Metro Pictures Corporation
This 23 minute silent picture stars Buster Keaton who, through a twisted case of mistaken identity, finds himself on the run from the local constabulary. About 5 minutes into this short, we get our first train scene and the railroad gags keep things moving for another six minutes.
Let’s see what, “The Great Stone Face” could do in his heyday with steam locomotives and heavyweight passenger equipment. His most famous picture, another railroad epic, “The General” was still five years in the future.
Keaton stands on the pilot of an unknown locomotive (all RR reporting marks painted out) #1229.
Buster stands in the middle of the street ready to take on the three pursuing officers. At the most propitious moment, Southern Pacific Lines #3244, Class Mk-5 2-8-2 built by Baldwin intervenes. A deflated Buster grabs his coat and saunters out of shot as the observation car races by.
Once more on the run from the cops, Buster heads for the station and boards a departing train. Smugly he salutes, kisses them goodbye and waves his hat at the pursuers.
Except the train isn’t moving. As he looks forward, he realizes the observation car has been cut off. Buster jumps down onto the cinders and takes off after the train with the police officers closer than ever.
In another shot, Buster catches the train and boards the last car with the police in hot pursuit.
Now onboard, the chase continues through the length of the train past the startled onlookers. I just love the interior of that lounge car!
Once through the lead coach, Buster climbs up on the locomotive tender, grabs a switchman’s pole and “pulls the pin” (uncouples the train) from the engine. As the constables bark at him in frustration, Keaton waves a merry goodbye.
In a classic vignette, Buster rides the pilot of steam locomotive #1229 directly into the camera keeping his deadpan expression intact.
Buster stands up, lights a cigarette on the hot boiler of the steamer, and hops down on the ground.
As Buster carefully walks by undetected, the fireman (oil can in hand) notices that they have no train!
On the station platform (notice the baggage cart), Buster tries to get the attention of the chap reading the newspaper…..which shows his picture (the previously-mentioned mistaken identity) as “Dead Shot Dan”, just escaped from the hoosegow. Everyone scatters when they see him coming.
Thus endith the train bits in this movie. If you’d like to view it, The Goat is available on YouTube.com:
Here’s what IMDb has to say about The Goat:
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