poster poster
STEAMBOAT BILL, JR.

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA
Filming Locations —

Freeport, Sacramento County: The scenes at the River Junction train station were filmed in the little town of Freeport.

Broderick, Yolo County: The rest of the movie was almost entirely at what is now Broderick, just across the Sacramento River from downtown Sacramento.

Sacramento, Sacramento County: Discovery Park, today crossed by Highway 5 just east of the panorama below, is in Sacramento.

I am indebted to Mr. Bengtson for identifying the locations in the pictures below.
Be sure to read his book, Silent Echoes, which goes over locations for
all the Keaton movies.

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This composited panorama faces north where the Sacramento and American Rivers meet.
From left-to-right: the film's fictional River Junction town specially-built on the Sacramento River,
the southern end of what is now Discovery Park, and then the American River.
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A view of the river from the town.
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That water-intake tower in the back-right is still there today.
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All of this town was built from scratch for the film production. About a thousand locals were also used as extras.
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The River Junction train station was filmed at Freeport, a few miles south of Sacramento,
although the station has long since been demolished.
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The tower visible way in the background is located at 926 J Street at 10th Street in the middle of Downtown Sacramento.
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The climax featued the impressive destruction of most of the buildings in a fierce storm.
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This is one of the most famous scenes in all of Buster Keaton's films. Without special-effects, but with precise mathematical calculations, Keaton was standing so that the open window on the falling wall would pass safely through him.

Steamboat Bill, Jr. (1928)
CAST: Buster Keaton, Tom McGuire, Ernest Torrence, Tom Lewis, Marion Byron, Joe Keaton....
WRITER: Carl Harbaugh
PRODUCER: Joseph M. Schenck
DIRECTOR: Buster Keaton, Charles Reisner
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Bert Haines, Devereaux Jennings
EDITOR: Sherman Kell

STEAMBOAT BILL, JR.
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