An unimpressive but well intending man is given the chance to marry a popular actress, of whom he has been a hopeless fan. But what he doesn't realize is that he is being used to make the actress' old flame jealous.
Elmer is a dry cleaner. He is madly in love with stage star Trilby Drew; for each of her 35 performances, he dons someone else's tuxedo and races to the theatre. When Trilby's co-star boyfriend gets engaged to a socialite, she marries Elmer to get even, assuming Elmer is a millionaire (since his clothes are so snazzy.) But she's clearly still in love with her scoundrelous co-star, and her manager makes her leave Elmer, trying to pay him off so the papers don't hear about her marriage to a "cheap pants presser." Can Elmer win her love? Maybe a sea voyage will help. Written by
Buster Keaton wanted this film to be a full talkie, but MGM released it with only a musical score and sound effects. See more »
In the dressing-room scene while attempting to trim the hair for his false beard, Elmer accidentally severs the left-hand shoulder strap of his vest and has no time to repair it. When we see him hurriedly changing back into his smart clothes after the performance, both straps are still whole. See more »
Though not of the quality of "The General," an almost perfect movie, "Spite Marriage" is worth watching both for the fun and for the historical value of its being Keaton's last silent.
Co-star Dorothy Sebastian deserves a medal both for her performance and for putting up with being knocked about so.
So many of Keaton's leading ladies get treated very physically, surely part of the auditions was a test of their good-natured sportsmanship -- and probably their physical conditioning, too.
Dorothy Sebastian's character is not very sympathetic at first, but she learns, and when she has to assist in her own rescue, she is adorable, cute as the proverbial button.
Keaton, though, is the real reason to watch, this or almost everything else he is in.
He ranks among the top of the certifiable geniuses of motion picture making, with an unfailing sense of timing, with uncanny physical control, and with an understanding of what was (and is) funny that the studio bosses of his latter career should have paid attention to.
Even with the worst material, with which he was saddled in so many of his talkies, Keaton and his abilities and talents still stand out, are still memorable.
Buster Keaton will deserve our awe forever.
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