It’s often said that Buster’s love interest in The Cameraman is so much different from the kind of heroine he had in his pre-MGM films, but I don’t feel that’s the only reason why the romantic plot in TC is so atypical. I think part of it also comes from Keaton’s character, who is much more vulnerable this time around. From the dreariness of his apartment and his lack of any other friend, associate, pet, or passion, you get the feeling like this is a guy who’s quite lonely. I mean Johnny Gray and Rollo Treadway wanted to win the hearts of their lady loves, but you also got the feeling that they were a little more independent and could still have some semblance of contentment without them; they could live without love, but they fought to prove themselves worthy mates regardless. The cameraman seems less tough, more desperate to make sure he won’t have to be alone. It’s part of the reason why the descent into the sand scene is so powerful and moving.
Like does anyone else feel there’s a greater vulnerability in his character in TC?