The General (1926 film)
The General is a 1926 American silent comedy film released by United Artists. It was inspired by the Great Locomotive Chase, a true story of an event that occurred during the American Civil War; the story was adapted from the memoir The Great Locomotive Chase by William Pittenger. The film stars Buster Keaton. At the time of its initial release, The General, an action-adventure-comedy made toward the end of the silent era, was not well received by critics and audiences, resulting in mediocre box office returns; because of its then-huge budget and failure to turn a significant profit, Keaton lost his independence as a filmmaker and was forced into a restrictive deal with MGM. In 1954 the film entered the public domain in the United States because its claimant did not renew its copyright registration in the 28th year after publication; the General has since been reevaluated, is now ranked among the greatest American films made. Western & Atlantic Railroad train engineer Johnnie Gray is in Marietta, Georgia to see one of the two loves of his life, his fiancée Annabelle Lee —the other being his locomotive, The General—when the American Civil War breaks out.
He hurries to be first in line to enlist in the Confederate Army, but is rejected because he is too valuable in his present job. On leaving, he runs into Annabelle's father and brother, who beckon to him to join them in line, but he sadly walks away, giving them the impression that he does not want to enlist. Annabelle coldly informs Johnnie. A year passes, Annabelle receives word that her father has been wounded, she travels north on the W&ARR with The General pulling the train to see him but still wants nothing to do with Johnnie. When the train makes a stop, the passengers detrain for a quick meal; as planned, Union spies led by Captain Anderson use the opportunity to steal the train. Anderson's objective is to burn all the railroad bridges he passes, thus preventing reinforcement and resupply of the Confederate army facing Union General Parker's army. Annabelle becomes an inadvertent prisoner of the raiders. Johnnie gives chase, first on foot by handcar and boneshaker bicycle, before reaching a station in Chattanooga.
He alerts the army detachment there, which boards another train to give chase, with Johnnie manning the locomotive, Texas. However, the flatcars are not hooked up to the engine, the troops are left behind. By the time Johnnie realizes he is alone, it is too late to turn back; the Union agents try a variety of methods to shake their dogged pursuer, including disconnecting their trailing car and dropping railroad ties on the tracks. As the unusual duel continues northward, the Confederate Army of Tennessee is ordered to retreat and the Northern army advances in its wake. Johnnie notices he is surrounded by Union soldiers and the hijackers see that Johnnie is by himself. Johnnie runs into the forest to hide. At nightfall, Johnnie stumbles upon the Northern encampment. Hungry, he climbs through a window to steal some food, but hides underneath the table when some officers enter, he overhears their plan for a surprise attack and that the Rock River Bridge is essential for their supply trains to support the attack.
He sees Annabelle brought in. Johnnie manages to knock out both free Annabelle, they escape into the woods under cover of a rainstorm. The next day and Annabelle find themselves near a railway station, where Union soldiers and equipment are being organized for the attack. Seeing The General, Johnnie devises a plan to warn the South. After sneaking Annabelle onto a boxcar behind The General, Johnnie steals his engine back. Two Union trains, including the Texas, set out after the pair, while the Union attack is launched. In a reversal of the first chase, Johnnie now has to fend off his pursuers, he starts a fire behind The General in the center of the Rock River Bridge to cut off his pursuers and the Union's important supply line. Reaching friendly lines, Johnnie warns the local Confederate commander of the impending attack. Confederate forces rush to defend the bridge. Meanwhile, Annabelle is reunited with her convalescing father; the Texas drives onto the burning bridge. Union soldiers try to ford the river.
