KEATON'S FILMS

By Janice Agnello, Heidi Crabtree, and Lisle Foote

A
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The
Allez Oop

Around the World in 80 Days
B
Back Stage
Ballonatic, The
Battling Butler
Beach Blanket Bingo
Bell Boy, The
Blacksmith, The
Blue Blazes
Boat, The
Butcher Boy, The
C
Cameraman, The
Chemist, The
College
Coney Island
Convict 13
Cook, The
Cops
Country Hero, The
D
Daydreams
Ditto
Doughboys
E
E-flat Man, The
Electric House, The
F
Film
Forever and a Day
Free and Easy
Frozen North, The
Funny Thing Happend on the Way to the Forum, A

G
Garage, The
General, The
General Nuisance
Go West
Goat, The
God's Country
Gold Ghost, The
Good Night, Nurse!
Grand Slam Opera


H
Hard Luck
Haunted House
Hayseed, The
Hayseed Romance
High Sign, The

His Ex Marks the Spot

His Wedding Night
Hollywood Cavalcade
Hollywood Revue of 1929
How to Stuff a Wild Bikini
I
In the Good Old Summertime
Invader, The
It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
J-K
Jail Bait
L

Li'l Abner
Limelight

Lovable Cheat, The
Love Nest, The
Love Nest on Wheels, The
M
Mixed Magic
Moderno Barba Azul, El
Mooching Through Georgia
Moonshine
My Wife's Relations

N
Navigator, The
Neighbors
Nothing But Pleasure

O
Oh Doctor!
One Week
One-Run Elmer
Our Hospitatlity
Out West


P
Pajama Party
Paleface, The
Palooka From Paducah
Paradise for Buster
Pardon My Berth Marks
Parlor, Bedroom, and Bath
Passionate Plumber, The
Pest from the West
Playhouse, The
R
Railrodder, The
Roi des Champs-Elysees
Rough House, The
S
San Diego, I Love You
Saphead, The
Scarecrow, The
Scribe, The
Sergeant Deadhead
Seven Chances
Sherlock Jr.
She's Oil Mine
Sidewalks of New York
So You Won't Squawk
Speak Easily
Spite Marriage
Spook Speaks, The
Steamboat Bill, Jr.
Sunset Boulevard
T
Taming of the Snood
Tars and Stripes
Ten Girls Ago
That Night With You
That's the Spirit
Three Ages, The
Three on a Limb
Timid Young Man, The
Triumph of Lester Snapwell, The
V
Villain Still Pursued Her, The

W
War Italian Style
What! No Beer?

Jump to:

If you can identify any of the uncredited participants, please contact Lisle Foote at lifoote@yahoo.com.

Warning: The synopses contain spoliers! But don't worry too much -- our prose can't possibly capture the thrill of seeing Keaton ride through the streets of Los Angeles on the handlebars of a driverless motorcycle, etc.

 

 

Arbuckle/Keaton Silent Shorts

The Butcher Boy
Molasses is viscous stuff

Released: April 23, 1917
Length: Two reels
Presented by: Comique Film Corporation
Distribution: Paramount Pictures
Producer: Joseph M. Schenck
Director: Roscoe Arbuckle
Scenario: Roscoe Arbuckle
Story: Joe Roach
Editor: Herbert Warren
Photography: Frank D. Williams

Cast:
Roscoe Arbuckle: Butcher
Buster Keaton: Customer
Al St. John: Store clerk
Josephine Stevens: Girl
Arthur Earle: Proprietor, girl’s father
Agnes Neilson: Miss Teachem
Joe Bordeau: Accomplice
Luke the Dog: Store assistant

In a general store, Arbuckle does knife tricks as he works as a butcher. St. John and Luke grind pepper with a dog-powered grinder. Miss Teachem, from the girls boarding school, comes in and order Arbuckle about; he glides around the store walls on a rolling ladder. Keaton arrives, pops a coin into his bucket, and asks for some molasses. Arbuckle fills it. Then Keaton tells him that the money is beneath the molasses, so he uses Keaton’s hat as a temporary molasses receptacle. Coin retrieved, Keaton puts his hat on and can’t get it off. Arbuckle pulls it away, but then Keaton’s shoe is stuck in a molasses puddle. After many tries, Arbuckle dissolves the sticky stuff with hot water, then loosens him with a kick. Keaton crashes into the proprietor, who tells him to get out.

Arbuckle and Stevens spoon, and she asks him about marriage. His rival, St. John, sees them kiss. A flour war commences. Keaton comes back, and hostilities escalate to pies. It’s a mess. The manager decides to send his daughter off to Miss Teachem’s boarding school.

At school, Stevens isn’t allowed to receive Arbuckle’s letter. She cries outside. Arbuckle, dressed as a schoolgirl, comes with Luke to rescue her. While Luke waits, Miss Teachem registers Arbuckle as Stevens’ cousin, Saccharine. St. John arrives with a similar plan; his helpers are Keaton and Bordeau. They wait in the cold while St. John, Arbuckle, and the girls go in to dinner. Despite his dress, St. John snorts while he slurps his soup, and Arbuckle’s manners aren’t much better. Later, Miss Teachem assigns Stevens, Arbuckle, and St. John to one room. Stevens leaves to put on her pajamas, and the fight begins. Miss Teachem intervenes and spanks Arbuckle. St. John calls in Keaton and Bordeau, and Luke joins them. They try to kidnap Stevens, but Luke keeps the three men from escaping. Miss Teachem catches them, and holding them at gunpoint, calls the police. Arbuckle and Stevens get out and find themselves by the Reverend Henry Smith’s house. They decide they might as well get married. – Lisle Foote

The Rough House
Roscoe teaches Chaplin how to make rolls dance

Released: June 25, 1917
Length: Two reels
Presented by: Comique Film Corporation
Distribution: Paramount Pictures
Producer: Joseph M. Schenck
Director: Roscoe Arbuckle
Scenario: Roscoe Arbuckle
Story: Joe Roach
Editor: Herbert Warren
Photography: Frank D. Williams

Cast:
Roscoe Arbuckle: Mr. Rough
Buster Keaton: Gardner/delivery boy/cop
Al St. John: Butler/cop
Alice Lake: Maid
Agnes Neilson: Mother-in-law
Glen Cavender: Cop

Knockabout slapstick breaks out constantly in Mr. Rough’s house. The film begins with a fire in Arbuckle’s bedroom. After musing that somebody ought to do something, he tries to extinguish it with a few teacups full of water. When his wife and mother-in-law learn of the blaze, they scream and alert the unhelpful help (Lake and St. John). All run into the bedroom where Keaton, the gardner, wets down the blaze and the cast.

Later, at breakfast, Arbuckle makes the rolls dance to Lake’s delight and Neilson’s disgust. His wife and mother-in-law leave. Keaton, the delivery boy, arrives and falls down several times. When St. John pulls a mop out from under him, Keaton picks up a knife and the chase begins. After nearly destroying the house, they run outside where a cop nabs them. Mrs. Rough returns to find him examining Lake’s ankle. She throws her out and hands him a broom. Meanwhile, at the police station, the chief decides that he has enough crooks and not enough cops, so he hires Keaton and St. John.

Later, at the Rough house, two dukes arrive for dinner with a detective lurking behind them. Arbuckle, demoted to cook, prepares the dinner. He serves the soup course by wringing it out of a sponge. He’s out of rum, so he uses gasoline to make a flambe. The commotion caused by the fire allows one duke to sneak into the bedroom and steal a pearl necklace. The detective calls the police station. Keaton, St. John, and another cop are sent over hill and dale to the house. The detective gives Arbuckle a gun and they both shoot at the thieves as they run. Eventually, the thieves run into the cops, and the detective finds the pearls on them. – Lisle Foote

His Wedding Night

Released: August 20, 1917
Length: Two reels
Presented by: Comique Film Corporation
Distribution: Paramount Pictures
Producer: Joseph M. Schenck
Director: Roscoe Arbuckle
Scenario: Roscoe Arbuckle
Story: Joe Roach
Editor: Herbert Warren
Photography: George Peters

Cast: Roscoe Arbuckle, Buster Keaton, Al St. John, Alice Mann, Arthur Earle, Jimmy Bryant, Josephine Stevens

This film is not available on DVD.

Oh Doctor!

Released: September 30, 1917
Length: Two reels
Presented by: Comique Film Corporation
Distribution: Paramount Pictures
Producer: Joseph M. Schenck
Director: Roscoe Arbuckle
Scenario: Jean Havez
Editor: Herbert Warren
Photography: George Peters

Cast: Roscoe Arbuckle, Buster Keaton, Al St. John, Alice Mann

 

Coney Island
(aka Fatty at Coney Island)

Roscoe by the beautiful sea.

Released: October 29, 1917
Length: Two reels
Presented by: Comique Film Corporation
Distribution: Paramount Pictures
Producer: Joseph M. Schenck
Director: Roscoe Arbuckle
Scenario: Roscoe Arbuckle
Editor: Herbert Warren
Photography: George Peters

Cast:
Roscoe Arbuckle, Buster Keaton, Al St. John: Wolves
Alice Mann: Their prey
Agnes Neilson: Arbuckle’s wife
Also: Joe Bordeau, Jimmy Bryant

At Coney Island, Keaton and Mann struggle to see the parade. Keaton climbs a pole, but when he applauds a marching band, he falls off. Meanwhile, on the beach, a bored Arbuckle escapes from Neilson by burying himself in the sand. When she goes to look for him, he runs the other direction. She runs into her old friend, St. John, then continues in her search.

On the midway, Arbuckle buys a ticket then walks off, the roll unspooling behind him. Mann asks Keaton to buy her a ticket, but he’s broke. St. John comes along with a wad of cash and he invites her along. They get on a ride. Keaton sneaks on, carried to it in a rubbish barrel. Keaton bumps them and he and St. John fight. The ride made Mann nauseous, so St. John takes her to a bench and goes to buy ice cream. Arbuckle sits next to her. When St. John comes back, Arbuckle intercepts the cones. The fight soon begins, and a cop hauls St. John away. Keaton tries out the strength-tester, but hits Arbuckle with the hammer instead. Keaton enjoys a good laugh, sitting on the machine. Arbuckle bops him on the head, rings the bell, and wins a cigar.

Next, Mann and Arbuckle ride the shoot-the-chutes. They fly out of the boat and into the water. Keaton rescues her then offers to pull Arbuckle out, but Arbuckle pulls him in. In search of dry clothes, Mann and Arbuckle go to the bathhouse to rent swim suits. They can’t find one to fit Arbuckle, so he steals a fat woman’s suit. While they change, Keaton gets hired as a lifeguard. He puts on the dry uniform. Arbuckle, his drag outfit completed by a wig, gets tossed out of the men’s shower then hauled out of the ladies’ lounge by Mann. In the meantime, Neilson visits the police station in her quest for her husband. She bails out St. John. Mann and Arbuckle visit the beach, and they share a bench with Neilson and St. John. Arbuckle thinks his costume will protect him, and St. John flirts shamelessly with him, but his wife sees through it. St. John and Arbuckle start another fight which moves into the water. Mann and Keaton run off. The cops (Kops, really) break up the fight and take them to jail. Sharing a cell, they continue to fight. One by one, cops come in to stop it, but they each get a rap on the head for their trouble. After they exhaust the police force, Arbuckle locks his wife in the cell. Arbuckle and St. John leave together, resolving to cut out women. A passing pretty woman quickly breaks St. John’s resolve, and Arbuckle soon follows suit. – Lisle Foote

A Country Hero

Released: December 10, 1917
Length: Two reels
Presented by: Comique Film Corporation
Distribution: Paramount Pictures
Producer: Joseph M. Schenck
Director: Roscoe Arbuckle
Scenario: Roscoe Arbuckle
Editor: Herbert Warren
Photography: George Peters

Cast: Roscoe Arbuckle, Buster Keaton, Al St. John, Alice Lake, Joe Keaton, Stanley Pembroke

This film is considered lost.

Out West
Early draft of a Western parody.

Released: January 20, 1918
Length: Two reels
Presented by: Comique Film Corporation
Distribution: Paramount Pictures
Producer: Joseph M. Schenck
Director: Roscoe Arbuckle
Scenario: Natalie Talmadge
Editor: Herbert Warren
Photography: George Peters

Cast:
Roscoe Arbuckle: Drifter
Buster Keaton: Saloon keeper
Al St. John: Black-hearted Bill
Alice Lake: Salvation Army worker
Also: Joe Keaton

Saloonkeeper Keaton kills a cheating poker player with his six-shooter, then opens a convenient trap door and rolls the corpse into the basement. Meanwhile, drifter Arbuckle rides on a freight train. Railroad workers chase him to the front of the train. He hops off, waits for the train to pass, and hops back on to the caboose, where he eats their lunch. They soon catch him and throw him off. He wanders through the wilderness, beset by thirst and Indians. Back at the saloon, Black-hearted Bill and his gang rob the customers. Arbuckle bursts in, shooting. He chases off the gang and Keaton hires him as bartender.

Bill comes back and tortures an African–American man by shooting at his feet to make him dance. People laugh. Lake, a Salvation Army worker, tells them that they should be ashamed of themselves and they stop. Arbuckle falls instantly in love. She solicits donations for her cause, and Bill offers a dollar – for a kiss. She refuses, and he grabs her. Arbuckle breaks a bottle over his head, and another. 18 bottles later, he gives up. He takes a feather and tickles Bill; the villain is so incapacitated that they are able to kick him out.

Seeking revenge, Bill comes back and kidnaps Lake. After a shootout, Bill takes her to his cabin. Arbuckle follows them. Lake blinds Bill by tossing her drink in his face and Arbuckle tickles him until Lake can escape. They push the cabin over a cliff. --Lisle Foote

The Bell Boy
Buster learns to take the stairs.

Released: March 18, 1918
Length: Two reels
Presented by: Comique Film Corporation
Distribution: Paramount Pictures
Producer: Joseph M. Schenck
Director: Roscoe Arbuckle
Scenario: Roscoe Arbuckle
Editor: Herbert Warren
Photography: George Peters

Cast:
Roscoe Arbuckle, Buster Keaton: Bell boys
Al St. John: Desk clerk
Alice Lake: Miss Cutie Cuticle
Joe Keaton, Charles Dudley: Guests

Arbuckle and Keaton are bell boys at the Elk’s Head Hotel. Clerk St. John drives guests to the station while the two do the spring cleaning. A Rasputin-like character comes in and after playing some patty-cake goes to the barbershop. Part-time barber Arbuckle transforms him into Ulysses S. Grant, Abraham Lincoln, and Kaiser Wilhelm. St. John comes back with a streetcar full of guests, but Arbuckle and Keaton ignore them all for Miss Cutie Cuticle, the new manicurist. They register her and take her up to her room in the horse-drawn elevator. After hearing complaints about them from the customers, St. John goes up to catch them, but they sneak back to work. Joe Keaton arrives and his top hat receives a variety of abuse. He retaliates with an impressive series of kicks.

Miss Cuticle sets to work in the barbershop. Keaton takes the other guests up in the elevator, but the horse balks and it gets stuck. He sticks his head out to call for help, and it gets stuck, too. After a series of mishaps with the horse, the rope attaching the elevator to him, and a board Arbuckle uses to pry Keaton’s head out, the elevator is freed and Lake lands on top of the elk’s head. Keaton rescues her and gets caught in the antlers himself. Arbuckle and Lake go for a carriage ride, leaving St. John to rescue Keaton.

On Saturday night, the Elk’s Head holds its regular dance. To impress Lake, Arbuckle asks Keaton and St. John to pose as bank robbers, whom he can capture. The two go to the bank, which is being robbed by legitimate robbers. The mayhem begins; Arbuckle soon joins in. The burglars run out and steal the streetcar. The three give chase. On a hill, the horse breaks free and the streetcar rolls backwards past the pursuers. The burglars are subdued and the cops take them away. Arbuckle gets a double reward, and Lake is impressed. – Lisle Foote

Moonshine
Saved by the title cards!

Released: May 13, 1918
Length: Two reels
Presented by: Comique Film Corporation
Distribution: Paramount Pictures
Producer: Joseph M. Schenck
Director: Roscoe Arbuckle
Scenario: Roscoe Arbuckle
Editor: Herbert Warren
Photography: George Peters

Cast:
Roscoe Arbuckle: Chief revenuer
Buster Keaton: Assistant revenuer
Al St. John: Mountain man
Alice Lake: Grew’s daughter
Charles Dudley: Jud Grew
Also: Joe Bordeau

On the perilous peaks of the Virginia hills, Arbuckle and Keaton encounter bootleggers. The moonshiners check their lair, which is concealed behind a bush. The chief bootlegger, Jud Grew, shoots a revenuer. Arbuckle, the chief revenuer, shows up in a car with his lieutenant – Keaton – and a troop of assistants. The assistants hide while Arbuckle and Keaton conduct a search, which they begin by falling off of a bluff. To clean the dirt off of Keaton, Arbuckle dunks him in the river and hangs him up to dry on a tree. Meanwhile, Grew’s daughter tussles first with her would-be-suitor St. John, then with her father. Arbuckle saves Grew and tosses Lake into the river. Because this is only a two-reeler, she falls in love with him immediately. St. John breaks up their embrace with his gun.

Dry, Keaton climbs out of the tree. He overhears the bootleggers at their lair. Arbuckle comes along and Keaton shows it to him. They go in and chug the brew, just to make sure it’s moonshine. The bootleggers catch them. Keaton runs out, but Arbuckle is taken prisoner. They march him to the Grew cabin and lock him in the well-appointed cellar. Later, the bootleggers dress for dinner in tuxedos. Lake serves Arbuckle, and warns him he’s in danger. She supplies a gun. Stealing an idea from The Count of Monte Cristo, he plays dead by covering his face in ketchup and shooting the gun. The bootleggers haul him out and dump him into the river. He floats away and gets out on a bank near Keaton. They extras are at lunch, so they decide to do the explosion scene. The bootleggers recapture Arbuckle, take him back to the cabin, tie him up, and put a can of gunpowder with a lit fuse under him. The cabin blows up, then the film reverses and it reassembles itself. Arbuckle comes out and the bootleggers draw their guns. Keaton mows them down. St. John shoots and misses Arbuckle. Arbuckle bends his gun and shoot St. John around the cabin’s corner. Grew presents Lake to Arbuckle for his bravery, but Arbuckle remembers that he’s already married, so he gives her to Keaton. Arbuckle leaves. – Lisle Foote

Good Night, Nurse!
Roscoe enjoys being a girl

Released: July 6, 1918
Length: Two reels
Presented by: Comique Film Corporation
Distribution: Paramount Pictures
Producer: Joseph M. Schenck
Director: Roscoe Arbuckle
Scenario: Roscoe Arbuckle
Editor: Herbert Warren
Photography: George Peters

Cast:
Roscoe Arbuckle: Alcoholic
Buster Keaton, Al St. John: Doctors
Alice Lake: Patient
Also: Joe Bordeau

On a rainy night, a drunken Arbuckle tries to light a cigarette while standing on a street corner. He unsuccessfully tries using a windblown woman’s umbrella (Keaton in drag) and a fellow drunk’s hat as a windbreak. Finally, he asks an organ grinder and his female companion to play the national anthem. A nearby cop takes off his hat, and Arbuckle is able to use that as a shield from the storm. The cop takes the cigarette and smokes it himself as he strolls away. Arbuckle addresses and stamps the other anti-Prohibitionist and leaves him on a post box. He takes the musical couple home.

Chez Arbuckle, the butler tells Mrs. A. about the No Hope Sanatorium, where they cure alcoholism with an operation. Arbuckle arrives, and his disreputable companions, their music and dancing (as well as their monkey) convince her to send him to No Hope.

The next day, she delivers him to the hospital. Mental patient Lake jumps into his arms, but the attendants drag her away. Doctors St. John and Keaton march him to Room 13, where they undress and examine him. He eats the thermometer. They put him, struggling, onto a gurney and wheel him to surgery. St. John administers a healthy dose of ether and Arbuckle fades out.

He wakes up in his room, happy to find all of his body parts still there. Lake comes in, and they decide to escape. However, after they sneak past Keaton and St. John, she cries and wants to go back. He throws himself into the pool and plays dead at the bottom. She runs back to the hospital and alerts the attendants. Meanwhile, Arbuckle has rigged up a hose to blow bubbles in the pool, which tricks the orderlies into diving in after him. He goes back inside and steals the rotund Price’s nurses uniform. He and Keaton flirt outrageously in the hallway until Price comes back and rips the uniform off of him. He runs outside. In his skivvies, he easily blends in with the runners in the Great Heavyweight Race going past the hospital. He wins and collects the $500 purse. Keaton and St. John catch him, but then he wakes up in the operating room. – Lisle Foote

The Cook
Iron Chef American?

Released: September 15, 1918
Length: Two reels
Presented by: Comique Film Corporation
Distribution: Paramount Pictures
Producer: Joseph M. Schenck
Director: Roscoe Arbuckle
Scenario: Roscoe Arbuckle
Editor: Herbert Warren
Photography: George Peters

Cast:
Roscoe Arbuckle: The Cook
Buster Keaton: The Waiter
Al St. John: The Toughest Guy in the World
Alice Lake: The Cashier
John Rand: The Proprietor
Bobby Dunn: The Dishwasher
Luke the Dog: The Bouncer

In the kitchen of the beachfront Bull Pup Café, Arbuckle shows off his knife skills while Luke assists the dishwasher by licking the plates clean. In the dining room, Keaton’s flirtation with Lake is interrupted by the angry boss who pushes him into the kitchen where Arbuckle nearly chops his head off. Since it’s still attached to his body, Keaton goes about his waiter’s duties. Nearly every order he yells back to the cook comes out of an amazing vat: coffee, ham, milk, and even ice cream. Arbuckle tosses the loaded plates and glasses to Keaton, who catches each nimbly. An exotic dancer entertains the patrons so Keaton and Arbuckle join in; Arbuckle’s tribute to Salome and Cleopatra is a grand success. Then the toughest guy in the world, Al St. John, comes in. He grabs Lake, and the men unsuccessfully fight him. So they call in the expert, and Luke chases him until the next day.

During the lunch break at the Bull Pup, the men display several creative solutions to the problem of eating spaghetti. Luke continues his chase up a ladder, and St. John crashes through the café’s ceiling and bounces on the lunch table. He runs out, and everyone congratulates Luke on his good work.

Next, everyone has a day off so Arbuckle goes fishing and Keaton goes courting. At the beach, Keaton and Lake take a goat cart to Goatland while Arbuckle and Luke pilot their own cart to the water. After a mishap between Arbuckle’s pole and a cop, he wades into the surf and with Luke’s assistance, catches a big fish. Meanwhile, St. John turns up again and chases Lake to the roller coaster. She gets on and he follows in another train. Her train stalls on top of a hill and he comes after her. She dives into the ocean. While Luke goes after St. John, Arbuckle and Keaton rush to the rescue. Hampered by a chained-down life preserve and rope problems, they eventually land in the water to help Lake.

