Roscoe is a doctor who falls in love with a pretty woman whose boyfriend, in turn, falls in love with Roscoe's wife's jewelry.

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Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

In a drugstore Al and Roscoe are rivals for Alice. Roscoe slings melons and operates the gas pump. Buster delivers a wedding gown for Alice, begins modeling it, is mistaken for Alice and is kidnapped by Al.

Director: Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle
Stars: Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle, Buster Keaton, Al St. John
Coney Island (1917)
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Roscoe tries to dump his wife so he can enjoy the beach attractions. Buster arrives with Alice who is taken away from him by Al who loses her to Roscoe. Bathing beauties and Keystone Kops abound.

Director: Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle
Stars: Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle, Buster Keaton, Joe Bordeaux
Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Roscoe, his wife and his mother-in-law run a seaside resort. Buster plays a gardener who puts out a fire started by Roscoe, then a delivery boy who fights with the cook St. John, then a cop.

Directors: Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle, Buster Keaton
Stars: Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle, Buster Keaton, Al St. John
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Customers and clerks frolic in a general store. Roscoe walks out of the freezer wearing a fur coat, then does some clever cleaver tossing. In Buster's film debut he buys a pail of molasses.

Director: Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle
Stars: Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle, Buster Keaton, Al St. John
The Bell Boy (1918)
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

At the Elk's Head Hotel bellhops torment the lobby, each other and guests. The elevator is powered by a stubborn horse. A sham robbery turns into a real one. And there is a chase on a ... See full summary »

Director: Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle
Stars: Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle, Buster Keaton, Al St. John
The Cook (1918)
Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Cooks make hovoc in seaside resort hotel.

Director: Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle
Stars: Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle, Buster Keaton, Al St. John
Out West (1918)
Short | Western | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A satire of western movies. Roscoe comes into town after riding the rails. The saloon has a trap door over a pit where bodies are tossed as they are shot. A black patron is taunted and shot... See full summary »

Director: Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle
Stars: Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle, Buster Keaton, Al St. John
The Garage (1920)
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Roscoe and Buster operate a combination garage and fire station. In the first half they destroy a car left for them to clean. In the second half they go off on a false alarm and return to find their own building on fire.

Director: Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle
Stars: Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle, Buster Keaton, Molly Malone
Back Stage (1919)
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Roscoe and Buster are working at a vaudeville house. When the crew attacks the strongman for bullying his assistant, the man goes out on strike so the crew puts on a show. When the ... See full summary »

Director: Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle
Stars: Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle, Buster Keaton, Al St. John
Hard Luck (1921)
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Strange things ensue after a young man attempts to take his own life.

Directors: Edward F. Cline, Buster Keaton
Stars: Buster Keaton, Virginia Fox, Joe Roberts
The Hayseed (1919)
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Buster manages the store while Roscoe delivers the mail, taking time out for hide-and-seek with Molly. The constable, also interested in Molly, steals $300 while being observed by Buster.

Director: Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle
Stars: Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle, Buster Keaton, Molly Malone
Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Roscoe's wife wants him committed to the No Hope Sanitarium for a cure from drink. He is greeted by blood spattered, cleaver-wielding Buster and a barely clad female patient. He eats a thermometer and must be rushed into surgery.

Director: Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle
Stars: Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle, Buster Keaton, Al St. John
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Dr. Fatty Holepoke
...
Junior Holepoke
...
Gambler
Alice Mann ...
Vamp
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Maid
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Storyline

Dr. Holepoke, his wife, and his son are at the horse races when the doctor begins to flirt with another woman. Then the doctor and the other woman's boyfriend lose their money betting on the same horse, leaving both of the women very unhappy. While Dr. Holepoke thinks about how to get some new patients, the other man has a plan to recover some of his losses at the doctor's expense. Written by Snow Leopard

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Genres:

Comedy | Short

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Release Date:

30 September 1917 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Fatty Doctor  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Trivia

Unique in that Buster Keaton, renowned as "The Great Stone Face", plays a highly emotional character (a child) who frequently cries and laughs. See more »

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User Reviews

 
In which Roscoe portrays a deeply dysfunctional doctor dad
19 May 2002 | by (Westchester County, NY) – See all my reviews

Considered a missing film until quite recently, Oh Doctor! marked the fifth collaboration between Roscoe Arbuckle and Buster Keaton. The surviving print turned up in Norway, which might account for the somewhat awkward English of the re-translated title cards, but no matter; this is an exciting and fascinating find for silent comedy buffs, and an offbeat film in many respects. Not hilariously funny, but novel and enjoyable in its own way, and of course a real treat for fans of the two stars.

Viewers who've seen Arbuckle's other "Comique" brand comedies will notice right away that Oh Doctor! is plot-driven to an unusual degree for this series. In some of the other films it seems as though the guys started shooting with only enough material for a one-reel short, then had to switch gears midway through and come up with a whole new storyline. (You find that in some of the Sennett comedies too, suggested by weird hybrid professions for the lead comic: barber/jailer, sheriff/photographer, etc.) But for this film screenwriter Jean Havez provided a strong storyline, and while some of the gags appear to have been improvised along the way, director Arbuckle and his crew clearly stuck to the script for the most part. Most of the laughs derive not from slapstick or pratfalls -- although you'll find a fair amount of roughhouse here -- but from the situation. Oh Doctor! is essentially a situation comedy with farcical elements, and that alone makes it unusual in Arbuckle & Keaton's output from this early period.

More striking still is Buster's far-from-deadpan performance as Roscoe's obnoxious son. He wears a sort of modified Buster Brown outfit, and plays much younger than his actual age (only 21!) at the time the film was made. Although Buster can be glimpsed smiling, laughing and weeping in some of the other collaborations with Arbuckle, right up to The Garage, their last co-starring effort, he really mugs up a storm in Oh Doctor!, sobbing with enthusiasm in almost every scene. Then again, he has good reason to cry, for he has one mean daddy here. From the very first scene "Dr. Holepoke" is hostile to his son, deliberately sticking him with a pin, kicking him, pushing him over a table, etc. Sure, this is only a silent comedy from a simpler era, and maybe we're all too self-conscious about this sort of behavior now, but still as I watch this I wonder which came first: the kid's bratty behavior or Dad's slapping and punching?

It's notable that Roscoe Arbuckle, like W.C. Fields later on, often chose to portray such unattractive characters, as he does here, and that audiences loved him anyway -- up to a point, that is. In this film Roscoe is not only mean to his son, he's chilly towards his wife, flirts openly with a dark-eyed vamp at the race track (where he also brusquely snatches his wife's binoculars away), squanders his family's money on a losing horse, and deliberately crashes his car into a crowd of pedestrians so he can distribute his business card to the injured. Then to top off his perfect day, he gets tipsy with the race track vamp in her apartment, and for the finale, steals cash from a bookie joint while impersonating a cop, stuffing wads of bills into his clothing. In the final shot, when Mrs. Holepoke kicks her husband, he kicks her back.

And yet, despite all of the above, when this movie is over we somehow like Roscoe nevertheless. On screen he is doggedly sympathetic, and even when his character acts like a jerk his own likability as a performer transcends everything. Arbuckle had a special star quality, and it lasted until his luck ran out. But he shines in Oh Doctor!, and we can be grateful that this highly unusual and entertaining film has been rediscovered.


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