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>
Decent MGM comedy has Buster Keaton playing a dim-witted plumber in Paris who gets involved with a woman (Irene Purcell) who wants him to pretend to be her lover so that she can drive her boyfriend (Gilbert Roland) crazy with jealousy. There's no question that Keaton will go down in history as a genius but it's also a fact that he sadly appeared in some really bad movies after his golden age in the silent era. His time with MGM makes most fans cry because of the quality of some of the sound pictures but this one here isn't quite as bad as others and I think it has some good laughs throughout. The story itself is rather weak as the only thing it has going for it is a set-up with Keaton constantly not understanding the situation he's in. The screenplay tries to aimed towards Keaton's abilities and this is why you see some more physical stunts including the actor falling down steps, tripping over himself and we even get a funny bit where he tries to show off a new gun that he's invented to someone he shouldn't be pulling it out on. The entire bit at a party where Keaton once again finds himself in trouble contains some of the biggest laughs and especially the stuff when people mistake him for an assassin. Another funny bit is something most will probably consider silly but it had me laughing from start to finish. There's a running gag with Keaton slapping people with a glove and no matter how many times they repeat it I couldn't help but laugh. Keaton gives a lot more energy here than in his previous few films with the studio and I think Purcell makes for a good co-star. Jimmy Durante smugs his way in each scene he's in but he gets a couple good jokes with most of them aimed at his nose. THE PASSIONATE PLUMBER certainly isn't going to make you forget THE GENERAL but it's a decent time killer.
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