Afterward, Johnnie returns to his locomotive to find the Union officer whom he had knocked out earlier in order to escape regaining consciousness. He is spotted by the general leaving the locomotive with him; as a reward for his bravery, he is commissioned a lieutenant and given the captured officer's sword. Returning to The General with Annabelle, he tries to kiss his girl but has to return the salutes of troops walking past. Johnnie uses his left hand to embrace Annabelle while using his right to blindly salute the passing soldiers while he kisses her as the screen fades to black. Buster Keaton as Johnnie Gray Marion Mack as Annabelle Lee Glen Cavender as Union Captain Anderson Jim Farley as General Thatcher Frederick Vroom as a Confederate General Charles Henry Smith as Annabelle's Father Frank Barnes as Annabelle's Brother Joe Keaton as a Union General Mike Donlin as a Union General Tom Nawn as a Union General In early 1926, Keaton's collaborator Clyde Bruckman to
Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. is an American film studio, production company and film distributor, a member of the Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group, a division of Sony Entertainment's Sony Pictures subsidiary of the Japanese multinational conglomerate Sony Corporation. What would become Columbia Pictures, CBC Film Sales Corporation, was founded on June 19, 1918 by Harry Cohn, his brother Jack Cohn, Joe Brandt, it went public two years later. In its early years, it was a minor player in Hollywood, but began to grow in the late 1920s, spurred by a successful association with director Frank Capra. With Capra and others, Columbia became one of the primary homes of the screwball comedy. In the 1930s, Columbia's major contract stars were Cary Grant. In the 1940s, Rita Hayworth became the studio's premier star and propelled their fortunes into the late 1950s. Rosalind Russell, Glenn Ford, William Holden became major stars at the studio, it is one of the leading film studios in the world and is a member of the "Big Five" major American film studios.
It was one of the so-called "Little Three" among the eight major film studios of Hollywood's Golden Age. Today, it has become the world's fifth largest major film studio; the studio was founded on June 19, 1918 as Cohn-Brandt-Cohn Film Sales by brothers Jack and Harry Cohn and Jack's best friend Joe Brandt, released its first feature film in August 1922. Brandt was president of CBC Film Sales, handling sales and distribution from New York along with Jack Cohn, while Harry Cohn ran production in Hollywood; the studio's early productions were low-budget short subjects: "Screen Snapshots", the "Hall Room Boys", the Chaplin imitator Billy West. The start-up CBC leased space in a Poverty Row studio on Hollywood's famously low-rent Gower Street. Among Hollywood's elite, the studio's small-time reputation led some to joke that "CBC" stood for "Corned Beef and Cabbage". Brandt tired of dealing with the Cohn brothers, in 1932 sold his one-third stake to Harry Cohn, who took over as president. In an effort to improve its image, the Cohn brothers renamed the company Columbia Pictures Corporation on January 10, 1924.
Cohn remained head of production as well. He would run one of the longest tenures of any studio chief. In an industry rife with nepotism, Columbia was notorious for having a number of Harry and Jack's relatives in high positions. Humorist Robert Benchley called it the Pine Tree Studio, "because it has so many Cohns". Columbia's product line consisted of moderately budgeted features and short subjects including comedies, sports films, various serials, cartoons. Columbia moved into the production of higher-budget fare joining the second tier of Hollywood studios along with United Artists and Universal. Like United Artists and Universal, Columbia was a horizontally integrated company, it controlled distribution. Helping Columbia's climb was the arrival of Frank Capra. Between 1927 and 1939, Capra pushed Cohn for better material and bigger budgets. A string of hits he directed in the early and mid 1930s solidified Columbia's status as a major studio. In particular, It Happened; until Columbia's existence had depended on theater owners willing to take its films, since as mentioned above it didn't have a theater network of its own.
Other Capra-directed hits followed, including the original version of Lost Horizon, with Ronald Colman, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, which made James Stewart a major star. In 1933, Columbia hired Robert Kalloch to be women's costume designer, he was the first contract costume designer hired by the studio, he established the studio's wardrobe department. Kalloch's employment, in turn, convinced leading actresses that Columbia Pictures intended to invest in their careers. In 1938, the addition of B. B. Kahane as Vice President would produce Charles Vidor's Those High Gray Walls, The Lady in Question, the first joint film of Rita Hayworth and Glenn Ford. Kahane would become the President of Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 1959, until his death a year later. Columbia could not afford to keep a huge roster of contract stars, so Cohn borrowed them from other studios. At Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, the industry's most prestigious studio, Columbia was nicknamed "Siberia", as Louis B. Mayer would use the loan out to Columbia as a way to punish his less-obedient signings.
