by Paul E. Gierucki
Patricia Dale Duffy has died. Many of you will remember that Dale worked with Buster Keaton during the 1957 stage production of Merton of the Movies at the Huntington Hartford Theatre in Hollywood. It was Dale who saved the remarkable 16mm "home movie" created by Buster himself for use during the production.
The International Buster Keaton Society, in conjunction with CineMuseum LLC, secured that original film print (which is considered to be the final film over which Keaton had total creative control) in 2015. It has since been digitally restored for future release and the original film print has been donated to the International Buster Keaton Society, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, which is placing the reel with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for long-term preservation.
Thanks to Dale Duffy — who had the foresight to protect this reel for nearly sixty years — we are able to enjoy another great Keaton performance which might otherwise have been lost forever.