Buster goes away to the city to prove to his girl's father he can succeed. He writes her of his various jobs which she glorifies in her imagination. She sees a surgeon, he is a vet's assistant; she sees him cleaning up on Wall Street, he's really a janitor. Written by
Ed Stephan <email@example.com>
Although existing prints are incomplete with such scenes as Buster Keaton working in a hospital etc remaining lost, however, a scene in which Renée Adorée imagines Keaton to be a policeman have been rediscovered and restored and is presented as an extra on the Keaton Plus DVD available from Kino. See more »
"Daydreams" is basically a collection of sketches, book-ended by an opening and closing pair of scenes. As such, it has something of the perfunctory feel of a 'compilation episode': the storyline, inasmuch as there is one, consists of Buster exaggerating the status of, trying and failing at a series of lowly jobs, but while the individual episodes vary in humour, they never build into anything greater than the sum of their (rather brief) parts. Films like "Hard Luck" or "The Balloonatic" have the merit of a reasonably coherent progression from one somewhat arbitrary encounter to the next; this one is constrained by the necessity of cutting back to the framing structure, which deprives it of that vital illusion of logic. Whether as a consequence of this or not, the result is not nearly so funny. (The best sequence is possibly a battered Buster's arrival back on the doorstep of his beloved... at the hands of the US Postal Service!)
For fans, this is worth watching as ever just in order to see Buster in action, and there are certainly laughs to be had; but it offers little human interest -- this is Inept Buster without the customary redeeming turning of the tables -- and suffers from a lack of his usual narrative inspiration. The humour tends in places towards simple slapstick (Buster squirts a hose, people get wet) rather than the inspired second-guessing of audience expectations at which he excels. The funniest concepts (disguising himself as an inert shopkeeper's dummy, keeping pace exactly with his pursuers) are echoed in more successful comedies, and sadly the famous paddle-wheel clip is really less impressive when actually seen in the context of the slender plot. This comedy is inoffensive, but not really a showcase for Keaton's abilities; unlikely to win over any converts, perhaps.
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