In the 1930s, Columbia signed Jean Arthur to a long-term contract, after The Whole Town's Talking, Arthur became a major comedy star. Ann Sothern's career was launched when Columbia signed her to a contract in 1936. Cary Grant signed a contract in 1937 and soon after it was altered to a non-exclusive contract shared with RKO. Many theaters relied on westerns to attract big weekend audiences, Columbia always recognized this market, its first cowboy star was Buck Jones, who signed with Columbia in 1930 for a fraction of his former big-studio salary. Over the next two decades Columbia released scores of outdoor adventures with Jones, Tim McCoy, Ken Maynard, Jack Luden, Bob Allen, Russell Hayden, Tex Ritter, Ken Curtis, Gene Autry. Columbia's most popular cowboy was Charles Starrett, who signed with Columbia in 193
W. C. Fields
William Claude Dukenfield, better known as W. C. Fields, was an American comedian, actor and writer. Fields' comic persona was a misanthropic and hard-drinking egotist, who remained a sympathetic character despite his snarling contempt for children, his career in show business began in vaudeville, where he attained international success as a silent juggler. He incorporated comedy into his act and was a featured comedian in the Ziegfeld Follies for several years, he became a star in the Broadway musical comedy Poppy, in which he played a colorful small-time con man. His subsequent stage and film roles were similar scoundrels or henpecked everyman characters. Among his recognizable trademarks were his raspy grandiloquent vocabulary; the characterization he portrayed in films and on radio was so strong it was identified with Fields himself. It was maintained by the publicity departments at Fields' studios and was further established by Robert Lewis Taylor's biography, W. C. Fields, His Follies and Fortunes.
Beginning in 1973, with the publication of Fields' letters and personal notes in grandson Ronald Fields' book W. C. Fields by Himself, it was shown that Fields was married, financially supported their son and loved his grandchildren. Fields was born William Claude Dukenfield in Darby, the oldest child of a working-class family, his father, James Lydon Dukenfield, was from an English family that emigrated from Sheffield, England in 1854. James Dukenfield served in Company M of the 72nd Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment in the American Civil War and was wounded in 1863. Fields' mother, Kate Spangler Felton, was a Protestant of British ancestry; the 1876 Philadelphia City Directory lists James Dukenfield as a clerk. After marrying, he worked as a part-time hotel-keeper. Claude Dukenfield had a volatile relationship with his short-tempered father, he ran away from home beginning at the age of nine to stay with his grandmother or an uncle. His education was sporadic, did not progress beyond grade school.
At age twelve, he worked with his father selling produce from a wagon, until the two had a fight that resulted in Fields running away once again. In 1893, he worked at the Strawbridge and Clothier department store, in an oyster house. Fields embellished stories of his childhood, depicting himself as a runaway who lived by his wits on the streets of Philadelphia from an early age, but his home life seems to have been reasonably happy, he had discovered in himself a facility for juggling, a performance he witnessed at a local theater inspired him to dedicate substantial time to perfecting his juggling. At age 17, he was performing a juggling act at church and theater shows. In 1904 Fields' father visited him for two months in England while he was performing there in music halls. Fields enabled his father to retire, purchased him a summer home, encouraged his parents and siblings to learn to read and write, so they could communicate with him by letter. Inspired by the success of the "Original Tramp Juggler", James Edward Harrigan, Fields adopted a similar costume of scruffy beard and shabby tuxedo and entered vaudeville as a genteel "tramp juggler" in 1898, using the name W. C.
