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The Garage (1920)

 -  Short | Comedy  -  11 January 1920 (USA)
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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.


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Title: The Garage (1920)

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Complete credited cast:
Fatty - Mechanic / Fireman / Dog Catcher
Buster - The Assistant
Molly Malone ...
Molly - Rube's Daughter
Harry McCoy ...
The Dude
Dan Crimmins ...
Rube - the Garage Owner (as Daniel Crimmins)


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.

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Short | Comedy





Release Date:

11 January 1920 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Garage  »

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Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


| (tinted)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


After Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle gets in the bed, he gets up again and kisses a picture on the wall. The picture is of Mabel Normand, his co-star in the Mack Sennett comedies. See more »

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User Reviews

"Why is it that a Lie can get half way around the World before the Truth can even get its Shoes on!".....Mark Twain. (Following is a Perfect Example).
13 January 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

BEFORE we go any further with this review, let's get something out in the open. Yes, we've heard the stories about what Arbuckle did to that girl at his wild party back in 1921 at the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco on Labor Day Weekend. We've heard them and we are telling you this; they are only stories, THE INCIDENT DID NOT HAPPEN; at least as it is told and retold by legions of those who just do not know the facts.*

OKAY, now we can get on with the Write-up of today's Spotlight Movie, CONEY ISLAND (Comique Film Company/Paramount Pictures, 1917).

FOLLOWING experience on the Vaudeville Stage, Roscoe Conkling Arbuckle came to the new medium of Film in 1909. Making a handful of titles as a supporting player for the Selig Polyscope Company and never distinguishing himself as Star Material; 'Fatty' had a chance meeting with 'the Professor', Mack Sennett (Himself) late in 1913. Mr. Sennett, the Numero Uno Guy in the Comedy Business, obviously new real talent when he saw it; .for before long Arbuckle was Sennett's Leading Comic, heading at first one reel comedies, then the 2 reelers.

EVENTUALLY Mr. Arbuckle had the desire to not only perform, but also to have a degree of ownership in the films. A deal with Joseph Schenck brought about the formation of a partnership that saw him going over to the Comique Film Company, as a partner and main attraction.**

OUR STORY………………in this 2 reeler, CONEY ISLAND the oft used device of shooting a film at the scene of a real-life on going event is very much in evidence at the beginning. The big parade and shots on the midway of the Coney Island Amusement Park are very much in evidence. A high degree of proficiency is displayed in choosing the real life shots used and, even more importantly, they showed a highly sophisticated skill in editing in their movie story's set pieces.

IF you observe the pattern followed, you'll see how the Director (also Mr. Arbuckle) and his cinematographer follow a wide angled view of the Park patrons with a close up of the players in a particular scene. Their work looks almost seamless.

ONE thing that we have noticed about these "Olde Time Movie" Comedies is that the earlier comedies are much more of an abstraction from real life; hence they are done a highly freehanded manner. This should not be much of a startling discovery; for after all, people like Sennett, Arbuckle and 'Fatty's supporting co-star, Buster Keaton, were making the rules, not following a beaten path; laid out by some trailblazing artists ahead of them.

THE cast is made up of the above mentioned Mr. Buster Keaton; who was in the 6th movie of a 15 picture run that he had with Roscoe. After coming to the Comique Studios out of curiosity, Buster would soon be their Number One Comic Star; as Arbuckle was moving on to bigger things. He would soon be doing Features and calling all the shots.

OTHERS in the cast are: Joe Bourdeaux, Alice Lake, Jimmy Bryant, Alice Mann and Agnes Nelson.

OF particularly interesting importance is the presence of Al St. John in this and so many other of Arbuckle's movies at Sennett's Keystone, Comique and later in Arbuckle's features. In addition to being a talented, acrobatic physical player, St. John was related to the Great Silent Star; being his nephew.

ONE particular peculiarity that we have observed about the early screen comedies is that they had a penchant for giving minimal background to the screen characters. Instead of even giving names to characters, they would defer to some descriptive titles; such as 'the Boyfriend', 'a Hobo', 'the Big Spender' or 'an old Soldier'. Even the handle of 'Fatty' was born of this use of the descriptive rather than a name.

ANOTHER attribute of the early silent comedies is their close resemblance to the newspaper Cartoon or 'Comic Strip'. The scenes are generally brief and basically build slowly. One character is usually in some difficult predicament and is just sort of happened upon by a protagonist; who may or may not get the best of the encounter. To see what we mean, get a good example of this phenomenon by looking at some good old Newspaper Comic-strips.

THERE are anthologies or even collections of various strips dating from the years of 1890-1940 or so. Samplings of such titles as THE KATZENJAMMER KIDS, BUSTER BROWN, MUTT AND JEFF (excellent source) or even such more familiar and recent Strips as BLONDIE, BRINGING UP FATHER (Maggie & Jiggs), BEETLE BAILEY and PEANUTS would all adequately demonstrate just what we are talking about.

IN CLOSING, let us remind you that you may be labouring under these delusional ideas about Arbuckle's personal that are not true. Take a look at this old, silent comedy, CONEY ISLAND and see what we have been talking about. Chances are that you'll want to view more of the Big Man's work. (Me and Schultz sure did!)

NOTE * See the story laid out from beginning to end in several books, such as: THE DAY THE LAUGHTER STOPPED:The True Story of Fatty Arbuckle, by David A. Yallop (1976).

NOTE: ** Leaving the Comique Studios, whose product was released and distributed by Famous Players-Lasky (Paramount), Arbuckle signed on directly with Paramount; getting assurances of having artistic control over his own feature films.


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