until the internet came along that I started looking for this movie again. I found a
copy through Ebay, popped it into my DVD player and….WOW…the movie is actually
in COLOR! This was a big surprise as Buster Keaton was more well-known as a B&W
silent film star in the early days of cinema. His most famous silent picture was a
classic 1927 train movie called, The General.
True to form, he said nothing during The Railrodder, but there are sound effects and
music to keep everything rolling along. If you’re a fan of Canadian Railways, or just
trains in general, you will like this 24 minute short.
Buster Keaton blows the whistle as he rolls across Canada on his CN speeder
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