Fields. His family supported his ambitions for the stage and saw him off on the train for his first stage tour. To conceal a stutter, Fields did not speak onstage. In 1900, seeking to distinguish himself from the many "tramp" acts in vaudeville, he changed his costume and makeup, began touring as "The Eccentric Juggler", he manipulated cigar boxes and other objects in what appears to have been a unique and fresh act, parts of which are reproduced in some of his films, notably in The Old Fashioned Way. By the early 1900s, while touring, he was called the world's greatest juggler, he became a headliner in North America and Europe, toured Australia and South Africa in 1903. When Fields played for English-speaking audiences, he found he could get more laughs by adding muttered patter and sarcastic asides to his routines. According to W. Buchanan-Taylor, a performer who saw Fields' performance in an English music hall, Fields would "reprimand a particular ball which had not come to his hand accurately", "mutter weird and unintelligible expletives to his cigar when it missed his mouth".
In 1905 Fields made his Broadway debut in The Ham Tree. His role in the show required him to deliver lines of dialogue, which he had never before done onstage, he said, "I wanted to become a real comedian, there I was and pigeonholed as a comedy juggler." In 1913 he performed on a bill with Sarah Bernhardt first at the New York Palace, in England in a royal performance for George V and Queen Mary. He continued touring in vaudeville until 1915. Beginning in 1915, he appeared on Broadway in Florenz Ziegfeld's Ziegfeld Follies revue, delighting audiences with a wild billiards skit, complete with bizarrely shaped cues and a custom-built table used for a number of hilarious gags and surprising trick shots, his pool game is reproduced, in some of his films, notably in Six of a Kind. The act was a success, Fields starred in the Follies from 1916 to 1922, not as a juggler but as a comedian in ensemble sketches. In addition to multiple editions of the Follies, Fields starred in the Broadway musical comedy Poppy, wherein he perfected his persona as a colorful small-time con man.
His stage costume fr
Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose
"Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose" is the fourth episode of the third season of the American science fiction television series The X-Files. Directed by David Nutter and written by Darin Morgan, the installment serves as a "Monster-of-the-Week" story—a stand-alone plot unconnected to the overarching mythology of The X-Files. Aired by the Fox network on October 13, 1995, "Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose" received a Nielsen rating of 10.2 and was seen by 15.38 million viewers. The episode received critical acclaim, several writers named it among the best in the series; the episode won both an Emmy for Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series as well as an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series. The show centers on FBI special agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully who work on cases linked to the paranormal, called X-Files. Mulder is a believer in the abnormal. In this episode and Scully investigate a series of murders of psychics and fortune tellers; the two are assisted by Clyde Bruckman, an enigmatic and reluctant individual who possesses the ability to foresee how people are going to die.
Morgan wished to write an episode of The X-Files wherein one of the characters commits suicide at the end. Although Morgan was afraid to add humor to his script, he created a compromise by making the episode as dark as possible. Several of the characters' names screenwriters. Notably, the episode features a prediction by Bruckman—that Agent Scully will not die—that is bookended by the sixth season episode "Tithonus." St. Paul, Minnesota: in a store, Clyde Bruckman, a life insurance salesman, purchases a paper and a lottery ticket and leaves. In the street, he bumps into an inconspicuous man, who heads to a gypsy palm reader named Madame Zelma. After seeking his fortune, the inconspicuous man kills her. A few days the eyes and entrails of a tea leaf reader, a doll collector, have been found in her apartment, her body being missing. FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully arrive at the scene of that murder to help the local cops, who have recruited the help of a psychic, the eccentric Stupendous Yappi.
Although the psychic delivers vague clues, the cops are impressed. Meanwhile, after Bruckman takes the trash out for his neighbor, he discovers the body of Madame Zelma outside in his dumpster; when interviewed by Mulder and Scully, he reveals details about the crime that he could not have known from the media accounts, which causes Mulder to believe that Bruckman has psychic ability. Mulder insists that Bruckman join them in a visit to the crime scene at the doll collector's apartment. Thanks to psychically gained information from Bruckman, her body is soon found in a nearby lake. At the police station, Mulder tests Bruckman's ability by having him handle various objects to see what they "tell" him, it becomes apparent that Bruckman's only real psychic talent is an ability to see details of people's deaths. Scully arrives with a key chain bearing the insignia of an investment company that uses astrology to make financial predictions, taken from the doll collector's body - the same key chain was found on two of the other dead fortunetellers.
