Buster Keaton High-Diving Stunt, 1923

In 1921 and again in 1923, Buster Keaton conducted two high-flying stunts that involved a high-dive on a Hollywood back-lot.  The first came in 1921 with the film Hard Luck; the second with a harrowing waterfall scene for Our Hospitality.  The photos below show a view of the set build, stunt, and final product...


The Brunton Studio plunge as it appears in Hard Luck (1921), with the left base of the “T” shaped pool covered over.  Many studios had backlot plunges pool from which they could film water scenes, but only the Brunton Studio had a pool shaped like a “T” instead of a rectangle.  Notice the distinctive background barn appearing in both images.  The aerial view looks east down Melrose Avenue.  The upper right corner shows part of the original Douglas Fairbanks Studio.


A side view of the Our Hospitality waterfall stunt set, built over the “T” shaped plunge at the Brunton Studios on Melrose.  The miniature hillside set standing to the left appears behind Buster during scenes filmed at the brink of the falls (see below), creating the illusion that he was far up off of the ground.  photo Photoplay Productions Ltd.


Buster at the top of the waterfall set and practicing for the stunt – photos Paul Gierucki


A front view of the Our Hospitality waterfall stunt set, looking west. photo Photoplay Productions Ltd.


And here's a final view of the scene from the film...