The available print ends there, but according to the original press kit, “while the pest waiter is rescuing his girl with the aid of the cook, the courageous Luke dives into the ocean after the tough guy, chasing him so far out into the ocean that he can’t swim back to shore. It is fitting that after all this action, everything ends happily. “ – Lisle Foote

Back Stage
Always keep a ukulele in your pants

Released: September 1, 1919
Length: Two reels
Presented by: Comique Film Corporation
Distribution: Paramount Pictures
Producer: Joseph M. Schenck
Director: Roscoe Arbuckle
Scenario: Jean Havez and Roscoe Arbuckle
Photography: Elgin Lessley

Cast:
Roscoe Arbuckle: Stage manager
Buster Keaton, Al St. John: Stage hands
Molly Malone: Strongman’s assistant
John Coogan: Novelty dancer
Also: Buddy Post

Arbuckle and Keaton draw on their vaudeville origins in Backstage. They are busy preparing for a show: striking a bedroom set, pasting up a poster (and an interfering child), repairing the floor. A novelty dancer, John Coogan, arrives and demonstrates his act. Arbuckle and Keaton both try to imitate him, but they both end up on the floor. The strongman and his baggage-laden assistant, Molly Malone, arrive. The hands are horrified by his maltreatment of her, but Arbuckle’s first attempts to teach him some manners through a beating fail. Keaton tries a less diplomatic approach with an ax, but the weapon only tickles the behemoth. Finally they electrify a barbell and shock him into unconsciousness. After he wakes up, he and the rest of the troupe walk out. Malone stays and suggests that they put on the show themselves. They shake hands on it.

The show begins with an operetta, “The Falling Reign.” After Malone dances, King Roscoe and Queen Buster perform a sort of pas de deux to the jeers of the novelty dancer. Malone comes back and seduces the King. Enraged with jealousy, Keaton stabs Arbuckle by sliding a knife under his arm. Arbuckle dies melodramatically. They take their bows. The strongman muscles his way into the balcony, and the show continues with “A Snowflake Serenade.” Snow wafts down on the stage as Keaton chauffeurs Arbuckle to a house. Arbuckle begins to play his harmonica, but when they run out of snow, he gives up on the winter scene. Shedding his coat and taking a ukulele out of his pants, he sings to Malone who’s standing at a window in the house. Keaton accidentally knocks down the house. After some set readjustment, Arbuckle kisses Malone. A shot rings out: the strongman fires on Malone. Keaton swings from the stage and drags him down to the stage. The hands try to subdue the man, but it takes a trunk full of weights swung on a rope to knock him out. Later, Arbuckle visits Malone in the hospital. They resume kissing where they left off. – Lisle Foote

The Hayseed
Onions do not improve your voice (or your love life)

Released: October 26, 1919
Length: Two reels
Presented by: Comique Film Corporation
Distribution: Paramount Pictures
Producer: Joseph M. Schenck
Director: Roscoe Arbuckle
Scenario: Jean Havez and Roscoe Arbuckle
Photography: Elgin Lessley

Cast:
Roscoe Arbuckle, Buster Keaton: Store clerks
Molly Malone: Fanny
John Coogan: Cop/rival
Also: Kitty Bradbury, Luke the Dog

Arbuckle and Keaton work in a general store/post office/community center. After they use the mail as missiles against each other, Arbuckle and Luke take the mail wagon on its appointed rounds. After he gives an abandoned empty liquor bottle a decent burial, he stops to flirt with Fanny, his girlfriend. They play hide and seek, but the local constable (Roscoe’s arch-rival) distracts her and Arbuckle and Luke fall asleep in their haystack hiding place. Her father wakes him with a pitchfork.

Back at work, Arbuckle and his boss discuss and insured letter that contains $300. While he’s busy drilling holes in some cheese for a customer who wanted Swiss, the skulking constable steals the money. Keaton sees him and gets several socks in the jaw for pointing out his wrongdoing. Fanny comes in, and inspired by another woman’s engagement ring, asks Arbuckle if he’d buy her a ring like that. For an answer, he sticks her ring finger into a cheese. She joins the hen party and Arbuckle sends an order to a mail order company from an imitation gold ring with a diamond. He fits a pickle into the hole in the cheese, and sends it along for sizing. He also orders a new suit, so Keaton measures his wide circumference.

Later, the constable presents Fanny with a real diamond bought with the stolen money. As he goes out, Arbuckle goes in and puts an even larger “diamond” on her finger. On the street by the store, the constable chats up two women. Keaton dumps water on him from the roof. He responds by throwing boxes up, which knock Keaton onto a ladder. The constable tips the ladder, and Keaton lands in Arbuckle’s moving mail wagon.

That weekend, the store serves as a dance hall. After some acrobatic dancing, the entertainment begins with magic from Buster the Great. Then the constable dances – badly. In the wings, singer Arbuckle’s voice gives out, so Keaton recommends onions to make it strong. Arbuckle munches several, then brings tears to his audience’s eyes with a combination of lachrymose lyrics and onion breath. The constable accuses him of stealing the money and Arbuckle turns to his friends for consolation. Repelled by his halitosis, they turn away -- even Luke. But Keaton reveals the real criminal and Luke chases him down the road. Fanny wants to kiss Arbuckle, but his breath is still stinky. He suggests she have some onions too, to cancel it out. – Lisle Foote

The Garage
(aka Fire Chief)

Filth and fire-fighting

Released: January 11, 1920
Length: Two reels
Presented by: Comique Film Corporation
Distribution: Paramount Pictures
Producer: Joseph M. Schenck
Director: Roscoe Arbuckle
Scenario: Jean Havez and Roscoe Arbuckle
Photography: Elgin Lessley

Cast:
Roscoe Arbuckle, Buster Keaton: Jacks-of-all-trades
Molly Malone: Garage owner’s daughter
Also: Harry McCoy, Daniel Crimmins, Luke the Dog

Arbuckle and Keaton are the town’s only mechanics, cops, firemen, and dogcatchers. While Arbuckle mimes cleaning a car window, Keaton adds some wood alcohol to his lunchtime soda. Back at work, their flying exchange of a wet rag, a custard pie, a pail, and a tire results in a dirty car and the boss in the water tub. When they try to rescue him, they end up in the tub, too. The customer comes for his car, so Keaton and his boss must distract him with dances and tricks while Arbuckle cleans it on a rotating turntable. Another customer demands a cheap rental car. Arbuckle gives him a key, and he drives off. The engine explodes and the car disintegrates around him. He comes back for one with a less excitable engine.

Jim, the village Casanova, comes to visit Molly, the bosses’ daughter. Arbuckle and Keaton manage to coat them both in grease. Molly retires to her bath, and the men clean Jim off with gasoline, then blow him dry on the turntable. Jim still wants revenge, so he hires Luke to impersonate a rabid dog. Luke runs past the garage and Arbuckle and Keaton chase him – until he turns around and chases them. Keaton gets stuck in a fence and Luke chews off his pants. A woman is horrified by the sight of him in his under shorts and she gets a cop. Thinking quickly, he cuts out a kilt from a nearby billboard. The cop refuses to arrest him just for being a Scotsman, but his Highland jig reveals that his kilt has no back and the chase is on. Along comes Arbuckle, and Keaton walks in sync behind him, hiding from the cop. He steals some pants, and in one fluid motion Arbuckle picks him up, he puts the pants on, and they continue on their way.

Meanwhile, upstairs at the garage, Molly is still mad at Jim for the grease incident. He turns to leave, but her father and Arbuckle are coming up the stairs. Fearing being caught, he goes into Arbuckle and Keaton’s room and tries to slide down the fire pole, but he’s blocked by Keaton who’s climbing up. He hides under a bed. Arbuckle and Keaton settle for a nap, and Jim pulls the fire bell. They slide down the pole, put on their police helmets, and run out with the hose cart. Jim tries to escape, but Molly’s dad runs through, slides down the pole, goes out, and padlocks the garage door. Arbuckle and Keaton notice that they have on the wrong helmets, so they run back to the garage, unlock the door, get the right helmets, and run back to their hose cart. Their boss re-locks the door. Jim uses a blowtorch to burn a hole in the door, then tosses it aside. It causes a car to explode, which sets the whole garage on fire. On a hill, Arbuckle and Keaton look for a fire. Their boss comes and tells them that the garage is on fire. They go back, but a leaky hose thwarts their firefighting efforts. Jim calls for help from an upstairs window, and they bring out a stretcher to catch him. Then Molly yells and they move to catch her. Jim leaps and lands on the ground, goofy but not broken. Molly bounces on the stretcher and lands on the power wires. Arbuckle and Keaton climb up and rescue her, and then they drop into Molly’s car. – Lisle Foote

Keaton's Silent Shorts

One Week
Buster builds a house: a cautionary tale
(longer version)

Release Date: September 1, 1920
Length: Two reels
Presented by: Comique Film Corp.
Distribution: Metro Pictures
Producer: Joseph M. Schenck
Director/Script: Buster Keaton and Eddie Cline
Photography: Elgin Lessley

Cast:
Buster Keaton: The Groom
Sybil Seely: The Bride
Joe Roberts: The Piano Deliveryman
Handy Hank: Damfino!

On Monday, newlyweds Keaton and Seeley are given a traditional send off to married life with a pelting of good wishes, rice and old shoes. Keaton's uncle gives them a house (the build it yourself in seven days variety) and a plot of land as a wedding present. Unbeknownst to Keaton, his rival for Seely's affections, Handy Hank, has changed all the numbers on the house's cartons. The lopsided house's construction proceeds as Keaton and Seely tangle with the near disasters of a wildly swinging piano, doors that lead nowhere and a roof that's just a tad to small. While taking a bath, Seely accidentally drops the slippery soap onto the floor. Keaton strategically places his hand over the camera lens while she retrieves the fallen bar, thus saving Seely's decorum.

Friday the thirteenth is housewarming day as friend and foe gather to inspect the new, but humble abode. A sudden rainstorm and a leaky roof send Keaton outside to investigate. The house begins spinning like a top, throwing guests about like rag dolls as a frenzied Keaton tries to climb back inside. One by one, each is flung out of the house and into the rain-swept, muddy yard. The dejected couple then finds out that they've built on the wrong lot.

The next day the dilapidated house is hoisted on barrels as Keaton tries pulling and rolling it to the correct lot with his car. When the house gets caught on the railroad tracks they desperately struggle to free it from the path of an oncoming train. The train narrowly misses the house, much to Keaton and Seely's relief, only to have it demolished by another traveling in the opposite direction. Assessing the damage, Keaton plants a "For Sale" sign in the rubble. Then in an afterthought, he deposits the house directions too, before he and Seely walk off into the sunset. -- Janice Agnello

Convict 13
Buster learns to be careful about which uniform he wears: golfer, prisioner, or guard
(longer version)

Release Date: October 27, 1920
Length: Two reels
Presented by: Comique Film Corp.
Distribution: Metro Pictures
Producer: Joseph M. Schenck
Director/Script: Buster Keaton and Eddie Cline
Photography: Elgin Lessle

Cast:
Buster Keaton: Convict 13
Sybil Seely: The Warden's Daughter
Joe Roberts: The Prisoner Riot Leader
Eddie Cline: The Hangman
Joe Keaton: A Prisoner

On the golf links, amateur duffer Keaton tries impressing the club members and Seely with his golfing prowess. Meanwhile, an escaped convict is lurking around the course eluding the local police. Keaton manages to knock himself out when a ball he's hit ricochets off a building and beans him. The escapee takes advantage of the situation by switching clothes with the unconscious Keaton. Awakening and unaware of his identity change, Keaton continues his golf game until he's confronted by the cops and the chase begins. As he tries to shake them, Keaton locks himself inside a gate that turns out to be the prison yard.

As Convict 13, or, the next man on the hangman's list, Keaton meets up with Seely, the warden's daughter, who pleads in vain with her father to spare his life. The inmates cheer from the sidelines as the hanging is turned into a major sporting event. But, Seely has swapped the hangman's noose and rope for an elastic exercise band from her father's gym, so Keaton's trip to the gallows ends in some rubber necking.

Banished to the rock pile, Keaton accidentally knocks out a guard and quickly trades his prison garb for a uniform. All's well until Officer Keaton meets Prisoner Joe Roberts, who is on a crazed tirade to eliminate all the prison's guards and start a riot precisely at 3 o'clock. Prisoner Roberts takes Seely hostage, but Keaton comes to the rescue by reenacting his vaudeville basketball and elastic rope routine and expertly striking all the rioting men in the yard. As his reward, Keaton becomes the warden's assistant and wins Seely's affections. -- Janice Agnello

Note: Two versions of Convict 13 are available: an English and a French. According to Caroline Abbot, the title card are different in places and the French one has more. Also in the English version, near the very beginning when Buster tries to putt it only shows him missing once, but in the French one he hits the ball left to right to left & eventually gets it in by using the end of his golf stick as a snooker cue. There are other tiny differences too, but another quite big one is just after Joe Roberts' character has just pushed Buster flying out of the room and into the next one, then goes off with the girl. In the English one it goes to the bit where Buster leans on the punchbag which falls off, but in the French one it briefly shows Buster using punchbag as a pillow. Our synopses are based on the English version.

The Scarecrow
Buster leaves Paradise for a questionable future with some female
(longer version)

Release date: November 17, 1920
Length: Two reels
Presented by: Comique Film Corp.
Distribution: Metro Pictures
Producer: Joseph M. Schenck
Director/Script: Buster Keaton and Eddie Cline
Photography: Elgin Lessley

Cast:
Buster Keaton: Farm Hand
Joe Roberts: Farm Hand
Sybil Seely: Farmer's Daughter
Joe Keaton: Farmer
Eddie Cline: Truck Driver
Luke the Dog: Himself

Farm hands Keaton and Roberts live in a quaint, one-room bungalow that's filled with ingenious mechanical gadgets. All the room's furnishings double for something else, such as a bed that becomes an upright piano, a bathtub that converts to a sofa, and a phonograph that transforms into a stove. As Keaton and Roberts sit down to breakfast, salt and pepper shakers and a sugar bowl swing down from the ceiling on pulleys and are passed between them with precision timing.

Keaton and Roberts, romantic rivals, try to outwit each other as they vie for the daughter's affection. The pace accelerates when Keaton is chased by Luke the dog, who has just eaten a cream pie. In his attempt to be rid of the "mad dog," Keaton hides in a haystack only to be drawn up into a mechanical baler and then is spit out sans clothes. The farmer notices Keaton wearing only skivvies and gives chase. Keaton eludes detection by donning a scarecrow's outfit and hanging limply in the corn field. After overhearing Roberts propose marriage to the girl, Keaton lands a few swift kicks on the seats of his rival and the farmer's pants. Keaton's cover is then revealed and the chase resumes.

While running through the beautiful outdoor scenery and crossing a stream on his hands, Keaton loses his shoe. As he kneels to put it back on, the girl appears and assumes he's proposing marriage. Keaton, perplexed and amazed at the sudden turn of events, quickly grabs the girl and jumps on a horse to escape. Going nowhere on the slow animal, Keaton commandeers a motorcycle and side car and speeds down the road in search of a minister. He practically runs into one who happens to be crossing the street. Thinking the minister has come from the sky, Keaton urges him to marry them, which he piously does. It all comes to a splashing end as the motorcycle skids out of control and crashes into the bay. -- Janice Agnello

Neighbors
Buster overcomes fence, family, pants, etc.; gets girl
(longer version)

Release date: December 22, 1920
Length: Two reels
Presented by: Comique Film Corp.
Distribution: Metro Pictures
Producer: Joseph M. Schenck
Director/Script: Buster Keaton and Eddie Cline
Photography: Elgin Lessley

Cast:
Buster Keaton: The Boy
Virginia Fox: The Girl
Joe Roberts: Her Father
Joe Keaton: His Father
Eddie Cline: The Cop
James (or Jack) Duffy: The Judge
The Flying Escalantes: The Boy's Friends

Keaton and Fox are star-crossed, back alley sweethearts living in neighboring tenement buildings. Neither family can tolerate the other, so they feud on either side of the tenement fence. Keaton constantly tries to sneak over the barrier to the girl, only to be thwarted by her father. While attempting to escape his wrath, Keaton performs a fantastic physical feat by going across the yard on a clothesline, into a window, down a staircase banister, out another window, across the yard again on the clothesline, through the window and back into the arms of the girl's father. Keaton is also on the receiving end of some physical abuse from his father as the two recreate routines from their vaudeville act.

The brawling between the families becomes so fierce that they're hauled into court by the police. The judge orders that peace should prevail and that Keaton and Fox be allowed to marry. The nuptial fiasco takes place on Keaton's side of the fence, where invited guests wield bricks and clubs, and Keaton and the minister have a hard time keeping their pants up. Before the "I do's" are said, the girl is ordered back to her room by her father. Keaton, sent to the same fate by his parents, forms a three-man high rescue team to save the girl.

As they scurry across the yard and duck into windows, they finally succeed in plucking Fox from her perch and race down the street. The three-man tower gets lower and lower until Keaton is running with the girl to the minister's house. Falling into an opening in the pavement, they tumble down the coal cellar where the minister is shoveling fuel into the furnace. He promptly marries them, coal dust smudges and all. -- Janice Agnello

Haunted House
Buster wonders which is more frightening: bankers or ghosts?
(longer version)

Release date: February 10, 1921
Length: Two reels
Presented by: Comique Film Corp.
Distribution: Metro Pictures
Producer: Joseph M. Schenck
Director/Script: Buster Keaton and Eddie Cline
Photography: Elgin Lessley

Cast:
Buster Keaton: Bank Teller
Virginia Fox: Bank Director's Daughter
Joe Roberts: Bank Cashier
Eddie Cline: Man whose pants become glued

While Keaton the bank clerk arrives at work, another cashier (Joe Roberts) shows off the chief feature of his counterfeiter's lair: a staircase that converts to a slide. He wants to convince everyone that the building is a haunted house, to conceal his nefarious activities. Back at the bank, Keaton mistakenly dips his fingers in glue and currency is soon stuck everywhere. After an abortive bank robbery, Roberts accuses Keaton of being the robber, but Keaton avoids arrest by hiding in the vault.

That evening, three inept actors in a production of Faust get chased out of their theater by the audience. A posse releases Keaton (his coat had been caught by the vault door on a timer) and he escapes, running to the haunted house. Inside he's tormented by ghosts, Faust players, the stairway slide, skeletons, a bat, and death himself. Eventually he sees two half-costumed ghosts having a snort, and he realizes that they are of this world. When Roberts holds the bank president, sheriff, and assistants at gunpoint, a ghost grabs the gun and reveals himself to be Keaton. Angry, Roberts bops him on the head. Keaton climbs a stairway to heaven, only to be refused entry by Saint Peter. He slides down to hell, where the devil has been expecting him. The banker's daughter wakes him up, and they embrace. -- Lisle Foote

Hard Luck
Guns aren't lawful, nooses give
Gas smells awful, your might as well hunt armadillo, fox, and Lizard Lip Luke

(longer version)

Release date: March 16, 1921
Length: Two reels
Presented by: Comique Film Corp.
Distribution: Metro Pictures
Producer: Joseph M. Schenck
Director/Script: Buster Keaton and Eddie Cline
Photography: Elgin Lessley

Cast:
Buster Keaton: Unlucky man
Virginia Fox: Fox hunter
Joe Roberts: Lizard Lip Luke

Down on his luck, Keaton tries to commit suicide in various ways: by lying down in front of a streetcar, running under a falling safe, hanging, and poison. But the streetcar reverses, he can't get under the safe fast enough, the hanging tree bough bends, and the poison turns out to be whiskey. Buoyed up by the booze, he agrees to capture an armadillo for the zoo, for which he is handsomely rewarded.

After an unsuccessful stint of fishing, Keaton finds a country club instead of an armadillo. He helps Fox get on her horse and she invites him on a fox hunt. After elastic stirrup difficulties with his horse, he can't find the hunt. His search culminates in lassoing a bear instead of his steed. He runs away and somersaults into the clubhouse where the fox hunters are relaxing. They're soon joined by Lizard Lip Luke (Joe Roberts) and his gang, who want to relieve the members of their belongings and Miss Fox of her virtue. Keaton saves all with a fusillade of bullets fired from the stove. Spurned by the already married Fox, he decides to take a high dive. He misses the pool and creates a seemingly bottomless pit. Years later, he returns with his Chinese wife and children. — Lisle Foote

The High Sign
Buster meets Buzzards
(longer version)

Release date: April 12, 1921
Length: Two reels
Presented by: Comique Film Corp.
Distribution: Metro Pictures
Producer: Joseph M. Schenck
Director/Script: Buster Keaton and Eddie Cline
Photography: Elgin Lessley

Cast:
Buster Keaton: The Man
Bartine Burkett Zane: Miss Nickelnurser
Al St. John: Man hit during target practice

Quick to land on his feet after being tossed off of a train, Keaton steals a newspaper and finds a help wanted ad for a shooting gallery attendant. After some unsuccessful target practice, he applies to Tiny Tim for the job. He's hired on the condition that he must shoot well enough to ring the bell every time by Tim's return. Tim visits his gang, the Blinking Buzzards, gaining admission by giving the high sign (thumbs on nose with wiggling fingers spread like wings). They agree to kill August Nicklenurser, who refused to pay protection money.

By cheating, Keaton not only passes the test, he also gets hired as Nicklenurser's bodyguard. Then he gets invited to join the Buzzards, along with an assignment to kill Nicklenurser. August shows his daughter some of the secret wall panels and trap doors he's had installed in his house as escape routes, and Keaton joins them. They decide to fake Nicklenurser's death. The Buzzards are temporarily fooled, but after August comes back to life they chase their victims through every window, door, and secret escape route in the house. Keaton eliminates them all, and he and Miss Nicklenurser embrace. -- Lisle Foote

The Goat
Buster is tormented by the unfathomable universe, gets girl
(longer version)

Release date: July 14, 1921
Length: Two reels
Presented by: Comique Film Corp.
Distribution: Metro Pictures
Producer: Joseph M. Schenck
Director/Script: Buster Keaton and Mal St. Clair
Photography: Elgin Lessley

Cast:
Buster Keaton: The Scapegoat
Joe Roberts: Policeman
Virginia Fox: Policeman's Daughter
Mal St. Clair: 'Dead Shot' Dan
Eddie Cline: Cop by telephone pole

The story opens with Keaton in a bread line. By the time he reaches the window, it is closed for the day. Meanwhile, police haul 'Dead Shot' Dan (Mal St. Clair), a criminal, to a jail photographer. Keaton peeps at this action from a window behind Dan, and inadvertently has his photo snapped instead. Dan escapes, and Keaton, having had several altercations with the police, spots his face on a wanted poster. Keaton had earlier saved Virginia Fox from a ruffian, and knocked the guy unconscious. A man covered with paste staggers by; Keaton sees this all-white person and assumes it is the ghost of the ruffian. He thinks he is wanted for murder.

Soon a plainclothes policeman (Joe Roberts) spots Keaton next to the wanted poster, and a chase ensues. After wreaking havoc in a clinic and ruining a statue, Keaton outwits the cop. Spotting the woman he'd earlier saved, he accepts her invitation to dinner. As the family sits down for soup, Keaton makes eye contact with the woman's father. It is the cop. Father sends the ladies to another room and prepares to take care of Keaton, who escapes by leaping from the table to the cop's shoulders, then out the window over the door. Using the elevator in the building, Keaton and the woman outrun Father, and go off to get married by way of a furniture store. -- Heidi Crabtree

The Playhouse
Buster (x27) meets girl (x4)
(longer version)

Release date: October 6, 1921
Length: Two reels
Presented by: Comique Film Corp.
Distribution: First National
Producer: Joseph M. Schenck
Director/Script: Buster Keaton and Eddie Cline
Photography: Elgin Lessley
Technical Director: Fred Gabourie

Cast:
Buster Keaton: The Whole Show; Assistant Stage Manager
Joe Roberts: Stage Manager, Zouave Guard
Virginia Fox: A Twin

Keaton is the whole show in this Playhouse: audience, musicians, performers, and stagehand. He enters the theater where an all-Keaton band plays. Soon the Keaton minstrels take the stage as the Keatons in the audience watch. Next, two dancing Keatons perform in unison. Keaton, in bed and asleep, applauds them. He's woken from his dream by Joe Roberts, who appears to be reposesing the furniture. The walls slide away, revealing backstage dressing rooms. After the stagehands put away his bedroom suite, he sweeps the floor.

