Buster Keaton's most commercially successful film to date - to his chagrin, since he made it under protest at MGM's insistence and felt that the studio would feel justified in ignoring his artistic opinions in the future. See more »
Lefty's pistol, a six shot, is fired twice before Harmon tosses the remaining cartridges into the fireplace. Five bullets subsequently explode in the fire. See more »
Do you solemnly swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?
Do you solemnly swear to tell the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth? Do you solemnly swear to tell the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth?
Well do you?
I can't understand a word he's saying!
He's asking if you'll swear...
No, but I know all the words.
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Buster Keaton plays a soft slum owner who falls for a woman (Anita Page) living in his building and plans on impressing her by fixing up the neighborhood and trying to make her bad brother a good kid. Keaton hated this film so much because MGM wouldn't let him have any artistic control and to his shock it became his most popular film, which was a bad thing since that told the studio they could do whatever they wanted with him. This was certainly a turning point in Keaton's career and while it's not as bad as its reputation it's certainly not the classics we're use to seeing the legend appear in. The biggest problem with the film is that it tries to be too many things at once and it doesn't do any of them very well. One moment it wants to be a comedy then it wants to be a drama and then we get more touches of a romantic comedy. The screenplay is all over the map and I found it to be too light for a drama and too mean to work as a comedy. There's a pretty ugly scene towards the end of the film when a wise guy tries to force the kid brother to kill Keaton and this stuff just doesn't work. The abuse shown at the kid who is forced to do some pretty bad things really comes off like abuse and it's hard to watch at times. Even though Keaton's hated doing this film he still manages to turn in a decent performance. Sure, this isn't the golden era of his career but he does have a few good lines and gets to show off some of his physical abilities but not enough. Page also comes off very good even though her role isn't written too well. The two actually have some nice chemistry together and make the film a lot better than it has the right to be.
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