Bruckman knows that the firm is owned by one Claude Dukenfield, not through a psychic revelation but because he coincidentally sold the man an insurance policy recently. He says that Mulder and Scully will not be able to talk to Dukenfield though, because he has been murdered. Mulder and Scully drive Bruckman to a wooded spot where Bruckman has said they will find Dukenfield's body; as they tromp through the woods, Bruckman explains how he gained his ability following the death of Buddy Holly and The Big Bopper in a plane crash. Bruckman cannot pinpoint the exact spot where the body is, however, so they return to the parked car, where they see a lifeless hand sticking out of the wet mud underneath. Traces of silk fibers are subsequently found on Dukenfield similar to fibers found on previous victims - they are analyzed and found to be from lace. At his home Bruckman has gotten a note from the killer saying he is going to die when they first meet, telling him to say "hi" to the FBI agents; the killer also has some psychic ability - the postmark is dated before Bruckman joined the murder investigation.
Bruckman describes Mulder's death as the killer sees it: getting his throat slit by the killer after stepping in a pie in a kitchen. However Bruckman tells Mulder. Meanwhile, the inconspicuous man consults a tarot card reader, who says that the killer seeks answers from "a man with special wisdom" and that his confusion will soon abruptly end "with the arrival of a woman - a blonde or a brunette a redhead." When there is just one card left unturned, the killer says that it is not meant for him but for the reader, turns it over to reveal the "death" card. Since the killer knows Bruckman's home address, the agents bring him to a hotel where they take turns guarding him. While Scully does not believe in Bruckman's power, the two develop a fast friendship. Scully asks Bruckman, he replies that he can see their end—that they will end up in bed together, in a special moment neither of them will forget. This reinforces her skepticism. Bruckman asks Scully. Scully asks him to t
The Three Stooges
The Three Stooges were an American vaudeville and comedy team active from 1922 until 1970, best known for their 190 short subject films by Columbia Pictures that have been airing on television since 1958. Their hallmark was physical slapstick. Six stooges appeared over the act's run: Moe Howard and Larry Fine were mainstays throughout the ensemble's nearly fifty-year run and the pivotal "third Stooge" was played by Shemp Howard, Curly Howard, Shemp Howard again, Joe Besser, Curly Joe DeRita; the act began in the early 1920s as part of a vaudeville comedy act billed as "Ted Healy and His Stooges", consisting of Healy and Moe Howard. Over time, they were joined by Moe's brother Shemp Howard, Larry Fine; the four appeared in one feature film, Soup to Nuts. He was replaced by his younger brother, Jerome "Curly" Howard, in 1932. Two years after appearing in several movies, the trio left Healy and signed on to appear in their own short-subject comedies for Columbia Pictures, now billed as "The Three Stooges".
From 1934 to 1946, Moe and Curly produced over 90 short films for Columbia. It was during this period. Curly suffered a debilitating stroke in May 1946, Shemp returned, reconstituting the original lineup, until his death of a heart attack on November 22, 1955. Film actor Joe Palma was used as a stand-in to complete four Shemp-era shorts under contract. Columbia contract player Joe Besser joined as the third Stooge for two years, departing in 1958 to nurse his ailing wife after Columbia terminated its shorts division; the studio released all the shorts via Screen Gems, Columbia’s television studio and distribution unit. Screen Gems syndicated the shorts to television, whereupon the Stooges became one of the most popular comedy acts of the early 1960s. Comic actor Joe DeRita became "Curly Joe" in 1958, replacing Besser for a new series of full-length theatrical films. With intense television exposure, the act regained momentum throughout the 1960s as popular kids' fare, until Fine's paralyzing stroke in January 1970.
