Buster Keaton stars in THE SCRIBE, directed by John Sebert for The Construction Safety Association of Ontario.

The Scribe (1966, John Sebert)

The Scribe isn’t totally silent, but Buster Keaton is throughout. While he’s old (Keaton died soon after the film, an instructional short finished shooting), he and the filmmakers don’t make it obvious. There’s some stunt footage where it’s obviously not Keaton—flying around, hooked on a crane (it’s a construction safety film)—but some where it’s less clear, like the chase sequences. Sure, it’s not really Keaton, but if one just lets him or herself suspend disbelief a little more… it is.

Director Sebert is the one who makes The Scribe such a nice homage to Keaton. There are a lot of references to Keaton films, ones I imagine the construction workers forced to watch The Scribe did not appreciate.

It helps the production values are good. They film on a real construction site, no way around it, but the office bookends aren’t fake looking.

The Scribe’s a fine exercise.



Directed by John Sebert; written by Paul Sutherland and Clifford Braggins; director of photography, Miklós Lente; edited by Kenneth Heeley-Ray; music by Quartet Productions Limited; produced by Ann Heeley-Ray and Kenneth Heeley-Ray; released by the Construction Safety Association of Ontario.

Starring Buster Keaton.


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