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, rich society loafer, falls for Mary, but she'll have nothing to do with him until (mistakenly thinking that he's hiring a new chauffeur) he accidentally volunteers for the army. Luckily, Mary's signed up to entertain the troops. Unluckily, Elmer's sergeant likes Mary, too. And worst of all, they're all about to ship out for France. Written by
Horrendous and embarrassing "comedy" features Buster Keaton playing a rich man who accidentally signs up for the Army but once there he's pleasantly surprised and happy to see the woman (Sally Eilers) who kept turning him down on the outside. After a classic (THE CAMERAMAN) and a good film (SPITE MARRIAGE) it pretty much went downhill for Keaton when he signed with MGM. I think some of the movies he made for the studio are underrated or at least overly criticized but DOUGHBOYS is without question the worst and I'd say it's also probably one of the worst to come from a major studio during this era. I'm really not sure where the start because the entire film is just one embarrassing moment after another but I guess we can start with the screenplay. This type of comedy certainly didn't go hand and hand with Keaton because he's the last type of comedian who should be playing a part like this. The actor constantly looks as if he's being held back by the screenplay and what's even worse is that every once in a while we're given "classic Keaton" routines but even these here fail miserably. There are a few instances where Keaton's style of slapstick is used but it just never works because the script is so lazy. Keaton slips and slides around in some mud, gets in trouble with the drill sergeant and for the first twenty-minutes of the movie he just comes across annoying by constantly giving dumb answers to questions. Eddie Brophy plays the drill sergeant and he too comes across quite annoying as he does nothing but scream and it's not funny. The direction is weak, the comedy has no laughs and the entire production just has a very cheap feel to it. There are a few chuckles here and there but that's not good enough for someone with as much talent as Keaton.
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?