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Back Stage (1919)

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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 »

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Title: Back Stage (1919)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Stagehand
...
Stagehand
Al St. John ...
Stagehand
Charles A. Post ...
The Strongman
Molly Malone ...
Strongman's Assistant
Jack Coogan Sr. ...
Eccentric Dancer (as John Coogan)
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Storyline

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 strongman starts shooting from the balcony, Buster rigs a swing, picks him up, and takes him to the stage where is again subdued. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Short | Comedy

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

7 September 1919 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Fatty cabotin  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Stagehand: [the novelty dancer is heckling their act] Cut that out or we'll throw you out!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Birth of Hollywood: Episode #1.2 (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

Humorous and inventive two-reeler.

This is a quite humorous two-reeler from Arbuckle and Keaton- Keaton's twelfth film and his twelfth with the master. Set in a vaudeville house, Fatty and Buster provide gallantry towards the abused wife of the strongman and then when the troupe walks out, put on skits themselves before the strongman's jealousy leads to a fight that practically destroys the theater.

Many gem pieces here:

Arbuckle pasting a nosey boy to a billboard by the seat of his pants; The dressing room star on a pulley; Keaton's walk "downstairs" behind a free-standing door; Arbuckle's moving a sliding door to block a sign that reads quite differently than intended; The attempt to axe the strongman to no effect.

It is interesting to have John Coogan, Jackie's father, identified as the very effeminate specialty dancer - he appeared in THE BELL BOY also as an effeminate man. I wonder if this was his comic specialty - having only seen him in these two similar pieces. Arbuckle's drag never seems offensive but Coogan's prancing does. Coogan also plays the heckler and can be glimpsed as an extra with a moustache in the balcony scene.

There are many drop outs in the print that KINO has in its VHS/DVD collection Arbuckle and Keaton Volume 2, including whatever leads up to the company walking out on the stage hands in the middle of the film. The print is sharp, however, and for once the Alloy Orchestra creates appropriate music for the short. Applause as a sound effect is also added in.

The two pieces Arbuckle, Keaton and Malloy perform in are an operetta, entitled THE FALLING REIGN, with Buster in drag as the queen and Arbuckle as her king, falling for a vamp. Buster's dance ala Isadora Duncan is a treat.

The second piece, SNOWFLAKE SERENADE, involves a cardboard house front which falls on Arbuckle, so that the cut out window does him no harm - this is echoed with a fully constructed house front in Keaton's later masterpiece, SHERLOCK JR.

This is very fast entertainment and one of the Arbuckle/Keaton team's best efforts.


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