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The Electric House (1922)

 -  Short | Comedy  -  October 1922 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 1,296 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 5 critic

After being mistakenly certified as an electrical engineer, Buster is hired to wire a house.


(as Eddie Cline) , (as 'Buster' Keaton)
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Title: The Electric House (1922)

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Complete credited cast:
Buster (as 'Buster' Keaton)


Botany major Buster mistakenly graduates in electrical engineering and is hired to wire a new home. He installs lots of fanciful gadgets. The one who should have received the degree gets even by rewiring all the gadgets to wreak havoc. Written by Ed Stephan <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Short | Comedy


TV-G | See all certifications »




Release Date:

October 1922 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Electrical House  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(2005 DVD release) | (2005 DVD release)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Filming was delayed when star Buster Keaton got his foot caught in the escalator and broke his ankle. During his recovery, Keaton released his previously shelved film, The 'High Sign' (1921), and filmed The Play House (1921). Upon his return to this short, he abandoned his original footage and started fresh. Little is known about the first version, and no scenes are known to still exist. See more »


Featured in Buster Keaton: A Hard Act to Follow (1987) See more »

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User Reviews

Wow, A 'Shock' To See All The Electric Gadgets
1 September 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

It's funny; the other day I watched Buster Keaton's "College," which starts off with a high school graduation. My next Keaton movie, this one, begins with a college ceremony. Yes, once again, the graduates look more like their fathers than 22- year-old people.

The degrees get mixed up somehow and the Dean thinks Buster has graduated with an Electrical Engineering degree and hires him to wire his house while he and the family go on vacation. Buster knows nothing about that sort of thing but reads a quick how-to-do-it book. The next thing we know, we see the house with all the gadgets.

This was pretty amazing stuff. I didn't think they even had the technology in the early '20s to do this sort of thing. Shows you what I know. Anyway, we see all kinds of James Bond-type tricks from swimming pools that drain and refill within seconds to mechanical billiard tables to train tracks feeding the family. There too many of these crazy things (a bathroom on tracks going right to the bed was one of my favorites!) to list them all.

Suffice to say they are fun to watch. Unfortunately, the real engineer gets wind of what happened, sneaks into the house and sabotages the gadgets while the family is showing them off to guests. Unfortunately (again), justice is not served in this film....or is it? There's a strange ending to this film, too, and makes me wonder if Buster wasn't a bit suicidal. I guess not, since he lived a fairly long time.

There is no real plot in here; just gags....which is fine for a short film, except I found this was so fast-paced in the first half that by the 15-minute mark it seemed almost too long, if that's possible. It seemed like a long 22 minutes.

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