Fine died in 1975 after a further series of strokes. Attempts were made to revive the Stooges with longtime supporting actor Emil Sitka in Fine's role in 1970, again in 1975, but this attempt was cut short by Moe Howard's death on May 4, 1975; the Three Stooges began in 1922 as part of a raucous vaudeville act called "Ted Healy and His Stooges". Moe Howard joined Healy's act in 1922, his brother Shemp Howard came aboard a few months later. In 1928, violinist-comedian Larry Fine joined the group. In the act, lead comedian Healy would attempt to sing or tell jokes while his noisy assistants would keep "interrupting" him, causing Healy to retaliate with verbal and physical abuse. Ted Healy and His Stooges appeared in their first Hollywood feature film, Soup to Nuts, released by Fox Film Corporation; the film was not a critical success, but the Stooges' performances were singled out as memorable, leading Fox to offer the trio a contract, minus Healy. This enraged Healy, who told studio executives that the Stooges were his employees, the offer was withdrawn.
Howard and Howard learned of the offer and subsequent withdrawal and left Healy to form their own act. The act took off with a tour of the theater circuit. Healy attempted to stop the new act with legal action, claiming that they were using his copyrighted material. There are accounts of Healy threatening to bomb theaters if Howard and Howard performed there, which worried Shemp so much that he left the act. Healy tried to save his act by hiring replacement stooges, but they were inexperienced and not as well-received as their predecessors. Healy reached a new agreement with his former Stooges in 1932, with Moe now acting as business manager, they were booked in a production of Jacob J. Shubert's The Passing Show of 1932. During rehearsals, Healy received a more lucrative offer and found a loophole in his contract allowing him to leave the production. Shemp, fed up with Healy's abrasiveness, decided to quit the act and toured in his own comedy revue for several months, landed at Vitaphone Studios in May 1933, appearing in movie comedies produced in Brooklyn, New York, for the next four years.
With Shemp gone and the two remaining stooges needed a replacement, so Moe suggested his younger brother Jerry Howard. Healy took one look at Jerry, who had long chestnut-red hair and a handlebar mustache, remarked that he did not look like he was funny. Jerry left the room and returned a few moments with his head shaved, quipped "Boy, do I look girly." Healy heard "Curly", the name stuck. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer signed Healy and his Stooges to a movie contract in 1933, they appeared in feature films and short subjects, either together, individually, or with various combinations of actors. The trio was featured beginning with Nertsery Rhymes; the short was one of a few shorts to be made with an early two-strip Technicolor process, including one featuring Curly without Healy or the other Stooges, Roast Beef and Movies. The shorts themselves were built around recycled Technicolor fil
The X-Files is an American science fiction drama television series created by Chris Carter. The original television series aired from September 1993 to May 19, 2002 on Fox; the program spanned nine seasons, with 202 episodes. A short tenth season consisting of six episodes premiered on January 24, 2016, concluded on February 22, 2016. Following the ratings success of this revival, Fox announced in April 2017 that The X-Files would be returning for an eleventh season of ten episodes; the season premiered on January 3, 2018, concluding on March 21, 2018. In addition to the television series, two feature films have been released: The 1998 film The X-Files, which took place as part of the TV series continuity, the stand-alone film The X-Files: I Want to Believe, released in 2008, six years after the original television run had ended; the series revolves around Federal Bureau of Investigation special agents Fox Mulder, Dana Scully who investigate X-Files: marginalized, unsolved cases involving paranormal phenomena.