Twin actresses arrive and make him think he's seeing double (he even temporarily swears off alcohol). The audience comes in and the show begins. First Keaton substitutes for an escaped monkey in a trained animal act. Next up are a hastily recruited group of Zouave Guards, who do a set of military maneuvers badly. They're followed by the twins, whose act involves one entering a large tank of water to demonstrate how long she can hold her breath. Meanwhile, in retribution for being knocked out with an ax during a beard fire crisis, Roberts chases Keaton. After Keaton locks him in the monkey cage, the twin in the tank gets caught and he breaks the tank, flooding the theater. He and a twin escape to a justice of the peace; first with the wrong girl, then with the right one. -- Lisle Foote

The Boat
Boat meets Buster; traumatizes his house, car, and family; sinks
(longer version)

Release date: November 1921
Length: Two reels
Presented by: Comique Film Corp.
Distribution: First National
Producer: Joseph M. Schenck
Director/Script: Buster Keaton and Eddie Cline
Photography: Elgin Lessley
Technical Director: Fred Gabourie

Cast:
Buster Keaton: Husband
Sybil Seely: Wife
Eddie Cline: Coast Guard radio man

In his garage, Keaton puts the finishing touches on his boat, the Damfino. He attaches the boat trailer to his car, enlarges the garage door opening, and drives off with his family. The vessel knocks down the wall, causing the house to disintegrate. Down at the dock, after the car plunges into the sea, the boat joins it, sliding smoothly underwater.

The Damfino recovers and Keaton demonstrates his method for fitting under low bridges: the mast and smokestack lean back. Distracted, he misses a bridge and everything topples over. He fixes the mess, then joins the family for a disastrous dinner.

That evening a storm comes up. When he radios for help, a Coast Guard thinks that a boat called Damfino can only be a prank. The wind rolls the boat over and over. Finally Keaton puts his family into the lifeboat and bravely goes down with his ship. Then he sensibly joins his kin. The lifeboat leaks and begins to sink, but it quickly touches bottom: they are only a few feet from the shore. As they walk to dry land, his wife asks where they are. He responds with the boat's name. — Lisle Foote

The Paleface
Buster dances with Indians
(longer version)

Release date: January 1922
Length: Two reels
Presented by: Comique Film Corp.
Distribution: First National
Producer: Joseph M. Schenck
Director/Script: Buster Keaton and Eddie Cline
Photography: Elgin Lessley
Technical Director: Fred Gabourie

Cast:
Buster Keaton: The Paleface
Joe Roberts: The Chief

Unbeknownst to a peaceful Indian tribe, a group of oil men plot to steal their land. When they learn of the plan, their chief (Joe Roberts) vows to kill the first white man that comes through their gate. Keaton arrives in search of butterflies. The Indians catch him and prepare to burn him at the stake. He escapes and makes himself a suit of asbestos BVDs, so when he's recaptured the flames don't concern him a bit. The Indians, amazed by his powers, bow before him and allow him to join their tribe.

When they get notice to vacate, the tribe rides to the oil office and do a war dance. One villain escapes and the Indians go after him. Keaton lags behind and the head oil man forces him, at gunpoint, to switch clothes. He becomes the quarry for both his own tribe and a rival tribe. Both groups watch as he crosses a chasm on a dilapidated bridge, then falls into the canyon. He escapes and returns to the Indian village, where his tribe joins him as he discovers the grant deed in the oil man's jacket. As his reward he asks for an Indian squab. They embrace. — Lisle Foote

Cops 
One nice boy. One cruel girl. Ten thousand cops.
(longer verison)

Release Date: March 1922
Length: Two reels
Presented by: Comique Film Corp.
Distribution: First National
Producer: Joseph M. Schenck
Director/Script: Buster Keaton and Eddie Cline
Photography: Elgin Lessley
Technical Director: Fred Gabourie

Cast:
Buster Keaton: The quarry
Virginia Fox: The Mayor's daughter
Joe Roberts: Plainclothes detective
Eddie Cline: Man who buys jacket


Keaton, behind bars, pleads with the mayor's daughter (Virginia Fox). She says she won't marry him until he becomes a big businessman, and she goes back to her mansion. He's on the street, in front of her barred gate. He tries to return a plainclothes detective's (Joe Roberts) wallet; after some abuse he keeps the cash and takes a cab downtown. There a con man offers him a family's possessions, and eager to prove his business prowess, he buys them. The family, thinking that he's the mover, loads their belongings on his newly-purchased cart. After dealing with turn signal problems and a pokey horse, he joins the annual police parade. An anarchist throws a bomb that Keaton uses as a cigarette lighter, the bomb explodes causing the horse to run wild, and the cops start chasing Keaton.

He leads them all over the city, hiding in buildings, a street cleaner's cart, a parked car, and an abandoned trunk (the latter when the man whose belongings he took comes after him). He grabs a passing car and gets whisked away, only to drop off in front of more cops. He see-saws on a ladder over a fence, with cops on both sides, and gets catapulted into Joe Roberts. Finally he runs into the Precinct Office. Armies of cops follow after him. A short cop comes out, locks the door, and throws away the key. It's Keaton. Virginia Fox strolls by and snubs him. He retrieves the key, unlocks the door, and abandons himself to his fate. — Lisle Foote

My Wife's Relations
Buster gets girl . . . and her family
(longer version

Release Date: May 1922
Length: Two reels
Presented by: Comique Film Corp.
Distribution:First National
Producer: Joseph M. Schenck
Director/Script: Buster Keaton and Eddie Cline
Photography: Elgin Lessley
Technical Director: Fred Gabourie

Cast:
Buster Keaton: The Groom
Kate Price: The Bride
Monte Collins: Father
Joe Roberts, Tom Wilson, Harry Madison, Wheezer Dell: Brothers


After a messy taffy-pulling encounter with a postman, Keaton removes a sticky letter from his shoe and puts it in his pocket. The irate postman, whose letters lie everywhere, throws a rock at Keaton, which goes through a courthouse window. Price, a rather matronly woman, thinks that Keaton broke the window, and drags him into the courthouse. The judge, who only speaks Polish, is waiting for a Polish couple to come in to be married. He marries Keaton and Price; they think they are testifying. Once Price discovers she is married to Keaton, she drags him home to meet her father and four brothers. Dinner is a competition for food, which Keaton ultimately wins.

Mistreated from the start, Keaton gets revenge on Price by "accidentally" slapping her and pretending to be asleep. She knocks him unconscious with a vase. The next morning Kate's brother finds the letter in Keaton's pocket. It turns out to be a legal paper informing the recipient of a $100,000.00 inheritance. Suddenly the family is eager to please Keaton, giving him all their money to get a nice place.

They soon live in an expensive aparement, with a vat of illegal beer brewing in the kitchen. Keaton dumps too much yeast in the brew, and the foam takes over the kitchen. Meanwhile, the family discovers that the letter was addressed to someone else and decides to murder him first, then kill him. After a chase up, down, and around the apartment and staircase, Keaton escapes and is seen kicking his feet up on the Reno Limited as it pulls out of the station. --Heidi Crabtree

The Blacksmith
Buster messes with horses and cars
(longer version)

Release Date: July 21, 1922
Length: Two reels
Presented by: Comique Film Corp.
Distribution: First National
Producer: Joseph M. Schenck
Director/Script: Buster Keaton and Mal St. Clair
Photography: Elgin Lessley
Technical Director: Fred Gabourie

Cast:
Buster Keaton: Assistant Blacksmith
Joe Roberts: Blacksmith
Virginia Fox: Girl with a white horse


The Blacksmith begins by illustrating some lines from Longfellow's "Village Blacksmith," except the spreading chestnut tree is a palm and Keaton's brawny muscle is a balloon. While Keaton pounds horseshoes and makes his breakfast, his boss (Joe Roberts) prepares for work. Roberts catches him, and Keaton smashes his eggs on his anvil. He burns both feet on a hot horseshoe and sticks them in the cooling tub. Roberts asks for a hammer and Keaton brings it, but a large magnet over the door picks it up. Another hammer, a wagon wheel, and the sheriff's gun and badge (he comes over to investigate) go up, and Roberts becomes increasingly angry. Keaton pushes it all off on top of the now fighting men, and Roberts gets hauled off to jail.

Customers arrive. First Virginia Fox brings in a white horse for shoes and Keaton acts like a salesman for human. While he works on a car, he dirties the horse with oil. A saddlesore woman describes her problem; Keaton sells her a saddle shock absorber. After the car he's fixing crashes through the floor, a man with a beloved white auto drives in. It emerges worse than the horse did, almost entirely totaled. All of Keaton's newly acquired enemies come after him, so he runs away on a train with Fox. A train goes off its tracks, but it's only a model train that Keaton set up for his baby son. — Lisle Foote

The Frozen North
Buster gets manly, attempting theft, murder, fishing, and adultery
(longer version)

Release date: August 1922
Length: Two reels
Presented by: Buster Keaton Production, Inc.
Distributed by: First National
Producer: Joseph M. Schenck
Director/Script: Buster Keaton and Eddie Cline
Photography: Elgin Lessley
Technical Director: Fred Gabourie

Cast:
Buster Keaton: The Bad Man
Sybil Seely: His Wife
Joe Roberts: The Driver
Bonnie Hill: The Pretty Neighbor
Freeman Wood: Her Husband
Eddie Cline: The Janitor

Keaton emerges from a subway station in the desolate, frozen North and heads straight to a gambling saloon. Deceptively using a cardboard figure of a masked gunman, Keaton attempts to rob the patrons of their winnings. The crowd tosses Keaton out the window when they discover that he is a fraud. Trudging through the snow, Keaton arrives home to find a woman and her lover locked in an embrace. Shocked, distraught and angry, in his best William S. Hart parody, Keaton pulls out a gun and shoots them dead, before realizing that he has the wrong house and the wrong wife!

Finally, in his cabin, Keaton verbally abuses long-suffering wife, Seely. When she's knocked out by a falling vase, he seizes the chance to act on his "Love Thy Neighbor" policy by pursuing his pretty, but unreceptive neighbor. Her annoyed husband takes her on a sledding trip to get away from Keaton. Keaton trails the couple via a dog sled that is driven by Joe Roberts and pulled by a motley crew of "Heinz 57" mutts. But, the pursuit ends abruptly when the pack runs off.

Giving up for a while, Keaton goes to Roberts igloo and is serenaded on the guitar. Keaton then has a disastrous try at ice fishing before he see that his lovely neighbor has returned home. Keaton barges in and strikes a menacing Erich Von Stroheim pose near the door. When her unsuspecting husband returns, a fight ensues and Keaton pulls out a knife. Seely, now conscious, strolls past the cabin window and sees Keaton attacking the man. She aims a gun and shoots Keaton in the back. Wounded, Keaton points a pistol at the husband. Suddenly… asleep in a movie theatre, Keaton is awakened by the janitor who tells him the movie has ended! — Janice Agnello

Daydreams
Buster learns that work stinks
(longer version)

Release Date: November 1922
Length: Two reels
Presented by: Buster Keaton Productions, Inc.
Distribution: First National
Producer: Joseph M. Schenck
Director/Script: Buster Keaton and Eddie Cline
Photography: Elgin Lessley
Technical Director: Fred Gabourie

Cast:
Buster Keaton: The Boy
Renee Adoree: The Girl
Joe Keaton: Her Father
Joe Roberts: A Politician
Eddie Cline: Stage Manager

Keaton writes to his fiancée (Renee Adoree) about his attempts to make good in the city. In his first letter, he tells her he's working in a hospital. She imagines him as a surgeon. He's actually employed at a dog and cat hospital. After an encounter with a skunk, he leaves to clean up on Wall Street. Adoree pictures him as a top-hatted financier. He's a street sweeper, tidying up after horses, dirt trucks, and a political rally held by Joe Roberts. He sets fire to a pile of confetti, and douses the flames and Roberts, who retaliates by dropping him down a flooded manhole.

Keaton next explores his artistic gifts in the theater. She sees him as Hamlet, but he's only a member of a chorus. He upstages the singer with his incompetence and the stage manager tosses him out. A cop takes exception to his short-skirted costume and chases him. At a used clothing store, Keaton lucks into a pair of pants with a wallet in them, but they fall off and the cop continues after him.

His next letter tells how the police follow his every step. She fancies him as an officer, standing among dignitaries. Meanwhile, he runs down a street pursued by hundreds of cops. On streetcars, a fire escape, and a boat the chase continues until he falls into the water. A fisherman hooks him. He ends up mailed back toAdoree, and her father boots him out of the house. — Lisle Foote

The Electric House
Machines don't cause as many problems as engineers do.
(longer version)

Release date: October 1922
Length: Two reels
Presented by: Buster Keaton Productions, Inc.
Distribution: Associated-First National
Producer: Joseph M. Schenck
Director/Script: Buster Keaton and Eddie Cline
Photography: Elgin Lessley
Technical Director: Fred Gabourie

Cast:
Buster Keaton: The Boy
Virginia Fox: The Girl
Joe Roberts: Homeowner

A diploma mix-up at the People's University (P.U.) graduation has Botanist Keaton receiving an Electrical Engineering degree. Roberts hires Keaton to electrify his home while he and his family are on holiday. Upon their return, Keaton proudly demonstrates all the new, electrical innovations. There's a speed controlled escalator, an automatic book selector in the library, a dishwasher (!) that washes and dries, a moveable bathtub, and a hide away bed. Outside, the pool fills and drains with the push of a lever. As the family sits for dinner, Keaton brings the food from the kitchen to the dining room via a toy train set up on the table. But, Keaton accidentally disconnects the track causing the train to derail and spill the entire meal into the lady of the house's lap.

The next day friends arrive to see the electrical home. Meanwhile, the real engineer sneaks into the house to exact his revenge. As he goes to work crossing wires and causing everything to malfunction, Keaton notices the problems and tries to slip away quietly, before he's thrown out. The misfiring gadgets cause the guests to scatter when the dishwasher shoots out dishes, the pool table rack flings balls at Keaton's head, the escalator only runs on high speed, and Fox is caught in the hide away bed. When Keaton checks on the electrical fuse box, he sees the real engineer causing havoc. Keaton tosses metal objects at him sending the shocked engineer out the window and into the swimming pool. Keaton and Roberts collide and end up in the pool too.

Roberts and Fox order Keaton to leave, so he dejectedly ties a rock around his neck and tries to drown himself. Fox has misgivings and drains the pool. Seeing Keaton sitting on the pool's bottom, Roberts quickly fills it back up again. Fox frantically empties it once more, only to find that Keaton is gone. Keaton and the engineer find themselves all washed up and out, under the sign for the "Los Angeles Sewer." — Janice Agnello

The Balloonatic
More fish, more bears, another boat, but a girl worth winning
(longer version)

Release date: January 22, 1923
Length: Two reels
Presented by: Buster Keaton Productions, Inc.
Distribution: Associated-First National
Producer: Joseph M. Schenck
Director/Script: Buster Keaton and Eddie Cline
Photography: Elgin Lessley
Technical Director: Fred Gabourie

Cast:
Buster Keaton: Boy
Phyllis Haver: Girl

Alone in a dark, foreboding room, Keaton lights a match illuminating that he's in the "House of Trouble" at an amusement park. After trying several exits to escape, he falls through a trap door and lands on the sidewalk outside. He is flattened when a rotund girl falling through the trap door lands on him. Next, Keaton opts for a Ye Old Mill boat ride, seating himself with attractive passenger Haver. As the boat emerges from the tunnel, Keaton sports a black eye and crushed porkpie hat, while Haver waits to escape.

Meandering over to a hot air balloon launch, Keaton volunteers to attach a "Good Luck" flag to the balloon's top. Unbeknownst to Keaton, the balloon suddenly takes flight without its pilot. Now high in the sky, Keaton sets up house, doing his laundry and duck hunting for food. He accidentally shoots the balloon and plunges to earth.

Keaton uses the remains of the balloon to make camp near a bucolic stream. Avid outdoorswoman Haver just happens to be camping a few yards away. A comical battle of the sexes erupts as they both exhibit ineptitude in fishing, hunting and, basic survival skills. Haver's frustration at Keaton's lack of bravado ounts, as he fails to come to her rescue time and again. Keaton stares in amazement as Haver wrestles a wild steer to the ground then he runs off in fear of his fellow camper's strength. Haver reveals her admiration for Keaton when he knocks out a bear with the handle of his shotgun, while unintentionally shooting another that is lurking behind him.

Together, they sail downstream in Keaton's canopied canoe, the "Minnie-Tee-Hee," unaware of the upcoming waterfall. The now amorous couple proceeds to float off into the sunset over the waterfall, the balloon having been patched up by Keaton and attached to the canoe. — Janice Agnello

The Love Nest
Call him Ishmael
(longer version)

Release Date: March 1923
Length: Two reels
Presented by: Buster Keaton Productions, In.
Distribution: Associated-First National
Producer: Joseph M. Schenck
Director/Script: Buster Keaton
Photography: Elgin Lessley
Technical Director: Fred Gabourie

Cast:
Buster Keaton: The Sailor
Joe Roberts: The Captain
Virginia Fox: The Girl

Keaton, in a boat, writes a farewell letter to his girl (he won't marry her because she cancelled their engagement). He hands it to someone on the dock and pushes off.

Several days later, a bearded Keaton sees a whaling ship, the Love Nest. The captain (Joe Roberts) has him hauled on board and adds him to the crew as the steward, the incumbent having been thrown overboard for spilling coffee on the captain. Keaton attends to his duties, swabbing the deck, dusting the cabin, and carefully poring coffee, and narrowly escapes the first steward's fate. Another crewmember sights a whale and they man the harpoon gun. Keaton holds the end of the harpoon rope and after it's shot, the whale pulls him overboard. He tows it back and hands the rope to Roberts, who gets yanked off. Keaton declares himself captain, but Roberts returns and frightens the rest of the crew away. He chases Keaton around the boat Buster falls overboard.

That night, Keaton sits on the boat's ladder. He goes back on deck where he finds a lifeboat. He can't lift it over the rail, so he smashes a hole in the Love Nest's hull and waits for it to sink. The next morning he runs into a floating platform and decides to fish from it. It's a navy target and they blow it up. Keaton flies through the air, then wakes up. He's in his boat which is still tied to the dock. — Lisle Foote

Keaton's Silent Features

The Saphead
Spoiled rich boy makes good; Buster finds a prototype

Release date: October 18, 1920
Length: Seven reels
Presented by: John L. Golden and Winchell Smith in conjunction with Marcus Loew
Distributed by: Metro Pictures
Producer: Winchell Smith
Director: Herbert Blanche
Script: June Mathis, based on The New Henrietta by Winchell Smith and Victor Mapes, and The Henrietta, a play by Bronson Howard
Photography: Harold Wenstrom

Cast:
Buster Keaton: Bertie Van Alstyne
William H. Crane: Nicholas Van Alystyne
Irving Cummings: Mark Turner
Carol Holloway: Rose Turner
Beulah Booker: Agnes Gates

Edward Alexander: Watson Flint
Unknown: Jim Hardy
Jeffrey Williams: Hutchins
Edward Jobson: Rev. Murray Hilton
Jack Livingston: Dr. George Wainright
Helen Holt: Henrietta Reynolds
Odette Taylor: Corneila Opdyke
Edward Connelly: Musgrave
Katherine Albert: Hattie
Alfred Hollingsworth: Hathaway
Henry Clauss: valet

The Saphead isn’t really a Keaton film; he only acts in it. It opens in Nicholas Van Alstyne’s office, where his old friend Jim Hardy convinces him to invest in a Western mine, the Henrietta. Meanwhile, his son in law Mark Turner juggles receiving a note from his dying mistress Henrietta Reynolds and a visit from his wife Rose.

That afternoon, Bertie Van Alstyne breakfasts and decides to declare his love to Agnes, Nick’s ward, who is to return from school that evening. He goes to the wrong station to meet her, and he runs into some pals who take him gambling (he’s trying to get a fast reputation to impress the modern girl he thinks Agnes is). The police raid the den, and despite his best efforts to be arrested they let him go. A reporter takes his card.

The next morning, Agnes sees the newspaper story. Bertie’s sister Rose confronts him with it. He explains that he did it out of love for Agnes. She overhears, and the lovers are united. They tell Nick, who says that Bertie must make something of himself before he may marry her. He cuts him off with only one million dollars.

Bertie moves to the Ritz and buys a seat on the Stock Exchange. He and Agnes decide to marry the next Tuesday. The evening arrives and Bertie goes to pick her up but Rose offers to have the ceremony at the Van Alstyne mansion. Midway through, Henrietta’s nurse interrupts with news of her death and a packet of Mark’s letters to give to Mrs. Turner. Mark takes them, accuses Bertie of their authorship, and throws them into the fire. Bertie can do nothing but retreat, crestfallen, to his new Long Island honeymoon cottage.

A few days later, to keep his mind off of Agnes, he visits the Stock Exchange. The regulars welcome him by knocking off his hat repeatedly. Meanwhile, Nick has gone on a yachting vacation and Mark plots to ruin him and enrich himself by driving down the price of the Henrietta mine stock, then buying it for himself. Nick returns unexpectedly and finds the price disastrously low, but it’s too late: the Exchange is to close in ten minutes. Luckily, the family broker Flint sees Bertie on the floor and shows him how to buy the shares. Bertie does so, and saves the day.

Nick’s secretary tells him that Turner was also responsible for Henrietta Reynolds, and Flint tells him that Bertie saved the shares. Police haul Turner away. Nick goes to Bertie’s cottage, they reconcile, and Agnes and the minister are sent for. The next year, Bertie paces in front of a door. A doctor comes out and tells him it is twins. When he hears, Nick does a jig. – Lisle Foote

Three Ages
Keaton’s Colossal Spectacle

Release date: September 24, 1923
Length: Six reels
Presented by: Buster Keaton Productions
Distributed by: Metro Pictures
Producer: Joseph M. Schenck
Directors: Buster Keaton and Eddie Cline
Script: Clyde Bruckman, Jean Havez, and Joseph Mitchell
Photography: Elgin Lessley and William McGann
Technical Director: Fred Gabourie

Cast:
Buster Keaton: The Boy
Margaret Leahy: The Girl
Wallace Beery: The Rival
Joe Roberts: The Girl’s Father
Lillian Lawrence: The Girl’s Mother
Blanche Payson: The Giantess
Horace Morgan: The Emperor

As D.W. Griffith portrayed intolerance over four ages in his 1916 film, Keaton compares love in Three Ages: the Stone Age, the Roman Age, and the Modern Age. It opens with man finding woman. In caveman days, Beauty (Margaret Leahy) is sought by an adventurer (Wallace Beery) and a faithful worshipper (Keaton). Her father selects the stronger Beery, so Keaton visits a fortune teller and learns that she loves only him. In Rome, charioteers Beery and Keaton converge on Leahy’s domicile. Roberts again favors Beery, so Keaton visits a soothsayer to know the future and shoot some dice. In contemporary times, the two suitors drive to her house (Keaton’s car hits a bump and disintegrates) where her mother selects Beery on the basis of his bank balance. Keaton consults a daisy, playing “loves me/loves me not.” She loves him.

Next, man attempts to arouse jealousy. In front of Leahy, Keaton flirts with a woman, but when she stands up she’s a foot taller than he is. She clubs him into the lake. Roman Keaton, his serenade interrupted by Beery dropping an urn on him, seems to succumb to the wiles of a vamp – but he wrestles her instead. Modern Keaton follows Beery and Leahy into a restaurant, where he briefly tries to charm a young lady with a very large boyfriend, drinks spiked water, and falls asleep. With a mash note purportedly from Keaton to the girl, Beery tricks the boyfriend into throwing Keaton out.

