Buster Keaton Retrospective
Keaton and Beyond: Cameos; Television
(dir. Alan Schneider w. Samuel Beckett, 1965), 20 mins.
Film is a 1965 short film written by Samuel Beckett, his only screenplay. Beckett’s original choice for the lead – referred to only as “O” – was Charlie Chaplin, but his script never reached him. Both Beckett and the director Alan Schneider were interested in Zero Mostel and Jack MacGowran. However, the former was unavailable and the latter, who accepted at first, became unavailable due to his role in a "Hollywood epic." Beckett then suggested Buster Keaton. Schneider promptly flew to Los Angeles and persuaded Keaton to accept the role along with "a handsome fee for less than three weeks' work." James Karen, who was to have a small part in the film, also encouraged Schneider to contact Keaton.