Mulder believes in the existence of aliens and the paranormal while Scully, a medical doctor and a skeptic, is assigned to make scientific analyses of Mulder's discoveries to debunk his work and thus return him to mainstream cases. Early in the series, both agents become pawns in a larger conflict and come to trust only each other and a few select people; the agents discover an agenda of the government to keep the existence of extraterrestrial life a secret. They develop a close relationship which begins as a platonic friendship, but becomes a romance by the end of the series. In addition to the series-spanning story arc, "monster of the week" episodes form two-thirds of all episodes; the X-Files was inspired by earlier television series which featured elements of suspense and speculative fiction, including The Twilight Zone, Night Gallery, Tales from the Darkside, Twin Peaks, Kolchak: The Night Stalker. When creating the main characters, Carter sought to reverse gender stereotypes by making Mulder a believer and Scully a skeptic.
The first seven seasons featured Anderson equally. In the eighth and ninth seasons, Anderson took precedence. New main characters were introduced: FBI agents John Doggett and Monica Reyes. Mulder and Scully's boss, Assistant Director Walter Skinner became a main character; the first five seasons of The X-Files were filmed and produced in Vancouver, British Columbia, before moving to Los Angeles to accommodate Duchovny. The series returned to Vancouver to film The X-Files: I Want to Believe as well as the tenth and eleventh seasons of the series; the X-Files was a hit for the Fox network and received positive reviews, although its long-term story arc was criticized near the conclusion. Considered a cult series, it turned into a pop culture touchstone that tapped into public mistrust of governments and large institutions and embraced conspiracy theories and spirituality. Both the series itself and lead actors Duchovny and Anderson received multiple awards and nominations, by its conclusion the show was the longest-running science fiction series in U.
S. television history. The series spawned a franchise which includes Millennium and The Lone Gunmen spin-offs, two theatrical films and accompanying merchandise; the X-Files follows personal lives of FBI Special Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully. Mulder is a talented profiler and strong believer in the supernatural, he is adamant about the existence of intelligent extraterrestrial life and its presence on Earth. This set of beliefs earns him the nickname "Spooky Mulder" and an assignment to a little-known department that deals with unsolved cases, known as the X-Files, his belief in the paranormal springs from the claimed abduction of his sister Samantha Mulder by extraterrestrials when Mulder was 12. Her abduction drives Mulder throughout most of the series; because of this, as well as more nebulous desires for vindication and the revelation of truths kept hidden by human authorities, Mulder struggles to maintain objectivity in his investigations. Agent Scully is a foil for Mulder in this regard.
As a medical doctor and natural skeptic, Scully approaches cases with complete detachment when Mulder, despite his considerable training, loses his objectivity. She is partnered with Mulder so that she can debunk Mulder's nonconforming theories supplying logical, scientific explanations for the cases' unexplainable phenomena. Although she is able to offer scientific alternatives to Mulder's deductions, she is able to refute them completely. Over the course of the series, she becomes dissatisfied with her own ability to approach the cases scientifically. After Mulder's abduction at the hands of aliens in the seventh season finale "Requiem", Scully becomes a "reluctant believer" who manages to explain the paranormal with science. Various episodes deal with the relationship between Mulder and Scully platonic, but that develops romantically. Mulder and Scully are joined by John Doggett and Monica Reyes late in the series, after Mulder is abducted. Doggett replaces him as Scully's partner and helps her search for him involving Reyes, of whom Doggett had professional knowledge.
The initial run of The X-Files ends when Mulder is secretly subjected to a military tribunal for breaking into a top secret military facility and viewing plans for alien invasion and colonization of Earth. He is found guilty, but he escapes punishment with the help of the other agents and he and Scully become fugitives; as the show progress
Joseph Frank Keaton, known professionally as Buster Keaton, was an American actor, film director, producer and stunt performer. He was best known for his silent films, in which his trademark was physical comedy with a stoic, deadpan expression which earned him the nickname "The Great Stone Face". Critic Roger Ebert wrote of Keaton's "extraordinary period from 1920 to 1929" when he "worked without interruption" on a series of films that make him "the greatest actor-director in the history of the movies", his career declined afterward with a loss of artistic independence when he was hired by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, his wife divorced him, he descended into alcoholism. He recovered in the 1940s, revived his career to a degree as an honored comic performer for the rest of his life, earning an Academy Honorary Award. Many of Keaton's films from the 1920s remain regarded, such as Sherlock Jr; the General, The Cameraman, with The General viewed as his masterpiece. Among its strongest admirers was Orson Welles, who stated that The General was cinema's highest achievement in comedy, the greatest film made.
