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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Not One of His Best, But Has Some Good Moments

Author: Snow Leopard from Ohio
16 August 2001

While routine in parts, this short comedy has some good moments. The story has Buster trying to deal with a crew of nightmarish in-laws, and the general understanding is that the material hit pretty close to home for him when he made this. When film-makers put too much of their own lives into their movies, it doesn't always lead to the best on-screen product, and some of the material here seems more labored than usual. The setup is quite creative, but some of the punch lines don't really come off. Still, it has some funny moments, and most Keaton fans will want to take a look.

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6 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

A few good jokes keep this one afloat.

Author: ( from Putney, VT
21 June 2005

Not one of Keaton's best efforts, this was perhaps a veiled attempt to revenge himself on the family he married into - the Talmadges. A Polish/English language barrier and a series of coincidences leads Buster into a marriage with a large Irish woman, who (along with her father and brothers) treat him shabbily until they think he may be an heir to a fortune. Mistaken identities abound here - gags are set up and but for the main fail to pay off.

This Metro short does have at least two real laughs - Buster's cleverly turning around his lack of dinner by using the calendar on the wall and the basic ignorance of his adopted family to literally bring the meat to his plate. The other is a family photo, with the entire group slowly collapsing to the floor as the tripod of the camera loses its stability.

The yeast beer overflow could have been the catalyst for a massive series of gags built upon gags, but stops short (for all the buildup) of development.

Kino's print is crisp and clear and the score is one for player piano, drums and sound effects. Not one of Buster's best efforts, but worth a few laughs.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

An interesting situation that never quite develops

Author: David Hoffman from Virginia
17 March 2001

The sudden and mistaken marriage of Keaton to an unlikely bride is the incident that forms the basis for the plot. Confronted by animalistic in-laws, who would be any groom's nightmare, Keaton maneuvers through their opportunism and materialism. Somehow the pieces don't quite fit together. There are episodes that are almost very funny, but not quite. Perhaps grounded too deeply to contemporary reality, I'm never able to accept the premise that Keaton would acquiesce to this marriage without any form of challenge. Perhaps that direction in plot would have produced a greater opportunity for Keaton's brand of comedy to shine.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Buster's Revenge!!!

Author: kidboots from Australia
2 May 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Buster plays a dazed young man who, through a mistake in translation, finds himself married to tough Irish woman - Kate Price no less!!! She and her family are rough and vulgar and Buster finds he is tossed around like a sack of potatoes. Buster spends meal time passing condiments and showing her boxer brother an easier and more convenient way to drink coffee. Buster must have drawn on his childhood in vaudeville for some of the extremely rough stunts which are hilarious. When Kate and her brothers believe that Buster has inherited $100,000, they make a pact to be nice to him while trying to fleece him out of his money. Fortunately Buster has the last laugh.

This was one of the 20 brilliant two reelers that Buster made between 1920 and 1922, just before he switched to features. Even though he kept his thoughts to himself, this hilarious short may have been a cynical view of what he really thought of being bound to the clannish Talmadge family. He had married Natalie, younger sister of Norma and Constance, a year before this film was made. Although everything seemed wonderful and Buster felt he had never experienced such close family ties, there was an undercurrent that he was not good enough for their Natalie, that he was only a comic. Maybe with this movie he had his revenge!!

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:


Author: Darren O'Shaughnessy (darren shan) from Limerick, Ireland
22 October 1999

Buster winds up married to a harridan and finds himself sharing a house with her, her surly father and four brutish brothers. They treat him abominably until they begin to think he might be well-off ... Made a year after Buster had got married and was single-handedly supporting his wife's large family, this is one of his more auto-biographical shorts, and feels rather bitter. Some very funny scenes, but not one of the genius' best.

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Buster, Kate, and the marriage made in Hades

Author: MissSimonetta from United States
24 February 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

When discussed at all, My Wife's Relations (1922) is interpreted as Buster Keaton slyly commenting on his imposing in-laws, the famous Talmadge clan. Years later, he would say he felt as though he had not married one woman, but her entire family as well during that ill-fated first marriage to Natalie Talmadge. Of course, I think this bitter backstory takes away from this funny film. It's not the best among Keaton's short films, but it isn't weak by any means and is very funny.

Buster is a taffy puller who, through a major misunderstanding, ends up married to an intimidating Irish-American woman played by the magnificent Kate Price. Irritated with the mix-up, she nonetheless ushers him into her home, where she lives with her burly brothers and father. Sizing up all 5'5 of Buster, they shake their heads, the dialogue card informing us, "He won't last a week in this family..." There are some stereotypical Irish jokes, but none of them are particularly mean-spirited (but as they often say with these things, your mileage could vary).

The highlight for me is the dinner scene, mainly because the humor comes from relate-able situations. The gag with the coffee always reminds me of my mother, who like Buster's brother-in-law likes coffee with her sugar rather than sugar with her coffee. Coming from a staunch Catholic family, I loved the gag where Buster fools his new family into thinking it's Friday, forcing them to forego their meat (and allowing Buster to get a slab!). My other favorite part is the hellish wedding night. Unlike a short from the early 1930s might do, there is no sexual innuendo of any kind; Buster and his bride retire to separate beds, but he goes out of his way to make sure she gets no sleep. Her solution to his annoying her gets me every time.

