Elmer owns a gas station out in the California desert. Soon he has a business rival in Jim, who opens up another station, and is also trying to steal Elmer's girlfriend. She plays both ... See full summary »
The widow Wilson and her daughter Mary have just learned that old Mr. Middleton, who held the mortgage on their home, has passed away. They are now visited by Middleton's lawyer, Cribbs, ... See full summary »
Edward F. Cline
A twenty-minute, almost totally silent film (no dialogue or music one 'shhh!') in which Buster Keaton attempts to evade observation by an all-seeing eye. But, as the film is based around ... See full summary »
During World War II an American travels to Britain to sell an old house near London that belongs to his family. But he mets Susan Trimble who lives in the house and who is strictly against ... See full summary »
Elmer Tuttle, a plumber in Paris, is enlisted by beautiful Patricia Alden to help her make her lover Tony Lagorce jealous. Tony, however, is two-timing Patricia with Nina Estrados. Elmer, with the help of his friend Julius, hopes to use the high-society contacts he's made with Patricia to find a market for his new invention, a pistol with a range-finding light. But Elmer's attempts to interest a military leader are mistaken for assassination attempts, and with Tony and half the male uppercrust of France challenging Elmer to duels, he is in hot water not even his plumbing skills can drain away. Written by
Jim Beaver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Out of all of Keaton's MGM sound films, The Passionate Plumber (1932) is the only one I actually laughed at. It's no riot, but it's The General (1926) compared to all that other garbage MGM forced upon Keaton in the 30s.
The story is very pre-code: Keaton plays an American plumber living in France. A socialite (Irene Purcell) discovers her lover (Gilbert Roland) is carrying on with another woman (Mona Maris), so she hires Keaton to make Roland jealous. Most of the movie concerns Keaton trying to keep her away from Roland, whom she simultaneously hates and lusts after.
Thank God above, Buster does not play an idiot! He's still socially awkward and a little lost, but his character is allowed to be clever, resourceful, and sarcastic. The physical comedy is actually inspired too, rather than tacked on (see the painfully bad slapstick during the check-in scene of Parlor, Bedroom, and Bath (1931)).
Much of the supporting cast is completely over the top and annoying. Irene Purcell and Mona Maris screech and howl. Jimmy Durante works best in small doses, which is luckily how he is here. Gilbert Roland works best when he isn't hamming it up to Mars, which unluckily, he does in a number of scenes.
Fortunately, the supporting cast, while not always pleasant, is not terrible enough to kill the movie. If you've lost all hope after Free and Easy (1930) and What! No Beer (1933), then give this one a try.
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