Men continue to fight over women. Beery challenges cave-Buster to a club fight, which Keaton wins by wedging a rock in his club. Beery’s friends discover his cheat, and they tie Keaton up to be dragged by a mammoth. Classical Beery challenges Keaton to a chariot race on a snowy day. Keaton wins by using a dog sled. Beery has him tossed into a lion’s den. In 1923, the rivals are on opposing football teams. Although Beery tackles him several times, Keaton scores the winning goal. Beery plants a flask on him, tips a cop off, and right before he’s hauled away, tells him of his impending marriage to Leahy.

Finally, man gets woman. In the Stone Age, Keaton snatches Leahy away from Beery and, after a chase, Keaton catapults himself onto Beery and knocks him out. He drags Leahy away by her hair. In Rome, Beery kidnaps Leahy. Keaton, after winning the lion’s affection with a manicure, saves her, knocking Beery out by removing the roof support columns. In modern times, at the police station Keaton steals Beery’s mug shots: he’s wanted for bigamy and forgery. He escapes over a roof, through a firehouse, and on a fire truck, and right back to the police station. Then he goes to the church where he pays for two taxis. He waits in a pew and pulls Leahy out when she comes up the aisle. While the party chases the first cab, the couple gets away in the second. He shows her Beery’s rap sheet. She kisses him, and he decides to go back to the church.

Has love changed in the three ages? Prehistoric Keaton and Leahy leave their cave, followed by a dozen children. The Roman pair has five kids in tow. The moderns walk out their door with their cute little dog. – Lisle Foote

Our Hospitality
Romeo and Juliet with better gags and no nasty suicides

Release date: November 19, 1923
Length: Seven reels
Presented by: Buster Keaton Productions
Distributed by: Metro Pictures
Producer: Joseph M. Schenck
Directors: Buster Keaton and Jack Blystone
Script: Clyde Bruckman, Jean Havez, and Joseph Mitchell
Photography: Elgin Lessley and Gordon Jennings
Technical Director: Fred Gabourie
Electrician: Denver Harmon
Costumes: Walter Israel

Cast:
Buster Keaton: Willie McKay
Natalie Talmadge: Virginia Canfield
Joe Roberts: Joseph Canfield, the father
Buster (James) Keaton, Jr.: Willie McKay, at age one
Kitty Bradbury: Willie's Aunt Mary
Ralph Bushman: Clayton Canfield
Craig Ward: Lee Canfield
Edward Coxen: John McKay
Jean Dumas: Mrs. John McKay
Monty Collins: The Parson
James Duffy: Sam Gardner
Leonard Clapham: James Canfield
Joseph Keaton: Train Engineer

The feud between the McKay and the Canfield clans goes back to 1810, when John McKay is killed in a gun battle outside his humble cabin, as his wife and baby, Willie, huddle inside. To escape the Canfield's wrath, and save her son, the last McKay namesake, Mrs. McKay takes the boy to New York, where he grows up under his aunt's care, unaware of the terrible legacy. Twenty years later, Willie McKay, now heir to John McKay's Rockville estate, imagines a lovely southern plantation, all dressed up in magnolias. Ready to leave the big city for points south, Willie is told the truth by his aunt, who admonishes him to avoid the Canfield clan.

Boarding the Out of Town Limited, Willie shares the ride with Virginia, who is returning to her southern home. The unpredictable journey on the iron horse takes the passengers over logs, rocks, and bumps, stopping only to eject the occasional hobo, or to right a derailment. Arriving in Rockville, looking the worse for wear, Willie accepts an invitation to dinner from the young lady, who has taken a fancy to him. Willie innocently
seeks direction to his new estate from the young lady's brother, a Canfield, who has come to fetch her from the train. Informing his father and brother that there's a McKay back in town, they set out to exact their long-awaited revenge.

Meanwhile, Willie's dream of a palatial homestead is blown to bits, when the real house turns out to be a rundown shack. Disappointed, he goes fishing at a nearby stream unaware that he is being stalked and shot at by the Canfield brothers. Not wanting to be late for dinner, Willie goes to Virginia’s home and meets her family and a visiting parson. Although the men eye him suspiciously and agree not to kill him while he is under their roof, Willie and Virginia remain oblivious to the plan. Only when Willie overhears the brothers talking about killing him, does he realize that he is in grave danger. After dinner Willie is afraid to leave the house, so he stalls by showing the family some tricks, and then misplacing his hat. A sudden thunderstorm keeps both Willie and the parson there, as overnight guests.

The next day, Virginia is shocked by her father's intention to kill Willie, the last of the McKay's. Willie escapes from the house, but is chased to a very precarious cliff near the river. He grabs at a rope, hoping to be rescued, but on the other end is one of the Canfield brothers. Both tumble into the water, but Willie manages to scramble up the riverbank dodging bullets. By chance, the Out of Town Limited, on its way back to New York, runs over the rope, freeing Willie, who jumps on the train. A sudden derailment sends Willie crashing into the water again, as the rapids sweep him away. Watching from the river's edge, Virginia tries to save him, but her rowboat capsizes and she is also swept downstream.

Saving himself from a watery grave, Willie struggles to tie the rope onto a large log at the waterfall's edge. When the empty rowboat goes over the falls and smashes on the rocks below, Willie notices that Virginia is being carried in the same direction. He heroically swings like a pendulum through the cascading water to grab her as she drifts toward the edge, and deposits her on a rocky perch. The parson, riding by in his buggy, offers to take the exhausted couple back to the girl's home.

The disgruntled Canfield men return home to shockingly discover Willie and Virginia in a passionate embrace. Upon drawing their guns to shoot, the parson steps in and announces that the couple has just been married. Her father glances up at a plaque that says "Love Thy Neighbor" and decides it's finally time to end the feud by laying down their weapons. Willie obliges whole-heartedly by emptying an entire arsenal from his clothing. – Janice Agnello

Sherlock Jr.
Movies are better than real life

Release date: April 21, 1924
Length: Five reels
Presented by: Buster Keaton Productions
Distributed by: Metro Pictures
Producer: Joseph M. Schenck
Director: Buster Keaton
Script: Clyde Bruckman, Jean Havez, and Joseph Mitchell
Photography: Elgin Lessley and Byron Houck
Technical Director: Fred Gabourie
Costumes: Clare West

Cast:
Buster Keaton: The Boy/Sherlock Jr.
Kathryn McGuire: The Girl
Ward Crane: The Villain
Joseph Keaton: The Girls’ Father
Erwin Connelly: Handyman/Thief
Ford West: Theater Manger/Gillette
With: Jane Connelly, George West, John Patrick, Ruth Holley, Horace Morgan

Torn from his How to be a Detective book by his boss, Keaton sweeps out a movie theater. After a break to gaze into a sweet shop and a wrestling match with a sticky piece of paper, he copes with a series of people searching for lost money in the trash pile. Keaton finds none for himself, so he settles for buying a dollar box of candy (the price is easily changed to $4.00) and he pays a call on McGuire. The awkward lovers are interrupted by Crane, who, fresh from stealing and pawning the girl’s father’s watch, presents her with a much bigger box of candy. Father, accompanied by the handyman, discovers that his watch is gone and Keaton takes charge of the case. He starts by searching everybody, but when he himself is searched, the $4.00 pawn ticket is found (placed in his pocket by his rival) and the girl’s father tells him never to come back. He leaves. Undaunted as a detective, he shadows the villian closely to a train platform, where Crane tricks him into a refrigerator car. Keaton escapes through the top and rides a water pipe to the ground, which promptly douses him.

The wet detective goes back to his projectionist job, starting the feature Hearts and Pearls. It involves the theft of a pearl necklace. Meanwhile, McGuire asks the pawnbroker for a description of the man who left the watch and learns the identity of the true thief. Keaton falls asleep as the film unspools; while he dreams the people in his life replace the characters. He joins them onscreen. The film takes him to the house’s front door, a garden, a street, a cliff top, a lion’s den, in front of a train in a desert, the ocean, a snowy forest, back to the garden, and then fades out.

Later, the father discovers that his pearls are missing. He phones the world’s greatest detective, Sherlock Jr. In preparation, the two thieves plan booby traps: and explosive pool ball and a hatchet over a chair. The crime-crushing criminologist arrives, surveys the suspects and the scene, and neatly evades a poisoned drink and the traps.

The next day Sherlock Jr. follows Crane into a building. Tricked into being trapped on the roof, he rides a railroad crossing guard arm down into Crane’s back seat. Crane drives to his hideout and goes in. Sherlock Jr.’s assistant Gillette (ever-ready in a bad scrape) hops off of the back bumper and they examine what he brought along: a woman’s dress packed in a covered hoop. They place it in the window as the criminals look at the pearls. Keaton whistles on the porch and the gang drags him inside, where he learns that the girl was kidnapped. He grabs the pearls and dives out the window into the old lady costume. He meanders away, but one thug notices and gives chase. Joined by another, they corner Keaton in a dead end, but Gillette is there, prepared: Keaton disappears into the display case he’s wearing around his neck. Gillette goes away with a touch of indigestion and the criminals find a revolving panel. Keaton rotates them and latches it. Another gangster chases him and a motorcycle cop pulls him over for speeding. It’s Gillette in disguise, and Keaton hops onto the handlebars. Soon after they set off, Gillette falls off and driverless, Keaton rides through intersections, past dirt-slinging ditch diggers, into a stag party tug-of-war, over an incomplete bridge (two trucks fill in the gap at the last moment), through a downed tree (workers blow it up right before he hits it), beneath a truck, and in front of a speeding train. When he notices Gillette’s absence he crashes, flying into the house where McGuire is held. The gang pulls up and Keaton and McGuire steal their car. After a chase, Keaton vanquishes them with the exploding pool ball. He stops the car but the four wheel breaks halt only the undercarriage; the body scoots into a lake. He returns the pearls to McGuire and the car sinks.

Back in the projection booth Keaton wakes up. McGuire comes in to say they’ve made a terrible mistake. After some clumsiness, Keaton looks to the film on the screen for instruction. He imitates the hand-holding, kisses, and ring giving he sees. However, he doesn't know what to make of the twin babies who populate the final shot. – Lisle Foote

The Navigator
Small boats are for shorts, big boats are for features

Release date: October 13, 1924
Length: Six reels
Presented by: Buster Keaton Productions, Inc.
Distributed by: Metro-Goldwyn
Producer: Joseph M. Schenck
Directors: Buster Keaton and Donald Crisp
Script: Clyde Bruckman, Joseph Mitchell and Jean Havez
Photography: Elgin Lessley and Byron Houck
Electrician: Denver Harmon
Technical Director: Fred Gabourie

Cast:
Buster Keaton: Rollo Treadway
Kathryn McGuire: The Ship Owner's Daughter
Fredrick Vroom: The Ship Owner
The Buford: The Navigator

Upon rising one nice, sunny day, ultra-wealthy Rollo Treadway glances out his mansion window just as a newlywed couple drives by in a car. Rollo decides to get married too, having nothing else to do that particular day. He tells his butler to arrange a honeymoon cruise to Honolulu, and then is driven across the street to propose to his beloved, the Ship Owner's Daughter. When she promptly rejects his proposal, Rollo decides to go to Hawaii alone.

Elsewhere in the city, foreign agents from a small nation purchase the Ship Owner's boat, the Navigator, docked at Pier 12. Scheming enemy spies from yet another small country plan to kidnap the captain and first mate and then set the ship adrift, so it will be destroyed on the rocky shore. Under a cover of darkness, the saboteurs carry out their dirty deed. When the Navigator's former owner returns to retrieve some papers from the ship, he is inadvertently caught up in the kidnap plot. Rollo then mistakenly arrives at Pier 12 instead of Pier 2, boards the empty ship and goes directly to his cabin, unaware of the commotion. The girl, upon hearing her father's screams, hurries onto the boat to look for him, before the spies send the ship to its fate.

The next morning, Rollo realizes that he's alone on the drifting ship. The girl also thinks no one is on board, until she sees a flicked cigarette butt that Rollo has just tossed down to the deck below. Frantically, she calls out to the mysterious person, and Rollo answers her. The pace quickens as they narrowly miss each other while racing around the ship's three decks. She goes to the boiler room below, while he rests on the upper deck's vent pipe. Suddenly, he falls through the pipe to the boiler room below, where the girl is quite astonished to see him. Not missing the chance, Rollo once again asks her to marry him. And, once again, she turns him down.

Their first day at sea turns out to be an adventure in ineptitude, since neither has ever entered a kitchen before. Using cooking utensils and pots made for banquets, and drinking seawater coffee, the discouraged couple soon finds that survival means learning how to adapt. Coping with life on deck is even worse as Rollo and the girl take an unexpected swim in the ocean, and he wrestles with a collapsing deck chair. Nightfall brings its hazards too. A menacing-looking photo of the captain frightens them, as the rocking ship causes doors to slam in unison and a phonograph to start playing a recording of "Asleep in the Deep." While trying to get some sleep on the deck, they're drenched by a passing thunderstorm, and finally head back inside where it's dry.

A week later, Rollo and the girl prove that necessity is the mother of invention, as they master life at sea by turning the huge kitchen into a breakfast nook for two, complete with gadgets ala Rube Goldberg, and the ship's coal furnaces into cozy, decorated sleeping quarters. It's smooth sailing until the ship's propeller breaks on the ocean floor, just as they spot an island that happens to be inhabited by hungry cannibals. The girl convinces a very nervous Rollo to don a deep-sea diving suit and go under water to fix the problem. While Rollo putters away in the ocean deep, repairing the damage and fighting off swordfish and an octopus, the natives storm the ship, cut Rollo's return hose, and steal the girl.

Rollo realizes that something is wrong. He floats to the surface and emerges out of the water like a space alien, causing the cannibals to run away in fear. Using his inflated dive suit as a raft, the two paddle back to the ship. Once on board, they fight off the invading cannibals with firecrackers, rockets, and a miniature cannon that is more intent on shooting Rollo than the enemy. Finally, the couple abandons ship for a small canoe that quickly capsizes. Thinking all is lost they kiss and sink below the water's surface. Suddenly, they emerge on top of a Navy submarine, much to the surprise of the sub's crew. They scramble for safety inside the hatch where the girl proclaims her love for Rollo, who in turn, sends the submarine into a spin. – Janice Agnello

Seven Chances
Buster’s girl troubles get worse and worse

Release date: March 11, 1925
Length: Six reels
Presented by: Buster Keaton Productions, Inc.
Distributed by: Metro-Goldwyn
Producer: Joseph M. Schenck
Director: Buster Keaton
Script: Clyde Bruckman, Jean Havez and Joseph Mitchell, based on the play by Roi Cooper Megrue
Photography: Elgin Lessley and Byron Houck
Electrician: Denver Harmon
Technical Director: Fred Gabourie

Cast:
Buster Keaton: Jimmie Shannon
Ruth Dwyer: Mary Jones
T. Roy Barnes: Billy Meekin
Snitz Edwards: The Lawyer
Frankie Raymond: Mrs. Jones
Jules Cowles: Hired Hand
Erwin Connelly: The Minister

Seasons come and seasons go, but Jimmie Shannon cannot tell Mary Jones how much he loves her. That is, until…a lawyer representing the estate of Jimmie's recently deceased grandfather, shows up at Jimmie's office to read him the will. Jimmie, the junior partner of a brokerage firm on the verge of financial disaster, thinks the lawyer is trying to serve him with a summons. Determined to wait for Jimmie, the lawyer sits outside his office unaware that Jimmie and his partner Billy have slipped out. At the Country Club for lunch, Jimmie and Billy glimpse the will through the window as the lawyer holds it up to the pane. Surprised, Jimmie welcomes the lawyer to a nearby office to discuss his inheritance.

Jimmie is nearly in shock when he learns that his grandfather has bequeathed him $7 million, provided he is married by 7 p.m. of his 27th birthday, which just happens to be today. Aware that he has only a few hours left to wed, Jimmie hurries to Mary's house to propose. Mary quickly accepts, but changes her mind when Jimmie inadvertently insults her, by saying that he has to marry some girl, in order to inherit the money. Downhearted, he returns to the Club, where Billy and the lawyer anxiously await his news.

Billy and the lawyer encourage Jimmie to ask any of the young women he knows to marry him, because the inheritance will save the company as well. When Jimmie
names all the eligible women he can ask, Billy tells him that he has seven chances to find a bride. His proposals make him the laughing stock of the Club, as he strikes out with all seven. Even when he thinks he's finally made a hit, it's with a little girl who is playing dress-up. Humiliated, Jimmie leaves the Club and heads downtown in search of a willing bride. He ends up proposing to everyone and anyone who is not in trousers. Billy offers to run an advertisement in the newspaper for a 5 p.m. wedding at the local church, and Jimmie reluctantly agrees to be there.

Arriving early at the church, an exhausted Jimmie takes a cat- nap on the front pew. Meanwhile, women from all over the city have decided to answer the ad. Jimmie awakens from slumber to discover he is living a nightmare as the church overflows with overly eager brides of every make and model. When the horrified minister sees the chaos, he tells the women that they're the victims of a practical joker. Jimmie quickly finds out that love hath no fury like 500 brides scorned, as he escapes their wrath by jumping out a window and then into the church's basement.

Also hiding in the basement is Mary's hired hand, who was trying to bring Jimmie an acceptance note from Mary, but was frightened by all the women. Jimmie now knows that Mary is the only one for him. Crawling out of the basement, Jimmie runs downtown to evade the angry throng, only to meet up with them at every corner. Seeing the crazy turn of events, Billy offers to get the minister to Mary's house before 7 p.m.

The angry brides continue their chase by dismantling a wall and pelting Jimmie with bricks, commandeering a trolley car to run him over and finally, operating a huge crane as he hangs from its hoisting hook. Their dogged pursuit takes Jimmie through barbed wire, overturned beehives, and a duck blind. Desperate to get away, he leaps across deep crevices in the landscape, and somersaults down a very steep hill, dislodging a few rocks. The rocks give way to hundreds of boulders that follow his every step, as they tumble down the slope. The brides are scared away as the boulders meet them at the bottom of the hill.

Racing to Mary's house, Billy's watch shows that Jimmie has arrived too late to marry and gain his inheritance. Crushed, Jimmie stares despondently out the door explaining to Mary why he can't marry her. As he glances up at the clock on the church's bell tower, Jimmie sees that he actually has three minutes to wed before the hour hand strikes 7 p.m. Married at last, the only thing to come between them now is Mary's pet Great Dane. – Janice Agnello

Go West
Buster meets cow

Release date: November 1, 1925
Length: Seven reels
Presented by: Buster Keaton Production, Inc.
Distributed by: Metro-Goldwyn
Producer: Joseph M. Schenck
Director/Story: Buster Keaton, assisted by Lex Neal
Script: Raymond Cannon
Photography: Elgin Lessley and Bert Haines
Technical Director: Fred Gabourie

Cast:
Buster Keaton: Friendless
Howard Truesdale: The Ranch Owner
Kathleen Myers: The Ranch Owner's Daughter
Ray Thompson: Ranch Foreman
Brown Eyes: The Cow

Without a job, family or acquaintances, Friendless decides to sell all his worldly belongings to an unsympathetic storeowner for $1.65. Buying a loaf of bread and a whole bologna from the man, Friendless has only five cents left, so he decides to hop a freight train to New York City to seek his fortune. The big city's rhythm of life literally runs Friendless into the ground, so its back to the train yard where he finds a purse that contains a tiny revolver, but no money. Recalling the advice of Horace Greeley, he climbs into another freight car and heads for the West Coast. The car is filled with barrels of potatoes that shift and roll at the slightest movement. Friendless takes refuge in an empty one and accidentally rolls out of the moving train somewhere in Arizona.

Friendless wanders into the Diamond Bar Ranch and gets a job as a hired hand. His comical attempt at milking a cow, rounding up cattle, and trying to ride a mule instead of a horse, prove that he is really just a tenderfoot. Brown Eyes, a cow that is going to be sold because she doesn't give milk, limps by Friendless, who removes a large stone that was caught in the animal's hoof. It's love at first sight for the cow, which now follows the perplexed Friendless everywhere. Brown Eyes reciprocates the favor by saving Friendless just as he's about to be gored by a charging steer. Later, Friendless and Brown Eyes spend the night looking out for each other.

The next morning Friendless overhears that the Ranch Owner must ship 1,000 head of cattle, or the business will be ruined. The Rancher tells him to put a brand mark on Brown Eyes, but Friendless doesn't have the heart to do it. Instead, he makes his own version of the Diamond Bar brand using shaving soap and a razor. Then a steer "bullies" the hornless Brown Eyes, so he fashions a pair of deer antlers on her head. When Friendless finds out that Brown Eyes is to be shipped out with the herd, he's horrified and offers to buy her from the Rancher, who refuses. The Rancher's daughter, who's taken a liking to Friendless, begs her father to give him the cow, but fails to convince him. As the cattle are loaded onto the train, Friendless, in a last ditch effort to save the cow, bets all his wages in a poker game and loses.

Unable to abandon his beloved friend, Friendless sneaks aboard the cattle car to ride with Brown Eyes all the way to the stockyard. A train holdup and shoot-out erupt between the Rancher's men and a group trying to prevent the herd from being shipped, leaving Friendless alone with the cattle on the moving train. Arriving in Los Angeles, Friendless decides to save Brown Eyes and help the Rancher by personally delivering his herd to the stockyard.

There's mayhem as Friendless and Brown Eyes stroll along the busy downtown streets with the huge herd following behind. Friendless parks Brown Eyes at a city lot and then tries to round up the now disorderly cattle that have run amuck in a candy store, dress shop, barber shop, the Turkish baths and even a china shop. The fire department's futile attempt to spray the steer into one group, only douses half the city's populace instead. Friendless, remembering that red is a steer's favorite color, dresses in a devil's costume and taunts the herd to chase him. A stampede begins with the steer and the police in hot pursuit of Friendless, who jumps on the back of Brown Eyes, and heads for the stockyard.

Once herded into the yard, Friendless removes the costume under the watchful eyes of the Rancher and his daughter, who have come to check on the cattle's status. The grateful Rancher tells Friendless that he can have anything he wants. When Friendless states that he wants her, the Rancher takes offense thinking that Friendless wants his daughter, only to happily find out that it's Brown Eyes that he really desires. Off into the sunset they ride, the Rancher, his daughter, Friendless and Brown Eyes, all in the Rancher's car. — Janice Agnello

Battling Butler
True love and a few solid punches make Buster a man

Release date: September 19, 1926
Length: Seven reels
Presented by: Buster Keaton Productions
Distributed by: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Producer: Joseph M. Schenck
Director: Buster Keaton
Script: Ballard MacDonald, Paul Gerard Smith, Albert Boasberg, Lex Neal, and Charles Smith, based on the musical comedy by Stanley Brightman, Austin Melford, Philip Brabham, Walter L. Rosemont, and Douglas Furber
Photography: Dev Jennings and Bert Haines
Technical Director: Fred Gabourie
Electrician: Ed Levy

Cast:
Buster Keaton: Alfred Butler
Sally O’Neil: The Mountain Girl
Snitz Edwards: Martin, the valet
Francis McDonald: Alfred “Battling” Butler
Mary O’Brien: Mrs. Butler
Tom Wilson: Trainer
Eddie Borden: Manger
Walter James: The Mountain Girl’s Father
Buddy Fine: The Mountain Girl’s Brother

Alfred Butler needs a dose of manliness, so his parents send him off on a camping trip. His faithful valet Martin arranges all, and they drive to the wilderness to rough it in a tent better equipped than most houses. After breakfast in bed, Alfred attempts hunting and fishing, but he only succeeds in meeting a mountain girl. He asks her to dinner, and despite a visit from her very large father and brother they share an intimate chat over a table that sinks into the mud. He escorts her home, but she must return the favor when he gets lost going back.

