Buster Keaton Rides Again is a 55-minute 1965 documentary film directed by John Spotton and narrated by Michael Kane. The film is a behind-the-scenes documentary shot while Buster Keaton's film The Railrodder (1965), was being produced. Although it is a production documentary, the film is actually longer than The Railrodder, which was only 24 minutes long. Both films were produced by the National Film Board of Canada (NFB). In addition, a French version of Buster Keaton Rides Again, Avec Buster Keaton was released.
Buster Keaton Rides Again combines behind-the-scenes footage during the filming of The Railrodder with a retrospective of Keaton's work including scenes from The Butcher Boy (1917), The Frozen North (1922), Seven Chances (1925), and The General (1927). Keaton and Gerald Potterton, his director on The Railrodder, discussed and occasionally argued over gags in the film with the director concerned about the safety of his star.
During the filming of The Railrodder, Keaton celebrated his 69th birthday. He also had the opportunity to meet fans across Canada.
Filmed concurrently with the production of The Railrodder during the fall of 1964, the NFB documentary was filmed in black-and-white, as opposed to the short film itself, which is in colour. The choice of black-and-white was not only for economic reasons, as the format allowed for an easy integration of the footage from Keaton's earlier films.
Buster Keaton Rides Again was released with The Railrodder. The motivation behind making The Railrodder with Buster Keaton, was that "Critics were rediscovering and wildly praising his great silent comedies of the '20s." Produced primarily as a made-for-television short feature on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), after broadcast, the film was made available on 16 mm to schools, libraries and other interested parties. The film was also made available to film libraries operated by university and provincial authorities.
Buster Keaton Rides Again was submitted to the 1966 Canadian Film Awards, where John Spotton won Best General Information Award. He also won the CIDALC Award at the 1966 Venice Film Festival. Spotton was also nominated for the Flaherty Documentary Award at the 1967 BAFTA Awards.
Buster Keaton Rides Again went on to be entered in a number of film festivals, winning other prestigious awards, including first prize at the 1967 American Film and Video Festival in the category of Music, Literature and Films (Itinerant).
Buster Keaton Rides Again and The Railrodder are available for free streaming on the National Film Board's website as well as on DVD. In addition, it is also on the NFB's YouTube channel. In Canada, the NFB itself markets the DVD, while Kino Video distributes the film in the United States.