My Wife's Relations may not be Keaton's most imaginative work, but it's still a good twenty minutes of silliness. Plus Kate Price is one of Keaton's best leading ladies, playing off him with great panache!

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Poor Buster

Author: Thomas ( from Berlin, Germany
28 June 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Here we have a 25-30-minute black-and-white short film starring one of the biggest stars of the silent film era: Buster Keaton. And even if he was not even close to 30 years of age, this was already among his last efforts as a short film director writer and actor. The film was released in 1922, over 90 years ago. Buster ends up with a woman twice his age and three times his size and as if that wasn't already bad enough, she also has a handful of brothers who do not seem to approve at all of their possibly new brother-in-law. When they think he is fairly wealthy, they accept him into their family, but still won't let him really on the family photo. When they realize that it is not his money in fact, they decide to murder him first, then kill him. Oh my Buster, what kind of trouble have you gotten yourself into this time.

I like Stoneface Keaton, probably more than Chaplin and Lloyd, but the slapstick, fighting and comedy in here I found fairly forgettable. It's never really amusing or entertaining and this is already with the funny soundtrack that did not exist obviously in the original version. Keaton went on to make many more films afterward, but that cannot be said about the entire cast. One of the actors who played a brother never appeared in film again, another almost has a total of 300 credits under his back. The actress who plays Keaton's love interest has even more. And this film is interesting for including Academy Award winner Wallace Beery in an earlier effort from his career. But that's pretty much all there is. Not too memorable as a whole and not recommended.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Fun to watch, but certainly not one of the better Keaton shorts

Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida
17 July 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is a good Buster Keaton short, but that is really about all. Part of this is due to the odd and very contrived storyline as well as the unlikable characters in the film.

Buster works in a candy store and within minutes, he accidentally attacks the mailman and must flea from the store for his life! A brick gets tossed through a window and Buster tries to make a getaway--during which time a letter from the postman's bag get stuck to Buster's shoe. A rather tough-looking lady sees this and grabs Buster and takes him to the judge. However, the judge only speaks Polish (huh?!) and instead of listening to her telling him about the window, he marries the two! Oddly, Buster goes along with this and they go home to her burly and nasty dad and brothers--who treat Buster pretty badly.

Later, one of the family finds the letter that stuck to Buster's shoe and they open it (the address and recipient info was totally obscured after having been walked on and having had taffy stick to it). It says that he's inherited a fortune--not realizing the "he" is not Buster but some stranger. So, they stop mistreating him and kiss up to him--hoping to get some of the loot! However, when they finally learn the truth, they try to beat him half to death--as if this is all Buster's fault! And, the last ten minutes or so of the film consists of a giant acrobatic chase as they try to capture him. Decent stuff, but certainly far from Buster's best due to the unlikable and less than inspired script. It has been rumored, by the way, that Buster liked this script because it was a swipe at his wife and in-laws, as he was having severe marital problems with his movie star wife and the family.

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3 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Mr. Keaton Meets The In-laws

Author: Ron Oliver ( from Forest Ranch, CA
17 August 2002


Married by mistake to a slovenly Irish-American termagant, poor Buster must learn to quickly cope with her cranky father & four bullying brothers.

MY WIFE'S RELATIONS is a very funny little film, placing hapless Keaton in one hilarious situation after another. His new spouse, played by Kate Price, is truly frightful. Highlight: Buster attempting to secure a decent repose on his wedding night.

Born into a family of Vaudevillian acrobats, Buster Keaton (1895-1966) mastered physical comedy at a very early age. An association with Fatty Arbuckle led to a series of highly imaginative short subjects and classic, silent feature-length films - all from 1920 to 1928. Writer, director, star & stuntman - Buster could do it all and his intuitive genius gave him almost miraculous knowledge as to the intricacies of film making and of what it took to please an audience. More akin to Fairbanks than Chaplin, Buster's films were full of splendid adventure, exciting derring-do and the most dangerous physical stunts imaginable. His theme of a little man against the world, who triumphs through bravery & ingenuity, dominates his films. Through every calamity & disaster, Buster remained the Great Stone Face, a stoic survivor in a universe gone mad.

In the late 1920's Buster was betrayed by his manager/brother-in-law and his contract was sold to MGM, which proceeded to nearly destroy his career. Teamed initially with Jimmy Durante and eventually allowed small roles in mediocre comedies, Buster was for 35 years consistently given work far beneath his talent. Finally, before lung cancer took him at age 70, he had the satisfaction of knowing that his classic films were being rediscovered. Now, well past his centenary, Buster Keaton is routinely recognized & appreciated as one of cinema's true authentic geniuses. And he knew how to make people laugh...

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1 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Polish language?

Author: agoos10 from Poland
28 August 2008

Polish in this movie sucks. I'm from Poland and I laugh when I was reading polish subs in film. There are so many mistakes in it. I think someone who doesn't know polish made it. Sometimes I had to guess what words that was meant to be. The movie is OK, I like Buster Keaton very much, but polish subs are horrible. Buster Keaton is always funny even with his stone face. I don't know why the judge was speaking only polish. Works in USA but don't know the language? The best part of the movie took place in bride's house, when Buster meets her family for the first time. Buster Keaton's short movies are even better than short movies made by Charles Chaplin. I give 6/10.

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