The next morning, the newspaper reveals that there’s a prizefighter named Alfred ‘Battling’ Butler. Alfred orders his valet to arrange to stop the other Butler from using his name and to ask the mountain girl to marry him. Oh hearing the proxy proposal, her kin refuse; they don’t want a weakling in the family. Martin informs them that his master is Battling Butler. The girl goes to Alfred’s tent, where she circumvents the proposal script he found in Advice for the Lovesick by accepting immediately. She asks when he’ll fight next, and Martin tells him that he’s temporarily Battling Butler. However, since the champ will beat him on the following day, no one will ever hear of him again. His new family sees them off on the train.

At the fight, Alfred and Martin watch in horror as Battling Butler beats the champ. Alfred decides to go back to the mountains and tell the truth, but an enthusiastic crowd meets the train and parades him directly to the girl, who has prepared a wedding. After the ceremony, he tells her that he must go to training camp and she may not join him.

As Alfred and Martin drive to the camp, they offer a ride to Mrs. Battling Butler. Her husband sees them arrive together and his jealousy begins. It grow when he sees them chatting, and explodes when he catches Alfred in her room, plugging in a curling iron.

The girl arrives and refuses to leave. The two Mrs. Butlers sit at a table outside and a waiter delivers chocolates, “compliments of Mr. Butler.” They almost come to blows over it, but Martin tells Battling Butler the truth and convinces him to intervene. Then he graciously giver permission to the false Battling Butler to fight the Alabama Murderer in his upcoming bout.

After three weeks of punishing training, fight night arrives. The trainer delights in reporting to Alfred the nasty injuries suffered during the opening fight. The Murderer warms up next door, and knocks out his trainer. Alfred tries to sneak out on the stretcher carrying a mangled boxer, but he gets caught. The girl comes in, and Martin locks her in a closet. The crowd roars “BUTLER!” and Alfred looks out on the ring: the real Battling Butler has just reduced the Murderer to a bloody lump. The trainer laughs, and explains that they wouldn’t have throw away a championship just to get even.

Battling Butler comes backstage. Alfred thanks him for saving him, and he agrees – he’s been saving him for three weeks. He proceeds to brutally pummel the supposed adulterer. Then Alfred sees the girl, released from the closet. He begins to fight back; he’s good! After he knocks out Battling Butler, he confesses the truth to the girl. She’s glad he isn’t a fighter. He takes his top hat and cane, and they walk down a crowded street, oblivious to the stares his boxing trunks inspire. — Lisle Foote

The General
The best toy train set a boy ever had

Release date: February 5, 1927
Length: Eight reels
Presented by: Buster Keaton Productions
Distributed by: United Artists
Producer: Joseph M. Schenck
Directors: Buster Keaton and Clyde Bruckman
Script: Buster Keaton and Clyde Bruckman, based on the book The Great Locomotive Chase by William Pittinger, adaption by Al Boasberg and Charles Smith
Photography: Dev Jennings and Bert Haines
Technical Director: Fred Gabourie
Electrician: Denver Harmon
Costumes and Makeup: Bennie Hubbel, J.K. Pitcairn, and Fred C. Ryle
Editors: J. Sherman Kell and Buster Keaton

Cast:
Buster Keaton: Johnnie Gray
Marion Mack: Annabelle Lee
Glen Cavender: Captain Anderson
Jim Farley: General Thatcher
Frederick Vroom: A Southern General
Charles Smith: Mr. Lee
Frank Barnes: His Son
Frank Hagney: Recruiter
Edward Hearn: Union Officer
Joe Keaton: Union General
Mike Donlin: Union General
Tom Nawn: Union General
Ray Thomas, Cud Fine, Jimmy Bryant, Red Rial, Ross McCutcheon, Red Thompson, Ray Hanford, Charles Phillips, Al Hanson, Tom Moran, Anthony Harvey: Raiders

Johnnie Gray has two loves: his engine and his girl. While he’s visiting Annabelle, Confederate troops fire on Fort Sumter and the War of Northern Aggression begins. Annabelle’s father and brother leave to be first in line to enlist, but Johnnie takes a shortcut and beats everyone in the crowd. But the army won’t take him: he’s too valuable as a train engineer. He tries a second time, claiming to be a bartender named William Brown, but the recruiters recognize him and throw him out. Annabelle’s father and brother see him and invite him to join the line, but he refuses and goes to sit on his engine, the General. They tell Annabelle that he’s a disgrace to the South, so she tells Johnnie that she won’t speak to him until he’s in uniform. He has only the General for solace.

A year later, a Union spy plots to steal the General and take it north, burning bridges and cutting off the Southern supply line in its wake.

At the Marietta train station, Annabelle says goodbye to her wounded brother as she leaves to take care of her wounded father. They both snub Johnnie. At Big Shanty, the passengers get out for dinner, except for Annabelle who checks on her luggage in the baggage car. Yankee spies steal the train and tie her up. Johnnie runs after it, then grabs a handcar. It soon runs off of the rails where the spies tore them up. Johnnie grabs a bicycle and continues his pursuit.

He gets to the Kingston station, where Southern troops are stationed. Soldiers hop onto a train car and Johnnie fires up the engine – the Texas – but it isn’t attached to the cars. Johnnie keeps chasing the spies alone.

He notices a cannon mounted on a train car on a sideline and takes it along. The spies see him, but they don’t want to fight because they think they’re outnumbered. Johnnie fires the cannon twice; the first time the ball makes a little hop into his engine, but the second time (with the help of a whole can of gunpowder) it hits the back of the other train. The Northerners release that car to impede Johnnie, and he tries unsuccessfully to sideline it, but it eventually jumps the tracks after the spies toss baggage on the roadbed. They set fire to a second car and abandon it in a covered bridge, but Johnnie just pushes it out of his way.

Johnnie gets busy chopping wood for his engine. He’s so busy that he doesn’t notice the retreating Southern troops and the advancing Northern troops behind him. Now that he’s in enemy territory, the spies realize that he’s alone. He abandons the Texas and runs into the woods just as a downpour begins.

Lost, cold, and hungry, Johnnie climbs in the window of a house. It’s the Union headquarters. As he hides beneath the dining room table, the officers discuss plans for a surprise attack on the rebels the following morning. Then guards march Annabelle in, and they assign a bedroom to her. The officers retire for the night. Johnnie comes out, knocks the guards out, steals a uniform, and rescues Annabelle. She tells him he’s brave, and they spend the night sitting huddled together in the woods.

The next morning, they go to the rail yard, eager to get back and warn of the coming attack. Johnnie hides Annabelle in a sack and joins the queue of soldiers loading supplies into a car attached to the General. While he chats with an officer, Annabelle reaches out of the sack and pulls out a coupling pin, detaching most of the train from the engine. Johnnie tosses her onto the remaining car. Then he gets on his engine with a load of wood, which he uses to knock the Northerners out and off of the train (an unconscious officer remains). He starts his General and gets away. The Union army climbs abroad the Texas, and the chase beings.

With a good head start, Johnnie frees Annabelle from the baggage car and they stop for firewood. While most of the logs he tosses in don’t land on the car, she ties a rope across the tracks. He derides her efforts, but when the Texas runs into it, they are forced to stop.

Johnnie and Annabelle’s tussle continues: after he douses her with water while refilling the boiler, she stokes the fire with progressively smaller pieces of wood. He hand her a splinter, she throws it in, so he throttles her, then kisses her.

The Texas gains on them. Johnnie distracts the Northerners by uncoupling his baggage car, then he breaks a switch to block the track. The General arrives at the Rock River Bridge and Johnnie sets it on fire. After a Southern guard shoots at Johnnie, he trades the blue Union uniform he’s wearing for a gray one he found on the train. They hurry to the Confederate encampment while the Union officers try to fix the track. Johnnie alerts the Southern command, and Annabelle sees her father and runs to him. The troops quickly deploy to Rock River, and Johnnie follows them.

Meanwhile, a Union enlisted man whacks the switch with the blunt end of an ax and fixes it. The Texas arrives at the bridge. Their commander decides that the bridge isn’t burned enough to stop the train, and it forges ahead: right into the river. The commander gives a dispirited order to ford the river.

The Southern troops are in position on the bluffs above the river, and the battle begins. Johnnie fights to keep the blade in his sword hilt, then he goes to assist a cannon crew. One by one they are picked off by a sniper, until Johnnie raises his weapon, the blade flies off and impales the sniper. He fires the cannon, and though it misses its mark, it hits a small dam and floods some Union soldiers. The North retreats. Johnnie picks up the Confederate flag from its fallen bearer and waves it atop a hill.

The Southern troops return triumphant to camp. Johnnie visits his General, where he finds the groggy Southern officer. He arrests him and takes him before the commanding officer. He takes charge of the prisoner and orders Johnnie to take off his borrowed uniform, then he replaces it with that of a lieutenant. He finally enlists, giving his occupation as soldier. Annabelle is thrilled. They go sit on the General, but every time he tries to kiss her, a soldier passes by and he must salute. Eventually he figures out how to combine his two new roles of soldier and lover: he sits on her left, so he can kiss and salute at the same time. – Lisle Foote

College
Buster endures the horrors of college sports

Release date: September 10, 1927
Length: Six reels
Presented by: Buster Keaton Productions, Inc.
Distributed by: United Artists
Producer: Joseph M. Schenck
Director: James W. Horne
Script: Carl Harbaugh and Bryan Foy
Photography: Bert Haines and Dev Jennings
Lighting: Jack Lewis
Editor: J. Sherman Kell
Technical Director: Fred Gabourie
Production Supervisor: Harry Brand

Cast:
Buster Keaton: Ronald
Ann Cornwall: Mary Haynes
Florence Turner: Ronald's Mother
Snitz Edwards: The Dean
Harold Goodwin: Jeff, the Athletic Rival
Carl Harbaugh: The Rowing Coach
Sam Crawford: The Baseball Coach
Buddy Mason: Jeff's Friend
Grant Withers: Jeff's Other Friend
Flora Bramley: Mary's Friend

A rainy wind swept day doesn't stop Ronald, the class valedictorian, from walking with his mother to his high school's graduation ceremony. With his new, $15 wool suit soaking wet, he arrives at the auditorium and finds a seat near the radiator. As heat from the radiator rises up, so does Ronald's suit, as it shrinks two sizes too small. When Ronald goes on stage to speak, his buttons start popping, to his utmost embarrassment. Ronald's speech "The Curse of Athletics" alienates the entire student body, leaving only Ronald's mother in the audience. As they leave the building, Mary Haynes, Ronald's sweetheart, angrily tells him that everyone loves sports, and that she'll only be interested in him when he proves himself as an athlete.

To pay for his studies and remain close to Mary, Ronald decides to work his way through Clayton College. He takes a job as a soda jerk at the favorite college ice cream parlor. His first day is met with disastrous results as he tries to imitate the more experienced clerk. Mary and Jeff come in just as Ronald is flinging ice cream, eggs, and seltzer water into the air and onto the floor. When Ronald notices the couple, he tries to act as though he's just there enjoying a soda, much to the consternation of his boss, who promptly fires him.

Back at the college dorm, Ronald unpacks a suitcase filled with athletic manuals and equipment. The minute he finds out that his dorm mates are his rival, athletic Jeff and Jeff's buddies, the Dean enters the room and announces that he has big plans for Ronald in the studies department, and warns that he should avoid the athletic snare. But, Ronald only has Mary on his mind, so he joins the baseball team. At practice, he's the laughing
stock of the team when he wears a catcher's outfit to play third base, and then his wild errors get him ejected from the field.

As a waiter at the local cafe, Ronald wears "black face" to get the job and fit in with the hired help. Just as he's getting into the restaurant rhythm of swinging doors and snappy service, Jeff and Mary stop by for lunch and eye him suspiciously. Uneasy, Ronald crashes through a swinging kitchen door and inadvertently rubs some of the shoe polish off his face. His shocked co-workers spot his charade, grab knives and cleavers, and chase him out of the place. Undaunted, Ronald now goes out for track and field, but only manages to knock the Dean's hat off with a flying discus, hurl the shot-put at the track team, land a hole in one on the high jump, and knock down every hurdle on the track. Watching from the sidelines, Mary admires his spirit, but senses his discouragement.

Ronald explains his dilemma to the sympathetic Dean, who arranges a position for Ronald as coxswain on the rowing crew. The day of the Big Race, the rowing coach tries unsuccessfully to slip Ronald a sedative in a cup of coffee. While launching the boat "Damfino," Ronald crashes through the bottom, so "Old Iron Bottom" is commissioned for the team. Ronald saves the day when the boat's rudder falls off and he attaches it to his backside, enabling the team to win the race.

After the victory, Ronald notices that Mary isn't at the finish, so he dejectedly goes back to the locker room. Meanwhile, Jeff, expelled from Clayton, has trapped Mary in her dorm room, insisting that she marry him. A frantic phone call from Mary to the locker room, sends Ronald into a full sprint all the way to the dorm, where he lashes out at Jeff, who escapes through the window. The ruckus brings in the housemother and the Dean, who immediately expels the couple.

Ronald and Mary impulsively head for the church to marry. A few years later, Ronald and Mary are living the cozy family life, growing older together, and finally ending up together forever. – Janice Agnello

Steamboat Bill, Jr.
Buster vs. cyclone

Release date: May 1928
Length: Seven reels
Presented by: Buster Keaton Productions, Inc.
Distributed by: United Artists
Producer: Joseph M.Schenck
Director: Charles F. Reisner
Script: Carl Harbaugh
Photography: Dev Jennings and Bert Haines
Editor: J. Sherman Kell
Assistant Director: Sandy Roth
Technical Director: Fred Gabourie
Production Supervisor: Harry Brand

Cast:
Buster Keaton: Willie Canfield
Ernest Torrence: Steamboat Bill Canfield
Tom Lewis: Tom Carter, the First Mate
Marion Byron: Kitty King
Tom McGuire: J.J. King

At River Junction, Mississippi, Mr. J.J. King launches his new passenger steamboat the "King," to compete with the "Stonewall Jackson" paddleboat, an old tub, owned by Steamboat Bill Canfield. When challenged by Mr. King, Steamboat Bill vows never to give up his ship, even if he is the only passenger sailing on it. Meanwhile, a telegram arrives from Steamboat Bill's son Willie. Willie, who hasn't seen Bill in a very long time, is coming from a Boston college, and he'll be wearing a white carnation, so he'll be recognized immediately.

At the train station, Bill and his first mate Tom await Willie's arrival. It just happens to be Mother's Day, and the passengers disembarking from the train are wearing white carnations in their lapels. Willie is nowhere to be found. As the train pulls away from the station, a small, young man sporting a pencil-thin mustache, a beret, plus fours, an argyle sweater and a white carnation, stands on the opposite side of the tracks. Doubting that this could be his son, Bill doesn't even ask him his name. Willie, on the other hand, goes from man to man seeking his father. When he accidentally bumps into a baby carriage, Willie entertains the crying infant by playing his ukulele and prancing wildly. Watching this comical scene, Bill glances at the young man's luggage tag and learns the truth about his identity. An awkward reunion between both the disbelieving father and son takes place, with Willie sensing Bill's disappointment in him.

Bill decides to change Willie's image a bit before returning to the boat. At the barber's for a shave and a trim, Willie meets up with Kitty, his college sweetheart, and daughter of Mr. King. A new hat, and some work clothes chosen by Kitty, complete Willie's new look, much to the chagrin of his father. Once on the boat, Bill tries to instruct Willie in the task of sailing the vessel, but Willie causes a number of mishaps that almost wreck the ship and make a wreck of Bill at the same time. Seeing Willie's interest in his competitor's daughter, Bill forbids Willie to see the girl. Late that night, Willie sneaks out to meet Kitty against Bill's wishes. When Bill finds out, he decides to send him back to Boston.

Next morning, Mr. King has the Stonewall Jackson condemned claiming that it would sink. Bill gets into a tussle with him, and is arrested. Just as Willie is leaving for Boston, he spots Bill being hauled off to jail. Despite their differences, Willie decides to stay and help his father.

The day proves to be wet, windy, and stormy, so Willie, equipped with an umbrella and loaf of bread, tells the jail keeper that his father needs bread to eat. Bill doesn't quite catch on to Willie's clever escape plan until it's too late, and the soggy loaf releases all its hidden tools onto the floor. Willie, now on the verge of being locked up too, knocks out the jailer and springs his father. Bill escapes, but Willie gets in trouble, when he returns for his umbrella. Watching in horror as Willie is knocked unconscious and taken to the hospital, Bill turns himself in to the jailer.

As the fierce storm rages on, the hospital is blown away. Willie's bed becomes mobile sending him on a wild ride through the town. As it comes to rest in front of a house, Willie hides beneath it for safety. A man in the house jumps from a second story window and lands on the bed, crushing Willie underneath. Dazed, Willie stands up just as the entire front of the house falls, but he escapes harm through the open, top floor window. While the town is ripped apart by the ferocious winds, Willie desperately looks for a safe haven. He ends up in a demolished theater, is hit on the head by a falling sand bag, and gets tangled in the magic tricks and stage props. Frightened, he flees as doors fall over him and houses crumble about him.

The force of the storm causes the jail to slide into the river, trapping Bill inside his cell. Willie notices that Kitty is clinging to the roof of another floating building, so he races to save her. Once she is safely on land, Willie uses the Stonewall Jackson to break through the sinking jail, releasing Bill and keeping him from drowning. Mr. King also is rescued by Willie, and because of the circumstances, a truce between the rivals takes place. Willie quickly jumps back in the water again, to the surprise of the others, but this time he returns with the minister. – Janice Agnello

The Cameraman
A boy’s best friend is his monkey

Release date: September 22, 1928
Length: Eight reels
A Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Production
Distributed by: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Producer: Lawrence Weingarten
Director: Edward M. Sedgwick
Script: Richard Schayer
Story: Clyde Bruckman and Lew Lipton
Photography: Elgin Lessley and Reggie Lanning
Technical Director: Fred Gabourie
Editors: Hugh Wynn and Basil Wrangell
Costumes: David Cox

Cast:
Buster Keaton: Luke Shannon
Marceline Day: Sally Richards
Harold Goodwin: Harold Stagg
Harold Gribbon: Officer Henessey
Sidney Bracey: Edward J, Blake, the editor
William Irving: A Photographer
Edward Brophy: Man in the dressing room
Vernon Dent: Man in a tight bathing suit
Dick Alexander: Big Sea Lion
Ray Cooke: Office worker
Josephine: The monkey

Luke Shannon is a struggling tin-type photographer. He takes one of Sally Richards, a pretty newsreel office secretary, after a parade she’s helping to cover. Then he follows her back to the office. He’s so smitten with her that, even though another cameraman, Harold, is interested in her, he decides to become a newsreel cameraman too. He rushes out and trades his tin-type camera (and his entire bank account) for a rickety motion picture camera. When he returns, the boss won’t hire him but Sally tells him that they’ll buy any good film and sends him to shoot a warehouse fire. He tries to find it by hopping onto a speeding fire truck, but he only gets a short ride back to the fire station.

Next he visits Yankee Stadium. Unfortunately, the team is in St. Louis, so he pretends to play ball for his own amusement. Then he visits the office to screen the footage he’s taken. It’s a disaster: superimposed images and reversed film. Sally gives him some advice, and he asks her out on a date. She says she might already have one, but she’ll call him.

The next morning, at the peep of dawn, he’s dressed and waiting. After a false alarm, she calls. He only needs to hear “my dates off” to race to her place before she’s able to put down the phone. After a terrifying interlude with Sally’s boarding housemates, she rescues him and they set off on a bus so crowded that he must ride on the outside wheel well to be next to her. They arrive at the municipal swimming pool and separate to change. He ends up sharing a tiny cubical with a large man, and he emerges in the other guy’s vast suit. Sally’s suit fits fine, and other men try to crowd him out. After a fancy dive into the pool robs him of his clothing, he must steal a pair of drawers to get out with his modesty intact. The homeward bus is full, but Harold happens by in his car. Luke gets stuck in the rumble seat and it starts to rain. At the trip’s end, she kisses a sodden Luke which redeems the whole wretched date.

On Monday morning, Luke waits at the office while its still being cleaned. The boss arrives and tells him to beat it, but Sally passes on a tip that trouble is brewing at the Chinese celebration. After accidentally acquiring a monkey, he goes to Chinatown and shoots the Tong War that erupts. However, back at the office he discovers that the film broke before he shot a frame. He innocently rats on Sally, then, feeling guilty, promises never to bother them again.

He and the monkey are still trying on Tuesday, shooting the Westport Yacht Regatta. He discovers the film box with the Tong War footage. Sally and Harold zip past him in a motor boat, which turns too sharply, throwing them overboard. Luke rescues the unconscious Sally, but while he’s at the pharmacy, Harold takes the credit.

By Wednesday he’s back to taking tin-types. He’d dropped off his Tong War material and the boss screens it. It’s the best camera work he’s seen in years. It’s followed by footage shot by the monkey of Luke saving Sally. She runs out and finds him. Among ticker tape for Charles Lindbergh, they make their triumphal way back to the office. – Lisle Foote

Spite Marriage
Buster meets actress

Release date: April 6, 1929
Length: Nine reels
A Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Production
Distributed by: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Producer: Edward M. Sedgwick
Director: Edward M. Sedgwick
Production Supervisor: Larence Weingarten
Script: Lew Lipton and Ernest S. Pagano
Continuity: Richard Schayer
Title: Robert Hopkins
Photography: Reggie Lanning
Editor: Frank Sullivan
Art Director: Cedric Gibbons

Cast:
Buster Keaton: Elmer Edgemont
Dorothy Sebastian: Trilby Drew
Edward Earle: Lionel Denmore
Leila Hyams: Ethyl Norcrosse
William Bechtel: Frederick Nussbaum
John Byron: Giovanni Scarzi
Hank Mann: Stage manager
Pat Harmon: Ship captain

Elmer, a dedicated fan, follows actress Trilby Drew everywhere, including parties and the park, but eventually he must return to his day job as a pants presser. Naturally he hasn’t missed any of her performances in the play Carolina; this evening he’s the first through the door. Trilby’s boyfriend also has an admirer, a blonde named Ethyl. The performance commences, and Trilby and Lionel milk the Southern melodrama for all it’s worth as Elmer watches appreciatively. Afterwards, Trilby is scorned by Lionel in favor of the blonde, so at the stage door she takes Elmer’s arm and allows him to escort her to her taxi.

The next night, Elmer goes backstage with flowers. He’s too shy to present them himself, so the stage manager takes them in. Elmer runs into an extra who gets to steal a kiss from Trilby in the play, and he wishes aloud that he could play his part. He gets his wish when a cop comes looking for the extra, who runs out the window. He has some difficulties sticking on false facial hair, and his performance is equally disastrous: it’s a burlesque of the previous night. He doesn’t even get his kiss. The manager and the crew come after him, but he quickly changes into evening clothes and they don’t recognize him. Meanwhile, Trilby gets the news that Lionel and Ethyl are engaged. Elmer is handy, so she asks him to marry her.

Later, after the ceremony, they arrive at the hotel. Trilby still pines for Lionel and she screams at Elmer’s touch. They go out to Café La Boheme, where she seethes at the sight of Lionel and Ethyl together. She gets drunk on champagne. Elmer hauls her back to the hotel and struggles to put his unconscious wife to bed.

