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
Although some sources add Ann Dvorak and Ann Sothern, then working as Harriet Lake, to the cast as chorines, they do not appear in the present 79 minute version offered on Turner Classic Movies. The running time given in Variety 24 September 1930, at the time of its opening in New York City 19 September 1930 at the Capitol Theatre is 80 minutes, so apparently the TCM print is virtually complete. Most likely, a musical number in which Dvorak and Lake appeared was cut before the film was released, but their participation in the original version is still a likely possibility. See more »
The story takes place in 1917-1918, but all of the women's clothes, hats, and hairstyles are strictly 1930. See more »
Keaton had more control over this film than he had on the previous "Free and Easy". MGM had tried to portray him as a sad clown, but happily they left him alone on this feature. Buster based this film on his experiences in the army during World War I. It is obvious from this movie that Buster was a peace loving man who really detested war. In his social satire, he is more subtle than Chaplin, but it's there. Buster is closer to his silent character here, but he does have to handle dialogue. He's still a little aprehensive, but remember, this was only his second sound film! The gags in this film are as clever as anything he did in his silent features and there is even a little, charming, impromptu musical interlude with Buster and Cliff "Jiminy Cricket" Edwards fooling around on ukeleles. This film was partially remade by Buster as a Columbia two-reeler called "General Nuisance". It is one of his better Columbia efforts.
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