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
In 1941, after President Franklin Roosevelt and Congress passed the first peacetime draft in U.S. history, Buster Keaton approached MGM to see if they would be interested in making a sequel to "Doughboys." He had found that all the principal actors in "Doughboys" were still alive and living in the L.A. area, and he intended to use them in the sequel as they had naturally aged. MGM's executives turned him down because they didn't think a comedy about the peacetime draft would draw audiences. Then Universal released Abbott and Costello's "Buck Privates," a comedy about the peacetime draft, and it became the most successful film of 1941. 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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