Strange things ensue after a young man attempts to take his own life.
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Convict 13 (1920)
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A young golfer is mugged by an escaped convict and finds himself in a prison where he foils a jailbreak.

Directors: Edward F. Cline, Buster Keaton
Stars: Buster Keaton, Sybil Seely, Joe Roberts
Short | Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A bank clerk ends up in a seemingly haunted house that is actually a thieves' hideout.

Directors: Edward F. Cline, Buster Keaton
Stars: Buster Keaton, Virginia Fox, Joe Roberts
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A drifter at an amusement park finds himself both the bodyguard and hit man of a man targeted by a criminal gang.

Directors: Edward F. Cline, Buster Keaton
Stars: Buster Keaton, Bartine Burkett, Charles Dorety
Neighbors (1920)
Short | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A young couple who live next to each other in tenement apartments do everything they can to be together despite of their feuding families.

Directors: Edward F. Cline, Buster Keaton
Stars: Buster Keaton, Virginia Fox, Joe Roberts
Daydreams (1922)
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A sincere young man leaves his home to win his fortune so he can marry his home town sweetheart.

Directors: Edward F. Cline, Buster Keaton
Stars: Buster Keaton, Renée Adorée, Edward F. Cline
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

By accident, Buster and an intimidating woman end up married.

Directors: Edward F. Cline, Buster Keaton
Stars: Buster Keaton, Wallace Beery, Monte Collins
The Love Nest (1923)
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

In an attempt to forget his lost sweetheart, Buster takes a long trip at sea where he boards a whaling ship with a strict captain.

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

Buster Keaton shoes horses and repairs cars, with mixed results.

Directors: Buster Keaton, Malcolm St. Clair
Stars: Buster Keaton, Virginia Fox, Joe Roberts
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Buster plays a bumbling villain in this parody of melodrama.

Directors: Edward F. Cline, Buster Keaton
Stars: Buster Keaton, Joe Roberts, Sybil Seely
Short | Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

After waking up from his wacky dream, a theater stage hand inadvertently causes havoc everywhere he works.

Directors: Edward F. Cline, Buster Keaton
Stars: Buster Keaton, Edward F. Cline, Monte Collins
The Paleface (1922)
Short | Comedy | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Buster helps a Native American tribe save their land from greedy oil barons.

Directors: Edward F. Cline, Buster Keaton
Stars: Buster Keaton, Virginia Fox, Joe Roberts
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A hapless amusement park attendant finds his run away balloon ride has left him in a strange predicament.

Directors: Edward F. Cline, Buster Keaton
Stars: Buster Keaton, Phyllis Haver, Babe London
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Suicidal Boy
Virginia Fox ...
Virginia
Joe Roberts ...
Lizard Lip Luke
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Storyline

Out of work, Buster tries various ways to commit suicide. At last he tries "poison" from a bottle containing booze. The president of a sporting club speaks of the need for a sportsman to promote the club and drunken Buster gets the job for which he must learn fishing, hunting and riding. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Short | Comedy

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

14 March 1921 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Buster Keaton ist nicht totzukriegen  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(extant print)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

Buster steps off a curb by a narrow street with no streetcar tracks, into a wide street with an approaching streetcar. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mr. Nobody (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

 
"I was on a branch of the zoo"
12 May 2010 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

'Hard Luck (1921)' is a very unusual Buster Keaton short, and I'll demonstrate this with a very brief synopsis. Down-on-his-luck Buster, having just lost his love and livelihood, resolves to end his life. This proves more difficult than anticipated. After several incredibly droll failed suicide attempts, Buster escapes the need to kill himself by accidentally getting drunk. He staggers into a meeting of zoo staff, and promptly accepts their challenge to capture the ultra-rare armadillo for the zoo's animal collection ("I was on a branch of the zoo!"). Buster then goes fishing, presumably to catch an armadillo, though that subplot is never mentioned again. Buster then wanders into a country club, where he spots a pretty girl (Virginia Fox) embarking on a fox-hunt, and decides to do the same. Later, an evil fugitive named Lizard Lip Luke (Joe Roberts) takes the girl hostage, and Buster saves the day.

Our hero quickly proposes to the rescued damsel-in-distress, but, on hearing of her current marriage, he decides to do some high-diving into a swimming pool (that, without exaggeration, is all the transition we are afforded between these two plot-points). The film's final gag, believed lost for years, has recently been restored, and allegedly brought Buster Keaton his most rapturous audience response: certainly, it comes completely out of left-field! In fact, so bizarre was this conclusion that it made me rethink my original stance on the film as a whole. Beforehand, I was inclined to view 'Hard Luck' as a collection of random gags clumsily cobbled together into a two-reeler. However, something tells me now that the anarchy of Keaton's storyline was very much intended. This is cinematic insanity in the same vein as 'Hellzapoppin' (1941)' or the Marx Brothers.


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