At the hotel the next morning, Trilby’s manager explains to her that her career will be ruined if anyone finds out about her marriage to a pants presser. She agrees and leaves. Lionel and the manager stay to break the news to Elmer. Broken hearted, Elmer leaves, pausing only to slug Lionel outside. Cops chase him and he hops into a moving car – joining a robber, who’s in the middle of a shootout with the police. The crook joins his gang at the docks, and they force Elmer to come along. That evening, he goes overboard and a private yacht picks him up. He joins the crew.

The next day, while he’s varnishing a mast, Elmer sees Lionel and Trilby on board. He asks to work below deck. That evening while he’s minding the engine room, a fire starts. Everyone but Elmer and Trilby evacuate. Elmer puts out the fire with seawater, then bails out the room.

He finishes the job the next morning, just in time to deal with a squall. Trilby goes overboard, but Elmer saves her. On the following day, the criminals board the yacht and Elmer tries to conceal Trilby, to no avail. He must knock out all of the gang and fight the ringleader, but he saves the day. He’s her hero.

They get rescued, the criminals are hauled off to justice, and Elmer drops Trilby off at her hotel. But she won’t let him leave, and they go in together. – Lisle Foote

Keaton's MGM Sound Features

The Hollywood Revue of 1929
More stars than are in the heavens

Release date: November 23, 1929
Length: 130 minutes
A Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Production
Distributed by: MGM
Producer: Harry Rapf
Director: Charles Riesner
Dialogue: Al Boasberg and Robert E. Hopkins
Photography: John Arnold, Irving G. Reis, Maximillian Fabian, and John M. Nickolaus
Editors: William S. Gray and Cameron K. Wood
Art Directors: Cedric Gibbons and Richard Day
Recording Engineer: Douglas Shearer
Sound Technician: Russell Franks
Dances and Ensembles: Sammy Lee, assisted by George Cunningham
Music: Gus Edwards
Lyrics: Joe Goodwin
Costumes: David Cox

Cast:
Buster Keaton, Joan Crawford, Marion Davies, Marie Dressler, Bessie Love, Laurel and Hardy, Conrad Nagel, Lionel Barrymore, Cliff "Ukelele Ike" Edwards, Polly Moran, William Haines, Norma Shearer, John Gilbert, Charles King, Jack Benny, Anita Page, the Brox Sisters, Karl Dane, George K. Arthur, Gwen Lee, the Albertina Rasch Ballet, Natacha Nattova and Company, and The Rounders.

The Hollywood Revue of 1929 is a lavish spectacle showcasing some of the major stars of the M-G-M studio at the start of the talkie era. This all-singing, all-dancing, all-talking vaudeville revue features such luminaries as Joan Crawford singing and then dancing the Charleston, Marion Davies tapping her way through a line of toy soldiers, and Laurel and Hardy fumbling a magic act. Most of the stars perform what they do best, only now they're doing it with sound!

Buster Keaton's segment appears one hour and ten minutes into the film and is certainly the highlight of the entire show. Buster recreates his Princess Rajah dance that he improvised during his stint in World War I and then perfected in the silent short, Back Stage. This time, the setting is King Neptune's undersea palace. Buster emerges from a huge scallop shell and proceeds to slide down a long staircase on his backside. Gyrating and doing the bump and grind, Buster entices the King with his frenetic movements. Buster twirls right into one of his no-hands cartwheels, ending in a fantastic but exhaustive fall.

Unfortunately, Buster's performance ends too quickly and he doesn't reappear until the film's finale. The last act has the entire roster of stars locked arm and arm, singing the new hit tune "Singin' In The Rain." Only Buster remains silent throughout the entire song, rolling his eyes and looking a bit out of place. – Janice Agnello

Free and Easy
Heartbreak comes with stardom

Release date: March 22, 1930
Length: 92 minutes
A Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Production
Distributed by: M-G-M
Producer/Director: Edward Sedgwick
Scenario: Richard Schayer
Dialogue: Al Boasberg
Adaptation: Paul Dickey
Photography: Leonard Smith
Editors: William LeVanway and George Todd
Art Director: Cedric Gibbons
Recording Engineer: Douglas Shearer
Songs: Roy Turk and Fred E. Ahlert
Dances: Sammy Lee
Costumes: David Cox

Cast:
Buster Keaton: Elmer Butts
Anita Page: Elvira Plunkett
Trixie Friganza: Ma Plunkett
Robert Montgomery: Larry Mitchell
Fred Niblo: The Director
Edward Brophy: The Stage Manager
Edgar Dearing: The Guard
David Button: Another Director
Cameos by: Jackie Coogan, Lionel Barrymore, Karl Dane, Dorothy Sebastian, William Haines, Cecil B. DeMille, Gwen Lee, William Collier, Sr.

Boarding the train from Kansas to Hollywood, aspiring star Elvira Plunkett, the newly crowned Miss Gopher City, is accompanied by her mother and Elmer Butts, her manager and secret admirer. As the train departs, Elmer is trapped on the back platform of the caboose holding the train tickets. Elvira and her loud, brash mother find themselves in the compartment belonging to M-G-M movie idol Larry Mitchell. Mitchell takes an immediate shine to Elvira and offers tickets to his movie premier at the Chinese theatre, as well as an introduction to a film director. As the conductor forces the women off the train for lack of fare, Elmer jumps from the caboose and presents the tickets.

In Hollywood, the trio arrives at the theatre to see Mitchell's film, but because of the huge crowd, Elmer parks the car miles from the cinema, returning in time to see "The End" of the movie. Elmer gets up from his seat to search for Elvira and her mother, just as actor William Haines' name is announced. The Master of Ceremony, William Collier, Sr., coaxes Elmer onto the stage and makes fools out of him and the Plunketts, who storm out of the theatre.

The next day, Elvira and her mother visit the studio to watch Larry being directed in a musical. Left outside the studio gates, Elmer sneaks by the guard and wrecks havoc on several sets in his search for Elvira. After causing an explosion on one set, and disrupting a love triangle scene on another, Elmer crashes into the dancers on the stage where Larry's musical is being filmed. As the director rages at Elmer, Larry and Elvira come to his rescue and get him a role as a messenger in the film. Elmer is totally inept, unable to recite his one line of dialogue, much to the chagrin of the director, who orders him off the set. Elmer then inadvertently gets a job as a studio driver, working the night shift.

After attending a Hollywood party, Elvira and Larry go back to his apartment to listen to his new recording. Elmer, their chauffeur, senses trouble ahead and races back to the hotel to pick up Ma Plunkett. Larry and a tearful Elvira have just had a misunderstanding of intentions when Elmer and Ma Plunkett burst into the room. The women make a hasty departure as Elmer and Larry tussle over Elvira's honor. The men finally settle down when they discover that they know each other from the same Kansas town.

At an audition set up by Larry, Elmer manages to get the part of the little king in the musical production. When Larry tries to apologize to Elvira and her mother, Ma Plunkett's loud, abrasive voice gets her the part of the queen in the film too. Larry professes his love for Elvira, while Elmer and Ma Plunkett perform a comical, burlesque song and dance that erupts into a slapping and shoving act, as they have their clothes ripped off.

Elmer's shyness and loss for words botch up his proposal to Elvira, and she thinks Larry is the one who wants to marry her. Before he has the chance to explain, Elmer is called onto the set for another dance number, the "Free and Easy." When Elmer and Ma Plunkett complete their scene, Elmer discovers that Larry has already proposed to an elated Elvira. Heartbroken, but now a star comic, Elmer returns to the set and films the finale to a tune entitled, "It Must Be You." — Janice Agnello

Doughboys
This is the army, Mr. Keaton

Release date: August 30, 1930
Length: 81 minutes
A Buster Keaton Production
Distributed by: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Producer: Buster Keaton
Director: Edward Sedgwick
Scenario: Richard Schayer
Dialogue: Al Boasberg and Richard Schayer
Story: Al Boasberg and Sidney Lazarus
Photography: Leonard Smith
Editor: William LeVanway
Art Director: Cedric Gibbons
Recording Engineer: Douglas Shearer
Dances: Sammy Lee
Songs: Edward Sedgwick, Joseph Meyer, and Howard Johnson
Costumes: Vivian Baer

Cast:
Buster Keaton: Elmer J. Stuyvesant
Sally Eilers: Mary
Cliff "Ukulele Ike" Edwards: Nescopeck
Edward Brophy: Sergeant Brophy
Arnold Korff: Gustave
Pitzy Katz: Abie Cohn
Victor Potel: Svendenburg
Frank Mayo: Captain Scott
William Steele: Lieutenant Randolph
Ann Sothern: A WAC
John Carroll: Singing Soldier
Edward Sedgwick: Guggleheimer the Camp Cook

Wealthy Elmer J. Stuyvesant is continually thwarted in his efforts to court Mary, a local shop girl. Mary wants nothing to do with his invitations for "a little dinner and a show," until Elmer gets swept up in the hubbub of World War I and is accidentally inducted into the army, mistaking a recruitment office for an employment service. When told to strip for his physical examination, a shocked Elmer protests that he really didn't need a new chauffeur after all. At boot camp, Elmer is among a motley bunch of bumbling recruits who are ordered around by the exasperated Sergeant Brophy, of K Company, who attempts to show them the fine art of stabbing the enemy with a bayonet and marching in a straight line. Elmer wants to resign from the army, but changes his mind when he meets up with Mary, who has joined the entertainment division.

Elmer visits Mary with a bag of gumdrops and wins her affections, but he is unaware that Sergeant Brophy also has eyes for her. That evening, as all leave passes are revoked, they each sneak out to see her before the troop ship sails for France. The two men show up at Mary's house, and she denies knowing Elmer, in an effort to save him from Brophy's bad temper. Perplexed, Elmer dons a military police arm band and tricks Brophy by chasing him all the way back to the barracks.

Sailing to France, Elmer, Guggleheimer, and Nescopeck entertain their fellow travelers with some scat singing and ukulele strumming. When an emergency drill catches Elmer in the shower, he arrives on deck wearing only a towel. Spotting Mary on an upper deck, he crawls under a canvas tarp to hide, only to run for cover when she discovers him. In rainy France, Mary explains everything to Elmer while he is on sentry duty. His gun goes off for no apparent reason, and he is arrested and ordered back to his barrack. Dazed with thoughts of love, Elmer falls out the barrack's window and stumbles into a French girl's bedroom, where her father finds him the next morning. Mary witnesses the spectacle of Elmer, proclaiming his innocence, being marched to the Sergeant's tent by the French father and his daughter.

Nescopeck urges Elmer to join K Company's show, in order to get back into Mary's good graces. At the evening performance, Elmer parades on stage with the other chorus line "lovelies," only to be chosen as the female partner in a brutal apache dance. Elmer's punishment abruptly ends when bombs are dropped on the makeshift theatre, and the squad scrambles for battle.

Now in the trenches, Elmer volunteers to go into No Man's Land and return with a German prisoner. Under the cover of darkness, Elmer drags back a prisoner, only to see that it's a scared and confused Nescopeck. Elmer tries again, landing in a German foxhole and catching the enemy off guard. He meets up with his former valet Gustave, who explains that he and his men are starving and weak. Elmer vows to return with food in exchange for a luger, which happens to be wrapped in the enemy's attack plans. The war ends before Elmer has the chance to reciprocate the favor, whereupon Gustave immediately asks for his old job back.

Post war, Elmer is married to Mary and has gone into business with his former army buddies manufacturing Gold Medal Ukuleles. When a worker outside the company window sets off a riveter, everyone ducks for cover, including former Sergeant Brophy, now the janitor, who has a flashback and immediately puts the blame on Elmer. – Janice Agnello

Parlor, Bedroom, and Bath
Love is strange

Release date: February 28, 2931
Length: 73 minutes
A Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Production
Distributed by: M-G-M
Producer/Director: Edward Sedgwick
Adaptation: Richard Schayer and Robert E. Hopkins, from the play by Charles W. Bell and Mark Swan
Dialogue Continuity: Richard Schayer
Additional Dialogue: Robert E. Hopkins
Photography: Leonard Smith
Editor: William LeVanway
Art Director: Cedric Gibbons
Recording Engineer: Karl Zint
Costumes: Rene Hubert

Cast:
Buster Keaton: Reginald Irving
Charlotte Greenwood: Polly Hathaway
Reginald Denny: Jeffery “Jeff” Haywood
Dorothy Christy: Angelica “Angie” Embry
Joan Peers: Nita Leslie
Sally Eilers: Virginia “Ginny” Embry
Cliff Edwards: Bellhop
Natalie Moorhead: Leila Crofton
Edward Brophy: Detective
Walter Merrill: Frederick Leslie
Sidney Bracy: Butler

Poolside, Jeff once again asks Ginny to marry him. She won’t until her older sister Angie weds – she wouldn’t want people calling her an old maid. Angie is waiting for a man who can make her jealous. Meanwhile, Fred tells his wife Nita that he must leave on business. She protests and threatens to take up with someone else. He gets angry. On the sidewalk by the house, Reggie tries to tack a sign on a pole, but the sight of Angie’s beauty distracts him and he wanders into the road, where Jeff hits him with his car. He takes the unconscious Reggie home.

A doctor examines Reggie and orders quiet and rest. Angie volunteers to be his nurse because he has such soulful eyes. Jeff gets an idea: Reggie can marry Angie. He tells Angie that the injured man is the worst boudoir snake in captivity, and she becomes intrigued. Later, while Angie feeds Reggie porridge, a series of women come in to coo over and remonstrate with him. Angie kicks them out and Jeff pays them for their time as they leave. Reggie escapes through the French doors and Jeff offers $50 to the man who catches him. He’s soon tackled, and after a second escape attempt he’s re-installed into bed.

A few days later, Leila talks outside with Jeff, Ginny, and Nita. She denies the report in Social Gossip that she had a midnight dinner with Reggie, who is now engaged to Angie. Jeff goes inside to Reggie, who wants to tell Angie that he’s not the man she thinks he is. When she comes in, he does (despite Jeff’s kicks); she doesn’t believe him. Back outside, Fred comes to tell Nita that he’s leaving on business, and she gets angry. Inside, Leila confronts Reggie with the Social Gossip, and he admits that he really isn’t wicked. Angie overhears and dumps him. To salvage the situation, Jeff plans for Reggie to have a rendezvous with a woman at the Seaside Hotel. He sends Reggie up to pack, and convinces his friend Polly to be the woman. Meanwhile, Nita and Fred argue once again, and as he leaves she threatens to go off with another man. Reggie happens by, and she takes him to her car. Angie sees them go, and she tells Fred, who says he’ll murder him.

As Reggie and Nita drive, the back wheel falls off. The car comes to rest on train tracks. A train approaches. He pulls her out, but while the first train misses it, the second one doesn’t. On a muddy road, they hitch a ride on a hay wagon.

Bedraggled, they arrive in the rain at the Seaside Hotel. After they register as John Smith and wife, and slide around the lobby on the water they dripped, they go upstairs and change their wet clothes for the sleepwear they find in the suitcase. The bellhop brings lobster and wine, and Reggie proceeds to follow Jeff’s instructions: he puts Nita on his knee and kisses her. She runs away to the bedroom.

Polly arrives and tells him she was his intended. She teaches him what lovers do: pull and push their partner while saying “Oh my darling! I love you madly! I cannot live without you! You must never leave me!” followed by a kiss/wrestling match. He performs with the passion of an infuriated clam, and the bellhop catches them. She leaves to change into her pajamas.

Thunder drives Nita into the parlor, and Reggie does the lover’s routine with her. The bellhop catches them. Jeff comes in and tells him he has the wrong girl – Fred will kill him. Nita goes to the bedroom. Leila comes in, and tells Nita to get dressed and leave. Reggie does the routine with her, and the bellhop catches him again. Reggie jumps on her, and Angie and Ginny walk in. Then Polly comes in, and does a jilted lover’s spiel. Fred arrives and finds Nita in the bedroom, still in her negligee. He shoots at Reggie and Polly falls down melodramatically. Everyone runs out, but Fred stops Reggie, pushes him back, tosses the gun into the room and locks the door. Polly opens her eyes. Reggie throws the gun out the window, and it hits the police below, who go in to investigate. They stop the others from leaving, and they all go into the room. Fred takes the policeman’s gun and chases Reggie and Polly throughout the hotel, with the police following him. Reggie and Polly lose them by hiding behind a pole, and they go back up to the hotel room. She tells him that she taught him how to treat a woman, and he should go in. He enters the sitting room, just as Angie says she wouldn’t marry him if her were the last man on Earth. Determinedly, he pushes Jeff and Ginny into the bedroom, and closes the door. He does the lover’s routine with Angie, and as they roll around the floor in a kiss, the bellhop catches them. – Lisle Foote

Sidewalks of New York
Watching sports, doing theater, and beating up gangsters reforms juvenile delinquents

Release date: September 26, 1931
Length: 75 minutes
A Buster Keaton Production
Distributed by: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Executive Producer: Lawrence Weingarten (uncredited)
Directors: Jules White and Zion Myers
Story/Scenario: George Landy and Paul Gerald Smith
Dialogue: Robert E. Hopkins and Eric Hatch
Adaptation: Paul Dickey
Photography: Leonard Smith
Editor: Charles Hochberg
Art Director: Cedric Gibbons
Recording Engineer: Douglas Shearer

Cast:
Buster Keaton: Homer Van Dine Harmon
Anita Page: Margie
Cliff Edwards: Poggle
Norman Phillips, Jr.: Clipper
Frank Rowan: Butch
Frank La Rue: A Policeman
Oscar Apfel: Judge
Syd Saylor: Mulvaney
Clark Marshall: Lefty
Monty Collins: Chauffeur

While boys play baseball in the street, Poggle tries to collect rent from a tenant in Mr. Harmon’s tenement. She refuses, and the boys chase him off. Bedraggled, Poggle goes to Homer Van Dine Harmon’s grand apartment and Homer offers to show him how to handle hoodlums. They’re driven to the tenement and emerge in the middle of a huge street fight. Margie, a resident, thinks that Homer has hit her brother Clipper, so she slugs him. He’s entranced by her. The cops come in and break up the fight.

In a pool hall, Clipper delivers a wallet he’s stolen to Butch, a local tough.

The next day, in Children’s Court, Clipper testifies about how the fight started. After another fight almost erupts, Homer takes the stand. The sight of Margie inspires him to take the blame for the fight. He pays a $100 fine. Outside, Margie blames Butch for all of Clipper’s troubles, and Clipper slaps her. Homer intervenes, and offers to build a place for the kids to play. She softens towards him, and he buys her a potted plant, which promptly breaks.

Homer gives a dedication speech at the gym he’s built, Harmony Hall. Only one small boy and his dog listen. The boys play baseball in the street, where Clipper discourages them from visiting the Hall. Margie visits Homer at the gym, and tells him not to give up so easily. He goes to the ball game and catches a fly ball in his top hat. The boys chase him into the gym. They stay to try out the equipment, but they don’t know how to use it so they quickly get bored and decide to leave. Margie offers them a wrestling match, so they stay. Homer and Poggle wrestle badly, and Homer wins. One kid asks for lessons from Homer, but he’s a ringer. He throws Homer around the gym several times. Then Poggle decides to hire One-Round Mulvany; for $50, he’ll let Homer knock him out. They box. Between rounds, Butch offers him another $50 to knock out Homer. He takes it, but eventually, after a beating, Homer knocks out Mulvany.

At the pool hall, Butch presents his new plan to Clipper: dressed as a blond woman, Clipper will help him with robberies.

At Margie’s apartment, she and Homer prepare a birthday celebration for Clipper. He’s underwhelmed. He steals Homer’s watch and climbs out the window. Margie cries and Homer tries to make her feel better by serving her some duck. However, he does a terrible job at carving. A cop brings Clipper in, but Homer tells him that the watch was a birthday present. Margie kisses him.

In a record store, Homer tells Poggle that he doesn’t know how to propose to Margie. Poggle suggests making a recording, so he does, reading a series of sentimental song titles until he gets to “Yes, We Have No Bananas.” At that point, he offers to kick Poggle in the pants.

At Homer’s place, he plays the record for Margie. He scrambles to take it off when the kick in the pants remark plays.

Butch and Clipper (who’s in drag) drive away from their crime scene. Meanwhile, Marie and Homer arrive at the gym for the big musical tragedy show. He tells Poggle that Marie will marry him if he’ll do something for Clipper. Homer looks down at a car parked below and sees a man undressing a blonde woman. Then he sees Clipper, and assumes that he was the masher. He lectures him in the locker room. Clipper thinks that Homer is talking about the stick-up racket. He tells Butch, and Butch tells him to use real bullets when he shoots Homer in the show. Clipper refuses, but Butch insists.

The show begins. Poggle plays the Duke, and Homer is Sonia, his commoner passion flower. Clipper comes in to rid the country of the woman who would plunge their country into darkness, but he can’t bring himself to pull the trigger. Poggle wrestles with him for the gun, it goes off towards a corner, and Sonia dies melodramatically.

In the locker room, Homer looks for his costume for the next act. He can’t find the right one, so he uses Clipper’s female disguise. Butch confronts Clipper, tells him to be outside in five minutes, and then leaves. Margie comforts Clipper and refuses to believe that he’s the blonde bandit. He runs out. Homer, in drag, comes in and runs after him. Lefty pushes Homer into Butch’s car and they speed off.

In the car, Butch explains that Clipper/Homer must plug Homer at his apartment. Meanwhile, the real Clipper goes to the pool hall, and Lefty realizes that the wrong person went with Butch. His gang rushes to Homer’s, leaving one member to guard Clipper. At Homer’s place, Butch realizes that the blonde woman isn’t Clipper. His gang arrives and chases Homer to the bedroom. Clipper hits the guard and convinces the boys to follow him to Homer’s, where they beat up the gangsters. Homer throws Butch around the room several times while Margie watches. When she hugs Homer, he throws her too – but she responds to his “Oh Margie!” with a much sweeter “Oh Homer!” – Lisle Foote

Passionate Plumber
Breaking crockery displays true love

Release date: February 6, 1932
Length: 73 minutes
A Buster Keaton Production
Distributed by: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Executive Producer: Harry Rapf (uncredited)
Director: Edward Sedgwick
Adaptation: Laurence E. Johnston, from the play Her Cardboard Lover by Jacques Deval
Dialogue: Ralph Spence
Photography: Norbert Brodine
Editor: William S. Gray
Art Director: Cedric Gibbons
Recording Engineer: Douglas Shearer

Cast:
Buster Keaton: Elmer Tuttle
Jimmy Durante: Julius McCracken
Irene Purcell: Patricia Alden
Polly Moran: Albine
Gilbert Roland: Tony Lagorce
Mona Maris: Nina Estrada
Maude Eburne: Aunt Charlotte
Henry Armetta: Bouncer
Paul Porcasi: Paul Le Maire
Jean Del Val: Chauffeur
August Tollaire: General Bouschay
Edward Brophy: Pedestrian


In Paris, McCracken goes into a plumber’s shop. He finds Elmer in the back room, hard at work fixing his cigarette lighter. Elmer shows off his new invention, the spot shot pistol -- a gun with a light on it. He wants the French army to adopt it. McCracken asks him to come fix the leak in Mademoiselle Patricia’s bathroom. After a few complaints, he agrees.

Patricia arrives at her apartment, and tells her maid Albine that her married lover Tony has spotted her. His wife Nina won’t give him a divorce, and Patricia can’t decide: does she want to be rid of him? When the bell rings, she hides, thinking that it’s Tony. It’s only Elmer and McCracken. Elmer goes upstairs to fix the shower and McCracken goes to the kitchen to shut off the water, agreeing to turn it on when Elmer thumps the wall. Tony arrives and Patricia hides again in the bedroom. He bursts in and they fight, knocking over a vase. McCracken mistakes the noise for Elmer’s signal, and he turns the water on, dousing Elmer. Patricia and Tony continue to spar, until Tony hears something in the bathroom. He knocks and Elmer comes out, naked except for a towel around his middle. Tony assumes he’s Patricia’s lover, so he challenges him to a dual by slapping him with his gloves. Elmer slaps him with his towel, and Patricia screams.