Keaton was recognized as the seventh-greatest film director by Entertainment Weekly, the American Film Institute ranked him in 1999 as the 21st greatest male star of classic Hollywood cinema. Keaton was born into a vaudeville family in Piqua, the small town where his mother, Myra Keaton, was when she went into labor, he was named "Joseph" to continue a tradition on his father's side and "Frank" for his maternal grandfather, who disapproved of his parents' union. Keaton changed his middle name to "Francis", his father was Joseph Hallie "Joe" Keaton, who owned a traveling show with Harry Houdini called the Mohawk Indian Medicine Company, which performed on stage and sold patent medicine on the side. According to a repeated story, which may be apocryphal, Keaton acquired the nickname "Buster" at about 18 months of age. Keaton told interviewer Fletcher Markle that Houdini was present one day when the young Keaton took a tumble down a long flight of stairs without injury. After the infant sat up and shook off his experience, Houdini remarked, "That was a real buster!"
According to Keaton, in those days, the word "buster" was used to refer to a spill or a fall that had the potential to produce injury. After this, Keaton's father began to use the nickname to refer to the youngster. Keaton retold the anecdote over the years, including a 1964 interview with the CBC's Telescope. At the age of three, Keaton began performing with his parents in The Three Keatons, he first appeared on stage in 1899 in Delaware. The act was a comedy sketch. Myra played the saxophone to one side, while Buster performed on center stage; the young Keaton would goad his father by disobeying him, the elder Keaton would respond by throwing him against the scenery, into the orchestra pit, or into the audience. A suitcase handle; the act evolved as Keaton learned to take trick falls safely. This knockabout style of comedy led to accusations of child abuse, arrest. However, Buster Keaton was always able to show the authorities that he had no bruises or broken bones, he was billed as "The Little Boy Who Can't Be Damaged", with the overall act being advertised as "The Roughest Act That Was Ever in the History of the Stage".
Decades Keaton said that he was never hurt by his father and that the falls and physical comedy were a matter of proper technical execution. In 1914, Keaton told the Detroit News: "The secret is in landing limp and breaking the fall with a foot or a hand. It's a knack. I started so young. Several times I'd have been killed. Imitators of our act don't last long, because they can't stand the treatment."Keaton claimed he was having so much fun that he would sometimes begin laughing as his father threw him across the stage. Noticing that this drew fewer laughs from the audience, he adopted his famous deadpan expression whenever he was working; the act ran up against laws banning child performers in vaudeville. According to one biographer, Keaton was made to go to school while performing in New York, but only attended for part of one day. Despite tangles with the law and a disastrous tour of music halls in the United Kingdom, Keaton was a rising star in the theater. Keaton stated that he learned to read and write late, was taught by his mother.
By the time he was 21, his father's alcoholism threatened the reputation of the family act, so Keaton and his mother, left for New York, where Buster Keaton's career swiftly moved from vaudeville to film. Keaton served in the American Expeditionary Forces in France with the United States Army's 40th Infantry Division during World War I, his unit remained intact and was not broken up to provide replacements, as happened to some other late-arriving divisions. During his time in uniform, he suffered an ear infection. In February 1917, Keaton met Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle at the Talmadge Studios in New York City, where Arbuckle was under contract to Joseph M. Schenck. Joe Keaton disapproved of films, Buster had reservations about the medium. During his first meeting with Arbuckle, he asked to borrow one of the cameras to get a feel for how it worked, he dismantled and reassembled it. With this rough understanding of the mechanics of the moving pictures, he returned the next day, camera in