Tony and his seconds pull into the rural dueling grounds in two grand automobiles. McCraken and Elmer arrive in a jalopy. After all concerned repeatedly tip their hats to each other, the seconds discuss weapons. Tony prefers swords while Elmer wants pistols. Elmer offers to use a pistol while Tony uses a sword, but they settle on pistols after an argument. They take off their caps and begin by standing back to back. Tony paces, but Elmer follows him instead of pacing away. Tony threatens to kill him twice if he doesn’t do it right. They begin again, but a hunter shoots over them and everyone scatters. Elmer hits his head on a tree branch and gets knocked out. Patricia arrives and runs to Tony, but he’s all right. She sees Elmer and calls Tony a murderer. She goes to him and takes him in her arms, crooning “You’re too young to die.” He wakes up and stares at her, enraptured. When she sees he’s all right, she dumps him.

Later, Tony comes into Nina’s place. He tells her he hasn’t been with his “wife” Patricia (who won’t give him a divorce), he’s been on business. A passionate Spaniard, she yells and throws things, including a knife. She says it shows how much she loves him.

At the Casino de Paris, Elmer and McCraken notice Patricia as she goes in. They’re outside waiting for General Bouschay. He gets there, and Elmer tries to sell him his spot shot gun. It goes off accidentally, and they run away when guards stream out of the casino. McCraken explains that the guards are looking for a suicide victim. Whenever they find one, they stuff money in his pockets so people won’t think that he killed himself over gambling debts. Elmer tries to go into the casino, but he’s refused entry because he isn’t wearing evening clothes. He fakes his own suicide, and the guards put a wad of bills in his pocket.

Inside the casino lounge, Patricia waits for Tony. As he goes to her, Nina intercepts him. She has a tantrum and throws more breakables. She leaves for the theater. Tony meets Patricia, and she tells him to leave her because she has someone else. Meanwhile, Elmer comes in. The mothballs from his dress suit land on the roulette wheel, causing confusion. He strolls to the lounge where Patricia grabs him. She takes him to the moonlight veranda and says sweet things to him for Tony’s benefit – he’s listening. When Tony leaves, she dismisses Elmer, but Tony catches her so she must grab Elmer again. They try to play baccarat, but Elmer makes a mess and gets challenged to duels. General Bouschay comes over and Elmer tries to show him the gun again, but it goes off and he gets chased outside. He wreaks the car he steals.

Elmer goes to Patricia’s apartment, where he learns that it was her car. Since he can’t pay for it, he agrees to stand between her and Tony. She fears her Aunt Charlotte, who would never approve of her seeing a married man. Tony arrives and says that if she doesn’t leave with him that night, she’ll never see him again. She agrees to go, but Elmer won’t let her. Tony storms off. Patricia tries to follow, but Elmer locks her in her room and stands guard outside the door.

The next morning, Elmer wheels her breakfast in and makes a mess of the coffee and eggs. She sends him to walk Fifi, her tiny white dog. After dressing, she tries to escape in her car but Elmer and Fifi are on the running board. He climbs in. She stops at the beauty parlor and tells him to get Fifi her dinner across the street. Instead he follows her into the beautician’s, but a crowd of women throws him out. Patricia escapes out the back.

At her apartment, Patricia apologizes to Tony. He says that if he stays, it will only be on his terms. They reconcile; nothing will come between them. They hear gargling. Elmer comes out of the bathroom, dressed in silk pajamas. He says he lives there. Tony leaves. Patricia locks Elmer in the bathroom, where he quickly dresses, then climbs out the window and into the hallway. He stops her from going to Tony.

Aunt Charlotte arrives to find “doctor” Elmer checking Patricia’s pulse. He fakes doctor’s instruments by using his plumbing equipment. Threatened with the display of Charlotte’s operation scar, he runs downstairs. Charlotte leaves. Elmer goes upstairs to discover the real Charlotte in bed: Patricia stole her clothes and left. Elmer and McCraken call Tony and tell him to come over. Nina arrives, and Elmer tells her that she can get Tony back by pretending to keep company with him. Patricia comes in, and she and Nina learn that Tony isn’t married to either one of them. Elmer steps into the middle of their fight. Tony rings the bell, and Elmer hides the women. Tony comes in, and Elmer tells him that he’s leaving Patricia, so Tony can have her. Elmer asks about Nina, and Tony calls her the type you find, fondle, and forget. Elmer asks if he likes fireworks. Tony says yes. Elmer fetches Nina and Patricia, and they throw all available breakables at him. Elmer supplies more. Tony runs to the door, but Nina goes after him. She says “Can’t you see how much I love you” and they leave. Elmer picks up his beret and gets ready to go, but Patricia heaves a book at him and says “Can’t you see how much I love you?” In the kitchen, McCracken says the same to Albine, but his nose gets in the way of their kiss. – Lisle Foote

Speak Easily
Life upon the wicked stage

Release date: August 13, 1932
Length: 82 minutes
A Buster Keaton Production
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Producer: Lawrence Weingarten
Director: Edward Sedgwick
Adaptation: Ralph Spence and Lawrence E. Johnson, from Footlights by
Clarence Budington Kelland
Dialogue Continuity: Ralph Spence and Laurence E. Johnson
Photography: Harold Wenstrom
Editor: William LeVanway
Art Director: Cedric Gibbons
Recording Engineer: Douglas Shearer
Costumes: Arthur Appell

Cast:
Buster Keaton: Professor Timoleon Zanders Post
Jimmy Durante: Jimmy
Ruth Selwyn: Pansy Peets
Thelma Todd: Eleanor Espere
Edward Brophy: Reno
Hedda Hopper: Mrs. Peets
Sidney Toler: Mr. Rayburn, the stage manager
William Pawley: Griffo
Henry Armetta: Tony
Sidney Bracy: Jenkins
Lawrence Grant: Dr. Bolton
Fred Kelsey: Process server

Timid Professor Timoleon Zanders Post, of Potts College, longs to have an adventure in his life, if only he had the gumption and the money to do it. Jenkins, his valet, sensing the Professor's loneliness, encourages him to seek out excitement. Moments later, a letter arrives stating that the Professor has inherited $750,000, giving him the chance to finally take a chance.

At the train station, Professor Post meets up with The Midnight Maids Company, a theatrical troupe headed for its next engagement. When the Professor's trunk is left on the station platform, utter confusion erupts as he intelligently discusses the situation with an uncomprehending porter. The entire troupe comes to his rescue as the departing train drags him and his trunk along the platform. Meanwhile, back at the college, Jenkins admits to Dr. Bolton that it was he who sent the Professor the phony inheritance letter, in the hopes of giving him a new lease on life. Both agree that the Professor is a very conservative man who would never do anything foolish with his life savings.

Arriving at the next town, the Professor absentmindedly misses his rail connection to Chicago, and winds up at the theatre where the Midnight Maids Company is performing a less than amateurish revue. The Professor becomes enchanted with sweet Pansy Peets, lead dancer, and is befriended by boisterous Jimmy, the troupe's second-rate comedian. He saves the troupe by paying off a $250 debt when a law official shows up backstage to put attachments on all the costumes and props. Jimmy, taking note of the Professor's bankroll, asks him to take charge of the show. The Professor decides to bring it straight to New York, mainly because his trunk was sent there.

In New York, he sets up T.Z. Post Theatrical Enterprises, and the first audition is by sultry Eleanor Espere, who demonstrates her desire to be lead dancer by stripping off her clothes and displaying her best assets. The show's new name "Speak Easily," is coined when Eleanor tries to describe her last employer to the puzzled Professor. During rehearsals, Eleanor attempts to seduce him by giving him the key to her apartment and inviting him up for a cup of tea. Once at her apartment, with the intention of getting him to pay her rent and then marry her, the two become outrageously drunk on "Thomas Collins," before wrestling each other and falling asleep in her bedroom. Next morning, the Professor tries to escape from the apartment through the bathroom window, while Eleanor tries to set him up by inviting a friend to pose as her enraged "brother." Eleanor and her "brother" get a real surprise when Jimmy rescues the Professor and foils her little scheme.

On opening night, with Jenkins in the audience, the show is in big financial trouble with law officials for unpaid bills. Jimmy warns the Professor to stay in New Jersey until the show opens, but he shows up anyway and causes a major disruption in the musical scenes. He gets caught in the fly ropes and executes comical acrobatics, to the delight of the hysterical audience, thinking it's all part of the show. The show is a smash hit, and a big Broadway producer offers $100,000 to take it over. Eleanor, angry that her career has been ruined, confronts an embracing Professor Post and Pansy. The now confident Professor sends the conniving woman on her way with a "Nuts to You!" -- Janice Agnello

What? No Beer?
Beer is good. Prohibition is bad.

Release date: February 10, 1933
Length: 66 minutes
A Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Production
Distributed by: M-G-M
Producer: Lawrence Weingarten (uncredited)
Director: Edward Sedgwick
Script: Carey Wilson
Story: Robert E. Hopkins
Additional Dialogue: Jack Cluett
Photography: Harold Wenstrom
Editor: Frank Sullivan
Art Director: Cedric Gibbons
Recording Engineer: Douglas Shearer

Cast:
Buster Keaton: Elmer Butts
Jimmy Durante: Jimmy Potts
Roscoe Ates: Schultz
Phyllis Barry: Hortense
John Miljan: Butch Lorado
Henry Armetta: Tony
Edward Brophy: Spike Moran
Charles Dunbar: Mulligan
Charles Giblyn: Chief
Sidney Bracy: Dr. Smith, Prohibition speaker
James Donlan: Al
Al Jackson: Stool pigeon
Pat Harman: Moran’s assistant

[Note: The repeal of Prohibition was proposed in the U.S. Congress on February 20, 1933; it was ratified on December 5, 1933]

Elmer J. Butts, taxidermist, goes to a dry rally, where he follows the beautiful Hortense and her gangster boyfriend Butch Laredo into the meeting hall. He sits by Hortense, only to be thrown out after the speaker asks if they want liquor back in this country, and he calls out “Yes!”

The next day, Jimmy Potts, driving a car covered in pro-booze stickers, brings a fish to Elmer’s shop for stuffing. It's Election Day, and there's a referendum on Prohibition on the ballot. Jimmy convinces Elmer to vote wet, and they go to the polls only to cause confusion and collapse the booths.

Later, at Jimmy’s barbershop, the radio reports that the country has voted to repeal Prohibition. At a hotel, a group of Spike Moran’s gangsters realize that their bootlegging operation is washed up. They wonder what Butch will do. At Butch’s place, Hortense asks if this means that she can’t have her Rolls Royce town car. Butch tells her she’ll be lucky to have a wheelbarrow, and he shoots the radio. Back at the barbershop, Jimmy breaks off of the celebratory conga line to tell Elmer his million dollar idea: buying a brewery. Elmer wants to be rich, too, so he can marry – and he has $10,000 hidden in his stuffed animals. They collect the money and take it to the president of the bank that foreclosed on the local brewery. Jimmy’s offer of $10,000 cash plus $5,00 a month is quickly accepted.

Elmer and Jimmy arrive at the brewery, toting bags of supplies. They find three unemployed homeless men there, and they hire them. After dousing themselves with an unpredictable water hose, they assemble the ingredients for a five gallon batch of beer in the huge tank. It only makes a small puddle at the bottom of the tank. They realize that they need 500 gallons, so after donning raincoats, they start work. Later, they open the vat. Suds bubble up over the top. They bottle as much as the can, having several mishaps with exploding bottles and foam piling up over their heads.

They put up a sign: “Real beer – 5 cents” and wait for customers. Instead the cops come in and raid them. The vote didn’t repeal Prohibition, it was only advisory. In court, the judge reads the charges and Jimmy protests that it’s persecution, but the chemist reports that it wasn’t beer, it was only brown dishwater.

On the stoop outside the brewery, Jimmy consoles Elmer on the loss of his nest egg. Jimmy goes in and talks to the workers, and one, Schultz, reveals that he’s a master brewer. To make back Elmer’s money, Jimmy decides to make real beer and tell Elmer that it’s near beer.

Weeks later, Spike and Butch meet to discuss who’s cut in on their racket. Butch vows to kill him.

Spike and an associate interrupt Elmer, who’s reading a book: Modern Salesmanship and Big Business. Spike offers to buy 1,000 barrels a day, and gives Elmer $10,00 down payment. Full of the advice from the book, Elmer agrees. Spike says that his partners stay partners as long as they live, and he leaves. Elmer tells the three workers that they need to increase production, then goes to the State Employment Bureau for 50 more men. After they start work, Jimmy comes in and learns about the contract; he has a meltdown. He puts the $10,000 in his overcoat pocket, which he hangs on the office coat rack, and leaves. Hortense drives up and pretends to turn her ankle, so Elmer must rescue her and carry her to the office. After she fakes a faint, he douses her with water, so she takes off her dress and puts on Jimmy’s overcoat. She vamps Elmer until he mentions that Spike is their partner. Having learned what she came for, she leaves. Jimmy comes in, looking for his overcoat. Elmer tells him that Hortense has it. When Jimmy tells him about the money, Elmer doesn’t mind: she’s the girl for whom he wants to make a million.

Hortense tells Butch that Spike is working with the brewers. When the $10,000 falls out of the coat, Butch calls her a tramp and hits her. She calls Elmer and he asks about the money. She denies seeing it, but he tells her to keep it and buy herself a Rolls. He asks her out on a walk in the park the next day. She’s appalled.

At Spike’s office, two men say that Butch threatened to kill them if they picked up the beer. Elmer volunteered to deliver it. At the brewery, Elmer drives the truck away and down the street. Butch’s men decide to kill him at the top of a hill, but the trucks’ tire blows out halfway up, and the barrels fall off of the back and chase the gangsters away. Jimmy arrives, and Elmer mourns the loss of the near beer. Jimmy explains that it was real beer, and they’re involved with gangsters. Elmer won’t leave town, because he’s got a date at the park.

Hortense and Elmer picnic, until a paperboy calls out the news: there’s a new gang war. Hortense kisses Elmer, sending him into the pond, and leaves. At the brewery, Jimmy learns that Butch killed Spike. Butch arrives and announces that now he’s their partner. Elmer comes in and tells them that Hortense loves him, but Butch asks “does she?” Meanwhile, the cops are planning to raid the brewery. Back at the brewery office, Hortense intercepts a man who’s going to tell Butch about the raid. On the brewery floor, Butch orders that no one may come in or out, and he posts guards on all of the doors. While giving Elmer the brush-off, Hortense slips him a note about the raid. Elmer escapes in a barrel, grabs a blackboard, and drives away. He shows what he’s written on the board to everyone on the street: Free Beer at the Brewery. The factory is mobbed, and by the time the police arrive, there’s no beer left.

Later, a Senator speaks to Congress, telling the story of a town in his state where the gangsters were put out of business when the people stormed the brewery. He calls for an end to Prohibition. After the headline “Beer Legalized,” crowds cheer, grain gets harvested, and beer gets made and delivered. At Butt’s Beer Garden, Elmer and Jimmy arrive in an open car. Jimmy offers free beer, and the two get mobbed for autographs. The crowd steals their clothes, too. Hortense joins the and asks if Elmer is hurt – he isn’t. Jimmy, holding a frosty brew aloft, addresses the camera: “It’s your turn next folks. It won’t be long now.” He blows off the head and chugs some down. – Lisle Foote

Other Keaton Credits
by Janice Agnello and Lisle Foote

The Gold Ghost
Length: Two reels
Release date: March 16, 1934
An Educational Pictures Production
Presented by: E.W. Hammons
Distributed by: Fox Films
Producer: E.H. Allen
Director: Charles Lamont
Story: Ewart Adamson and Nick Barrows
Adaptation/Continuity: Ernest Pagano and Charles Lamont
Photography: Dwight Warren
Cast:
Buster Keaton: Wally
Dorothy Dix: Wally's girlfriend
Leo Willis: Gangster
With: William Worthington, Lloyd Ingraham, Warren Hymer, Joe Young, Al Thompson, and Billy Engle.


Allez Oop
Length: Two reels
Release date: May 31, 1934
An Educational Pictures Production
Presented by: E.W. Hammons
Distributed by: Fox Films
Producer: E.H. Allen
Director: Charles Lamont
Story: Ernest Pagano and Ewart Adamson
Photography: Dwight Warren
Cast:
Buster Keaton: Elmer
Dorothy Sebastian: An attractive customer
With: Harry Myers, George Lewis and The Flying Escalantes

Le Roi des Champs-Elysees
(British title: The Champ of the Champs-Elysees)
Running time: 70 minutes
Release date: December 1934
A Nero Films Production
Distributed in France by Paramount (no U.S. release)
Producer: Seymour Nebenzal
Director: Max Nosseck
Production supervisor: Robert Siodmak
Script: Arnold Lipp
Dialog: Yves Mirande
Photography: Robert LeFebvre
Art directors: Hugues Laurent and Jacques-Laurent Atthalin
Music: Joe Hajos
Cast:
Buster Keaton: Buster Garnier/Jim Le Balafre
Paulette Dubost: Germaine
Colette Darfeuile:Simone
Madeline Guitty: Madame Garnier
With: Jacques Dumesnil, Pierre Pierade, Gaston Dupray, Paul Clerget, Frank Maurice, Pitouto, and Lucien Callamand

Palooka From Paducah
Length: Two reels
Release date: January 11, 1935
An Educational Pictures Production
Presented by: E.W. Hammons
Distributed by: Fox Films
Producer: E.H. Allen
Director: Charles Lamont
Story: Glen Lambert
Photography: Dwight Warren
Cast:
Buster Keaton: Jim
Joe Keaton: Pa
Myra Keaton: Ma
Louise Keaton: Sis
Dewey Robinson: Elmer
Bull Montana: Bullfrog Kraus

One-Run Elmer
Length: Two reels
Release date: February 22, 1935
An Educational Pictures Production
Presented by: E.W. Hammons
Distributed by: Fox Films
Producer: E.H. Allen
Director: Charles Lamont
Story: Glen Lambert
Photography: Dwight Warren
Cast:
Buster Keaton: Elmer
Lona Andre: An attractive customer
Harold Goodman: Elmer's rival
With: Dewey Robinson and Jim Thorpe

Hayseed Romance
Length: Two reels
Release date: March 15, 1935
An Educational Pictures Production
Presented by: E.W. Hammons
Distributed by: Fox Films
Producer: E.H. Allen
Director: Charles Lamont
Story: Charles Lamont
Dialogue/Continuity: Glen Lambert
Photography: Gus Peterson
Cast:
Buster Keaton: Elmer
Jane Jones: Auntie
Dorothea Kent: Her Niece

Tars and Stripes
Length: Two reels
Release date: May 3, 1935
An Educational Pictures Production
Presented by: E.W. Hammons
Distributed by: Fox Films
Producer: E. H. Allen
Director: Charles Lamont
Story: Charles Lamont
Adaptation: Ewart Adamson
Photography: Dwight Warren
Cast:
Buster Keaton: Elmer
Vernon Dent: The commanding officer
Dorothea Kent: The officer's girlfriend
With: Jack Shutta

The E-Flat Man
Length: Two reels
Release Date: August 9, 1935
An Educational Pictures Production
Presented by: E.W. Hammons
Distributed by: Fox Films
Producer: E.H. Allen
Director: Charles Lamont
Story: Charles Lamont and Glen Lambert
Photography: Dwight Warren
Sound: Karl Zint
Cast:
Buster Keaton: The boyfriend
Dorothea Kent: His girlfriend
With: Broderick O'Farrell, Charles McAvoy, Si Jenks, Fern Emmett, Jack Shutta, and Matthew Betz

The Timid Young Man
Length: Two reels
Release date: October 25, 1935
An Educational Pictures Production
Presented by: E.W. Hammons
Distributed by: 20th Century-Fox
Producer: Mack Sennett
Director: Mack Sennett
Photography: Dwight Warren
Sound: Karl Zint
Cast:
Buster Keaton: Milton
Lona Andre: A pretty hitchhiker
Stanley J. Sandford: A motorist
Kitty McHugh: Milton's former girlfriend
With: Harry Bowen

The Invader
(aka An Old Spanish Custom)
Running time: 61 minutes
Release date: January 2, 1936 (filming completed November 1934)
A British and Continental Production (MGM)
Released in the United States by M.H. Hoffberg
Producers: Sam Spiegel and Harold Richman
Director: Adrian Brunel
Script: Walter Greenwood
Photography: Eugene Schufftan
Editor: Dan Birt
Music: John Greenwood and George Rubens
Recording Engineer: Scanlan
Cast:
Buster Keaton: Leadner Proudfoot
Lupita Tovar: Lupita Malez
Esme Percy: Jose
Lyn Harding: Gonzalo Gonzalez
Andrea Maladrinos: Carlos
Hilda Moreno: Carmita
Clifford Heatherly: David Cheesman
Webster Booth: Serenader

Three On A Limb
Length: Two reels
Release date: January 3, 1936
An Educational Pictures Production
Presented by: E.W. Hammons
Distributed by: 20th Century-Fox
Director: Charles Lamont
Story: Vernon Smith
Photography: Gus Peterson
Cast:
Buster Keaton: Elmer Brown
Lona Andre: The carhop
Harold Goodwin: Her patrolman boyfriend
Grant Withers: Oscar
With: Barbara Bedford, John Ince, Fern Emmett, and Phylis Crane

Grand Slam Opera
Length: Two reels
Release date: February 21, 1936
An Educational Pictures Production
Presented by: E.W. Hammons
Distributed by: 20th Century-Fox
Producer: E.H. Allen
Director: Charles Lamont
Story: Buster Keaton and Charles Lamont
Photography: Gus Peterson
Cast:
Buster Keaton: Elmer
Diana Lewis: Tap dancer
Harold Goodwin: Orchestra conductor
With: John Ince, Melrose Coakley, and Bud Jamison

Blue Blazes
Length: Two reels
Release date: August 21, 1936
An Educational Pictures Production
Presented by: E.W. Hammons
Distributed by: 20th Century-Fox
Producer: E. H. Allen
Director: Raymond Kane
Story: David Freedman
Photography: George Webber
Cast:
Buster Keaton: Elmer
Arthur Jarrett: Fire Chief
With: Rose Kessner, Patty Wilson, and Marlyn Stuart

The Chemist
Length: Two reels
Release date: October 9, 1936
An Educational Pictures Production
Presented by: E.W. Hammons
Distributed by: 20th Century-Fox
Producer: Al Christie
Director: Al Christie
Story: David Freedman
Photography: George Webber
Cast:
Buster Keaton: Chemistry professor's assistant
Marlyn Stuart: His sweetheart
With: Earl Gilbert, Donald McBride, Herman Lieb

Mixed Magic
Length: Two reels
Release date: November 20, 1936
An Educational Pictures Production
Presented by: E.W. Hammons
Distributed by: 20th Century-Fox
Producer: E.H. Allen
Director: Raymond Kane
Story: Arthur Jarrett and Marcy Klauber
Photography: George Webber
Cast:
Buster Keaton: Magician's assistant
Marlyn Stuart: Magician's other assistant
Eddie Lambert: The Great Spumoni
With: Eddie Hall, Jimmie Fox, Walter Fenner, Pass Le Noir, and Harry Myers

Jail Bait
Length: Two reels
Release date: January 8, 1937
An Educational Pictures Production
Presented by: E. W. Hammons
Distributed by: 20th Century-Fox
Producer: E.H. Allen
Director: Charles Lamont
Story: Paul Gerard Smith
Photography: Dwight Warren
Cast:
Buster Keaton: Newspaper copyboy
Harold Goodwin: Reporter
With: Matthew Betz, Bud Jamison, and Betty Andre

Ditto
Length: Two reels
Release date: February 21, 1937
An Educational Pictures Production
Presented by: E.W. Hammons
Distributed by: 20th Century-Fox
Producer: E.H. Allen
Director: Charles Lamont
Story: Paul Gerard Smith
Photography: Dwight Warren
Cast:
Buster Keaton: The iceman
With: Gloria Brewster, Barbara Brewster, Harold Goodwin, Lynton Brent, Al Thompson, and Bob Ellsworth

Love Nest On Wheels
Length: Two reels
Release date: March 26, 1937
An Educational Pictures Production
Presented by: E.W. Hammons
Distributed by: 20th Century-Fox
Producer: E.H. Allen
Director: Charles Lamont
Story: William Hazlett Upson
Adaptation: Paul Gerard Smith
Photography: Dwight Warren
Cast:
Buster Keaton: Buster
Myra Keaton: Ma
Louise Keaton: Sis
Harry Keaton: Brother
Al St. John: Uncle Jed
Bud Jamison: Banker
Diana Lewis: Newlywed wife
Lynton Brent: Newlywed husband

Pest From The West
Length: Two reels
Release date: June 16, 1939
A Columbia Pictures Production
Producer: Jules White
Director: Del Lord
Script: Clyde Bruckman
Cast:
Buster Keaton: A wealthy yachtsman
Lorna Gray: Conchita
Gino Corrado: Her boyfriend
With: Richard Fiske, Eddie Laughton, Forbes Murray, Ned Glass, and Bud Jamison

Mooching Through Georgia
Length: Two reels
Release date: August 11, 1939
A Columbia Pictures Production
Producer: Jules White
Director: Jules White
Script: Clyde Bruckman
Cast:
Buster Keaton: A Confederate soldier
Ned Glass: A Union soldier
Bud Jamison: Titus
Monty Collins: Cyrus
Jill Martin: A Southern sweetheart
With: Lynton Brent, Jack Hill, and Stanley Mack

Hollywood Cavalcade
Running time: 96 minutes
Release date: October 13, 1939
A Twentieth Century-Fox Production
Producer: Darryl F. Zanuck
Director: Irving Cummings
Script: Ernest Pasca;
Story: Hilary Lynn and Brown Holmes, based on an idea aby Lou Breslow
Photography: Allen M. Davey and Ernest Parker
Editor: Walter Thompson
Technical advisors: Mack Sennett and Buster Keaton (uncredited)
Cast:
Buster Keaton, Alice Faye, Don Ameche, Stuart Erwin, Mary Forbes, Chester Conklin, Mack Sennett, Al Jolson, Ben Turpin, Harold Goodwin, and Willie Fung

Nothing But Pleasure
Length: Two reels
Release date: January 19, 1940
A Columbia Pictures Production
Producer: Jules White
Director: Jules White
Script: Clyde Bruckman
Photography: Henry Freulich
Cast:
Buster Keaton: The husband
Dorothy Appleby: The wife
Beatrice Blinn: An intoxicated woman
With: Johnny Tyrell, Richard Fiske, Bud Jamison, Jack Randall, Robert Sterling, Eddie Laughton,
Victor Tramers, and Lynton Brent

Pardon My Berth Marks
Length: Two reels
Release date: March 22, 1940
A Columbia Pictures Production
Producer: Jules White
Director: Jules White
Script: Clyde Bruckman
Photography: Benjamin Kline
Cast:
Buster Keaton: Newspaper copyboy
Vernon Dent: Newspaper editor
Dorothy Appleby: Wealthy society woman
Richard Fiske: Her husband
Bud Jamison: Train conductor
Clarice: The parrot
With: Dick Curtis, Eva McKenzie, and Billy Gilbert

The Taming Of The Snood
Length: Two reels
Release date: June 28, 1940
A Columbia Pictures Production
Producer: Jules White
Director: Jules White
Script: Ewart Adamson and Clyde Bruckman
Photography: Henry Freulich
Cast:
Buster Keaton: Hat shop owner
Dorothy Appleby: A jewel thief
Elsie Ames: A maid
Richard Fiske: A detective
Bruce Bennett: A detective

The Spook Speaks
Length: Two reels
Release date: September 20, 1940
A Columbia Pictures Production
Producer: Jules White
Director: Jules White
Script: Clyde Bruckman and Ewart Adamson
Photography: Henry Freulich
Cast:
Buster Keaton: The house caretaker
Elsie Ames: His wife
Lynton Brent: Professor Mordini
Bruce Bennett: The professor's former assistant
Dorothy Appleby: A newlywed bride
Don Beddoe: A newlywed husband
Orson: The penguin

The Villain Still Pursued Her
Running time: 66 minutes
Release date: October 11, 1940
A Franklin-Blank Production
Distributed by RKO Pictures
Producer: Harold B. Franklin
Director: Edward Cline
Script: Elbert Franklin, based on the play The Fallen Saved, also known as The Drunkard
Additional dialog: Ethel La Blanche
Photography: Lucien Ballard
Editor: Arthur Hilton
Cast:
Buster Keaton: William Dalton
Anita Louise: Mary Wilson
Richard Cromwell: Edward Middleton
Alan Mowbray: Silas Cribbs
Hugh Herbert: Frederick Healy
Margaret Hamilton: Widow Wilson
Joyce Compton: Hazel Dalton
Billy Gilbert: Emcee
Diane Fisher: Julia Wilson
Charles Judels: Pie vendor
Jack Norton: Pie customer
Vernon Dent: Police officer
Carlotta Monti: Streetwalker

Li’l Abner
Running time: 75 minutes
Release date: November 1, 1940
A Vogue-RKO Pictures Production
Distributed by RKO
Producers: Lou Ostrow, Herman Schlom
Director: Albert S. Rogell
Script: Charles Kerr and Tyler Johnson, based on the comic strip by Al Capp
Editors: Otto Ludwig, Donn Hayes
Photography: Harry Jackson
Cast:
Buster Keaton: Lonesome Polecat
Granville Owen: Li’l Abner
Matha O’DriscollL Daisy Mae
Mona Ray: Mammy Yokum
Johnnie Morris: Pappy Yokum
Billie Seward: Cousin Delightful
Kay Sutton: Wendy Wilecat
Maude Eburne: Granny Scraggs
Edgar Kennedy: Corneilus Cornpone
Charles A. Post: Earthquake McGoon
Bud Jamison: Hairless Joe
Dick Elliot: Marryin’ Sam
Johnny Arthur: Montague
Walter Catlett: Barber
Chester Conklin: Mayor Gurgle
Doodles Weaver: Hannibal Hoops
Al St. John: Joe Smithpan
Hank Mann: A Bachelor
Blanche Payson: Large spinster
Louise Keaton: Small spinster
Lucien Littlefield: Sheriff/Old timer
Micky Daniels: Cicero Grunts

His Ex Marks The Spot
Length: Two reels
Release date: December 13, 1940
A Columbia Pictures Production
Producer: Jules White
Director: Jules White
Script: Felix Adler
Photography: Benjamin Kline
Cast:
Buster Keaton: The husband
Dorothy Appleby: His wife
Elsie Ames: His ex wife
Matt McHugh: Ex wife's boyfriend

So You Won't Squawk
Length: Two reels
Release date: February 21, 1941
A Columbia Pictures Production
Produced by: Del Lord and Hugh McCollum
Director: Del Lord
Script: Elwood Ullman
Photography: Benjamin Kline
Cast:
Buster Keaton: A handyman
Eddie Fetherstone: Louie the Wolf
Matt McHugh: Slugger
With: Bud Jamison, Hank Mann, Vernon Dent, and Edmund Cobb

General Nuisance
(aka The Private General)
Length: Two reels
Release date: September 18, 1941
A Columbia Pictures Production
Producer: Jules White
Director: Jules White
Script: Felix Adler and Clyde Bruckman
Cast:
Buster Keaton: Peter Hedley Lamar, Jr.
Dorothy Appleby: An army nurse
Elsie Ames: An army nurse
With: Nick Arno, Bud Jamison, Monty Collins, Lynton Brent, and Harry Semels

She's Oil Mine
Length: Two reels
Release date: November 20, 1941
A Columbia Pictures Production
Producer: Jules White
Director: Jules White
Script: Felix Adler
Cast:
Buster Keaton: A plumber
Elsie Ames: An oil heiress
Eddie Laughton: A French suitor
Monty Collins: Plumber's helper
With: Bud Jamison and Jacqueline Dalya

Forever and a Day
Running time: 104 minutes
Release date: March 26, 1943
An Anglo-American/RKO Pictures Production
Production supervisor: Lloyd Richards
Directors: Rene Clair, Edmund Golding, Cedric Hardwicke, Frank Lloyd, Victor Saville, Robert Stevenson, and Herbert Wilcox
Script: Charles Benner, C.S. Forrester, Lawrence Hazard, Michael Hogan, W.P. Lipscomb, Alice Duer Miller, John Van Druten, Alan Campbell, Peter Godfrey, S.M. Herzig, Christopher Iserwood, Gene Lockhart, R.C. Sherriff, Claudine West, Norman Corwin, Jack Hartfield, James Hilton, Emmett Lavery, Frederick Lonsdale, Donald Ogden Stewart, and Keith Winter
Photography: Robert De Grasse, Lee Garmes, Russell Metty, and Nicholas Musuraca
Music director: Anthony Collins
Editors: Elmo J. Williams and George Crone
Cast:
Buster Keaton, Brian Aherne, Robert Cummings, Charles Laughton, Ida Lupino, Herbert Marshall, Ray Milland, Anna Neagle, Merle Oberon, C. Aubrey Smith, Claude Rains, Ian Hunter, Roland Young, Jessie Matthews, Gladys Cooper, Edward Everett Horton, Ruth Warrick, Donald Crisp, Anna Lee, Reginald Owen, Gene Lockhart, Victor McLaglen, Elsa Lanchester, Dame May Whitty, Edmund Gwenn, Arthur Treacher, Nigel Bruce, Una O’Connor, Eric Blore, Wendy Barrie, Cecil Kellaway, Cedric Hardwicke, George Kirby, June Lockhart, June Duprez, and a cast of thousands

San Diego, I Love You
Running time: 83 minutes
Release date: September 29, 1944
A Universal Pictures Production
Producers/Script: Michael Fessier and Ernest Pagano, based on a story by Ruth McKenney and Richard Branstein
Director: Reginald LeBorg
Photography: Hal Mohr
Editor: Charles Maynard
Cast:
Buster Keaton, Jon Hall, Louise Allbritton, Edward Everett Horton, Eric Blore, Irene Ryan, Rudy Wissler, Chester Clute, and Hobart Cavanaugh

That’s the Spirit
Running Time: 93 minutes
Release date: June 1, 1945
A Universal Pictures Production
Producers/Script: Michael Fessier and Ernest Pagano
Director: Charles Lamont
Photography: Charles Van Enger
Editor: Fred R. Feitshans, Jr.
Cast:
Buster Keaton, Peggy Ryan, Jack Oakie, June Vincent, Gene Lockhart, Andy Devine, Johnny Coy, Arthur Treacher, and Irene Ryan

That Night With You
Running time: 84 minutes
Release date: September 28, 1945
A Universal Pictures Production
Producers/Script: Michael Fessier and Ernest Pagano, based on a story by Arnold Belgard
Director: William A. Seiter
Photography: Charles Van Engler
Editor: Fred R. Feitshans, Jr.
Cast:
Buster Keaton, Franchot Tone, Susanna Foster, David Bruce, Louise Allbritton, Jacqueline de Wit, and Irene Ryan

God’s Country
Running time: 62 minutes
Release date: April 1946
An Action Pictures and Screen Guild Production
Producer: William B. David
Director/Script: Robert E. Tansey
Photography: Carl Webster
Cast:
Buster Keaton, Robert Lowery, Helen Gilbert, William Farnum, Stanley Andrews, Trevor Bardette, Si Jenks, Estelle Zarco, Juan Reyes, and Al Ferguson

El Moderno Barba Azul
(aka Boom in the Moon)
Running time: 90 minutes
Release date: August 2, 1946
An Alsa Films Production (Mexico)
Producer: Alexander Salkind
Director: Jaime Salvador
Scenario: Victor Trivas
Photography: Agustin Jiminez
Cast:
Buster Keaton, Angel Garasa, Virginia Seret, Luis Barreiro, Fernando Soto, Jorge Mondragon, and Luis Mondragon

The Lovable Cheat
Running time: 74 minutes
Release date: May 11, 1949
A Skyline Pictures Production
Distributed by Film Classics, Inc.
Producers/Script: Richard Oswald and Edward Lewis, based on the play Mercadet le Falseur by Honore de Balzac
Director: Richard Oswald
Photography: Paul Wang
Editor: Douglas Bagier
Cast: Buster Keaton, Charles Ruggles, Peggy Ann Garner, Richard Ney, Alan Mowbray, Iris Adrian, Ludwig Donath, Fritz Feld, John Wengraf, Edna Holland, Minerva Urecal, Helen Servis, Jody Gilbert, and Judith Trafford

In the Good Old Summertime
Running time: 102 minutes
Release date: July 29, 1949
A Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Production
Producer: Joe Pasternak
Director: Robert Z. Leonard
Script: Samson Raphaelson
Adaptation: Albet Hackett, Frances Goodrich, and Ivan Tors, based on the play Parfumerie by Miklos Laszlo
Photography: Harry Stradling
Editor: Adrienne Fazan
Cast:
Buster Keaton, Judy Garland, Van Johnson, S.Z. Sakall, Spring Byington, Clinton Sundberg, Marcia Van Dyke, Lillian Bronson, and Liza Minnelli

Sunset Boulevard
Running time: 110 minutes
Release date: August 1950
A Paramount Pictures Production
Producer: Charles Brackett
Director: Billy Wilder
Script: Charles Brackett, Billy Wilder, D. M. Marshman Jr., from the short story “A Can of Beans”
Photography: John R. Seitz
Editors: Doane Harrison, Arthur Schmidt
Music: Franz Waxman
Cast:
Buster Keaton, Gloria Swanson, William Holden, Erich Von Stroheim, Nancy Olson, Fred Clark, Jack Webb, Cecil B. DeMille, H. B. Warner, Anna Q. Nilsson, and Hedda Hopper

Paradise for Buster
Running time: 39 minutes
Release date: October 15, 1952
A Wilding Pictures Production presented by John Deere and Company, Inc.
Production supervisors: H.M. Railsback and G.M. Rohrback
Director: Del Lord
Story: J.P. Prindle, John Grey, and Harold Goodwin
Photography: J.J. La Fleur and Robert Sable
Editor: William Minnerly
Music: Albert Glasser
Cast:
Buster Keaton and Harold Goodwin

Limelight
Running time: 145 minutes
Release date: February 6, 1953
A Celebrated Films Corporation Production
Distributed by United Artists
Producer/Director/Script/Music: Charles Chaplin
Photography: Karl Struss
Photographic consultant: Roland Tothroh
Editor: Joe Inge
Cast:
Buster Keaton, Charles Chaplin, Clair Bloom, Nigel Bruce, Sydney Chaplin, Norman Lloyd, Marjorie Bennett, Wheeler Dryden, Barry Bernard, Stapleton Kent, Mollie Blessing, Leonard Mudie, Julian Ludwig, Snub Pollard, Loyal Underwood, Charley Rogers, Geraldine Chaplin, Michael Chaplin, Josephine Chaplin, Charles Chaplin, Jr., and Edna Purviance

Around the World in Eighty Days
Running time: 168 minutes
Release date: March 1956
A United Artists Release
ProducerL Michael Todd
Director: Michael Anderson
Script: James Poe, John Farrow, and S.J. Perlman, based on the novel by Jules Verne
Photography: Lionel Lindon
Editors: Gene Ruggiero and Howard Epstein
Music: Victor Young
Cast:
Buster Keaton, David Niven, Cantinflas, Shirley MacLaine, Robert Newton, Joe E. Brown, John Carradine, Charles Coburn, Ronald Colman, Noel Coward, Reginald Denny, Andy Devine, Marlene Dietrich, John Gielgud, Cedric Hardwicke, Trevor Howard, Glynis Johns, Evelyn Keyes, Beatrice Lillie, Peter Lorre, Victor McLaglen, Col Tim McCoy, Alan Mowbray, Robert Morley, Jack Oakie, George Raft, Gilbert Roland, Frank Sinatra, Red Skelton, and a cast of thousands

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Running time: 107 minutes
Release date: June 17, 1960
A Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Production
Producer: Samuel Goldwyn, Jr.
Director: Michael Curtiz
Script: James Lee, from the novel by Mark Twain
Photography: Ted McCord
Editor: Frederic Steinkamp
Cast:
Buster Keaton, Eddie Hodges, Archie Moore, Tony Randall, Neville Brand, Mickey Shaughnessy, Patty McCormack, Judy Canova, Andy Devine, Sherry Jackson, John Carradine, Jospehine Hutchinson, Sterling Holloway, and Harry Dean Stanton

Ten Girls Ago
Running time: 92 minutes (approximately)
Release date: Never released – filming completed in April, 1962
An Am-Can Production
Producer: Edward A. Gollin
Director: Harold Daniels
Script: Peter Farrow and Diane Lampert
Photography: Lee Garmes and Jackson Samuels
Music/Lyrics: Diane Lampert and Sammy Fain
Musical director: Jospeh Harnell
Choreography: Bill Foster
Cast:
Buster Keaton, Bert Lahr, Eddie Foy, Jr., Dion DiMucci, Austin Willis, Jan Miner, Jennifer Billingsley, and Risella Bain

The Triumph of Lester Snapwell
Running time: 22 minutes
Release date: 1963
An Eastman Kodak Company Production
Director: James Calhoun
Cast:
Buster Keaton, Sigrid Nelsson, and Nina Varela

It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
Running Time: 192 minutes
Release date: November 7, 1963
A United Artists Production
Producer/Director: Stanley Kramer
Script: William and Tania Rose
Photography: Ernest Laszlo
Editor: Fred Knudtson
Cast:
Buster Keaton, Spencer Tracy, Milton Berle, Sid Caesar, Buddy Hackett, Ethel Merman, Micky Rooney, Dick Shawn, Phil Silvers, TerryThomas, Jonathan Winters, Edie Adams, Dorothy Provine, Jimmy Durante, Eddie “Rochester” Anderson, Jim Backus, Don Knotts, Carl Reiner, The Three Stooges, Joe E. Brown, Andy Devine, Sterling Holloway, Charles McGraw, ZaSu Pitts, Arnold Stang, Jessie White, Stan Freberg, Norman Fell, Doodles Weave, Jack Benny, Jerry Lewis, and a cast of thosands.

Pajama Party
Running time: 85 minutes
Release date: November 11, 1964
An American-International Pictures Production
Producers: James H. Nicholson and Samuel Z. Arkoff
Director: Don Weis
Script: Louis M. Heyward
Photography: Floyd Crosby
Editors: Fred Feitshand and Even Newman
Cast:
Buster Keaton, Tommy Kirk, Annette Funicello, Elsa Lanchester, Harvey Lembeck, Jesse White, Jody McCrea, Susan Hart, Bobbie Shaw, Don Rickles, Frankie Avalon, and Dorothy Lamour

Beach Blanket Bingo
Running time: 98 minutes
Release date: April 15, 1965
An American-International Pictures Production
Producers: James H. Nicholson and Samuel Z. Arkoff
Director: William Asher
Script: William Asher and Leo Townsend
Photography: Floyd Crosby
Editors: Fred Feitshand and Even Newman
Cast:
Buster Keaton, Frankie Avalon, Annette Funicello, Deborah Walley, Harvey Lembeck, John Ashley, Jody McCrea, Donna Loren, Marta Kristen, Linda Evans, Bobbi Shaw, Timothy Carey, Don Rickles, Paul Lynde, and Earl Wilson

How to Stuff a Wild Bikini
Running time: 98 minutes
Release date: July 14, 1965
An American-International Pictures Production
Producers: James H. Nicholson and Samuel Z. Arkoff
Director: William Asher
Script: William Asher and Leo Townsend
Photography: Floyd Crosby
Editors: Fred Feitshand and Even Newman
Cast:
Buster Keaton, Annette Funicello, Dwayne Hickman, Mickey Rooney, Brian Donlevy, Frankie Avalon, Harvey Lembeck, Beverly Adams, Jody McCrea, John Ashley, Marianne Gaba, Irene Tsu, Bobbi Shaw, Alberta Nelson, and Elizabeth Montgomery

Sergeant Deadhead
Running time: 89 minutes
Release date: August 18, 1965
An American-International Pictures Production
Producers: James H. Nicholson, and Samuel Z. Arkoff
Director: Norman Taurog
Script: Louis M. Heyward
Photography: Floyd Crosby
Editors: Ronald Sinclair, Fred Feitshand, and Even Newman
Cast:
Buster Keaton, Frankie Avalon, Deborah Walley, Cesar Romero, Fed Clark, Eve Arden, Gale Gordon, Harvey Lembeck, Reginald Gardnier, John Ashley, Donna Loren, Norman Grabowski, Pat Buttram, Patti Chandler, Luree Holmes, and Bobbi Shaw

The Railrodder
Running time: 21 minutes
Release date: 1965
A National Film Board of Canada Production
Producer: Julian Biggs
Director/Script: Gerald Potterton
Photography: Robert Humble
Music: Eldon Rathburn
Editor: J. Kilpatrick
Cast:
Buster Keaton

Film
Running time: 22 minutes
Release date: September 1965
An Evergreen Theatre Production
Producer: Barney Rosset
Director: Alan Schneider
Script: Samuel Beckett
Photography: Boris Kaufman
Editor: Sydney Myers
Art Director: Burr Smidt
Camera Operator: Joe Coffey
Cast:
Buster Keaton, James Karen, Nell Harrison, and Susan Reed

War Italian Style
(Italian title: Due Marines e un Generale)
Running time: 84 minutes
Release date: January 18, 1967 (filming completed September 1965)
An American-International Pictures Production
Producer: Fulvio Lucisano
Director: Luigi Scattini
Script: Franco Castellano, Pipolo
Photography: Fausto Zuccoli
Music Piero Umiliani
Cast:
Buster Keaton, Franco Franchi, Ciccio Ingrassia, Martha Hyer, and Fred Clark

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
Running time: 99 minutes
Release date: October 16, 1966 (filming completed October, 1965)
A United Artists/Quadrangle Production
Producer: Melvin Frank
Director: Richard Lester
Script: Michael Pertwee, based on the play by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart
Photography: Nicholas Roeg
Music and lyrics: Stephen Sondheim
Editor: John Victor Smith
Cast:
Buster Keaton, Zero Mostel, Phil Silvers, Jack Gilford, Michael Crawford, Annette Andre, Patrica Jessel, Michael Horden, Inga Neisen, Leon Greene, Myrna White, Pamela Brown, and Roy Kinnear

The Scribe
Running time: 30 minutes
Release date: May 1966 (filmed in October 1965)
A Film-Tele Production for the Construction Safety Association of Ontario
Executive producers: Raymond Walters, James Collier
Producers; Ann and Kenneth Heely-Ray
Director: John Sebert
Script: Paul Sutherland and Clifford Braggins
Photography: Mike Lente
Editor: Kenneth Heely-Ray
Music: Quartet Productions, Ltd.
Cast:
Buster Keaton and Larry Reynolds