Down 2,606 this week

The Passionate Plumber (1932)

Passed  |   |  Comedy  |  6 February 1932 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.0/10 from 271 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 6 critic

To make her lover jealous, a beautiful socialite passes off a bumbling plumber as her paramour.



(adaptation), (dialogue), 2 more credits »
0Check in

IMDb Picks: May

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in May, sponsored by COVERGIRL.

Visit the IMDb Picks section

Related News

The Best of “Movie Poster of the Day”

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 296 titles
created 30 Mar 2012
a list of 3088 titles
created 05 Dec 2012
list image
a list of 2381 titles
created 23 Apr 2013
a list of 387 titles
created 07 Sep 2013
a list of 569 titles
created 11 Oct 2013

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: The Passionate Plumber (1932)

The Passionate Plumber (1932) on IMDb 6/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Passionate Plumber.


Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A hapless amusement park attendant finds his run away balloon ride has left him in a strange predicament.

Directors: Edward F. Cline, Buster Keaton
Stars: Buster Keaton, Phyllis Haver, Babe London
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Buster plays a bumbling villain in this parody of melodrama.

Directors: Edward F. Cline, Buster Keaton
Stars: Buster Keaton, Joe Roberts, Sybil Seely
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A drifter at an amusement park finds himself both the bodyguard and hit man of a man targeted by a criminal gang.

Directors: Edward F. Cline, Buster Keaton
Stars: Buster Keaton, Bartine Burkett, Charles Dorety
Convict 13 (1920)
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A young golfer is mugged by an escaped convict and finds himself in a prison where he foils a jailbreak.

Directors: Edward F. Cline, Buster Keaton
Stars: Buster Keaton, Sybil Seely, Joe Roberts
Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Elmer Butts is a contestant in a radio amateur hour show hoping to win the first price... by dancing and juggling!

Directors: Buster Keaton, Charles Lamont
Stars: Buster Keaton, Diana Lewis, Harold Goodwin
The Love Nest (1923)
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

In an attempt to forget his lost sweetheart, Buster takes a long trip at sea where he boards a whaling ship with a strict captain.

Directors: Buster Keaton, Edward F. Cline
Stars: Buster Keaton, Joe Roberts, Virginia Fox
Daydreams (1922)
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A sincere young man leaves his home to win his fortune so he can marry his home town sweetheart.

Directors: Edward F. Cline, Buster Keaton
Stars: Buster Keaton, Renée Adorée, Edward F. Cline
Li'l Abner (1940)
Certificate: Passed Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

The goings-on in the rural Southern community of Dogpatch, USA.

Director: Albert S. Rogell
Stars: Jeff York, Martha O'Driscoll, Mona Ray
The Saphead (1920)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

The simple-minded son of a rich financier must find his own way in the world.

Directors: Herbert Blaché, Winchell Smith
Stars: Edward Jobson, Beulah Booker, Edward Connelly
One Week (1920)
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A newly wedded couple attempt to build a house with a prefabricated kit, unaware that a rival sabotaged the kit's component numbering.

Directors: Edward F. Cline, Buster Keaton
Stars: Buster Keaton, Sybil Seely, Joe Roberts
Neighbors (1920)
Short | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A young couple who live next to each other in tenement apartments do everything they can to be together despite of their feuding families.

Directors: Edward F. Cline, Buster Keaton
Stars: Buster Keaton, Virginia Fox, Joe Roberts
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

In 1924, stage-struck Boston blueblood Hannah Adams picks up musical star Tim O'Connor and takes him home for dinner. One thing leads to another, and when Tim's show rolls on to Chicago a ... See full summary »

Director: Walter Lang
Stars: Dan Dailey, Anne Baxter, Anne Revere


Complete credited cast:
Polly Moran ...
Irene Purcell ...
Tony Lagorce
Mona Maris ...
Maude Eburne ...
Aunt Charlotte
Henry Armetta ...
Paul Porcasi ...
Paul Le Maire
Jean Del Val ...
August Tollaire ...
General Bouschay


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Greatest Comedy Cast Ever Assembled !




Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

6 February 1932 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Blikkenslageren  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


MGM's first attempt to promote Buster Keaton and Jimmy Durante as a comedy team. See more »


Elmer: [posing as a doctor] There's something wrong with my telescope.
See more »


Featured in So Funny It Hurt: Buster Keaton & MGM (2004) See more »


Waltz Viennese
Music by Leo Kempinski
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Carry On Buster
18 March 2006 | by (England) – See all my reviews

Now that was actually good -- I could stand to watch a lot more of those!

The last thirty seconds or so form a too-convenient "eh?--what?" conclusion, the initial set-up is slow, and Jimmy Durante seems to have wandered into a rather pointless supporting role from another movie altogether; but for the first time in talkies we have Buster back as of old -- alert, expressive, and ever-so-slightly bemused as his life unexpectedly intersects with that of a flighty socialite who is the target of a cad -- and the return is worth celebration. It will take all his trademark patience, agility and ingenuity to fulfil the contract to protect his new 'employer' both from her would-be seducer and from her own weaker moments... but "Maybe some day you'll be glad I was here," he tells her with a touching stubbornness, and true to his word it is he who contrives the final confrontation.

In a sense this is just as much farce as was "Parlor, Bedroom and Bath": but the script is better, the supporting cast is much better, and Keaton himself more than holds his own where both dialogue and speaking glances are concerned. He may be playing another 'Elmer', but his character here is a far cry from the pathetic buffoon of his first speaking role in "Free and Easy"; Elmer Tuttle, plumber and inventor, may be out of his element in Miss Patricia's social circles, but he is full of resource and determination, and no helpless puppet. The result, predictably, is far more effective -- when Reggie Irving's head nestles on a concerned female bosom, it is through mere ineptitude, but when Buster here avails himself of the same proffered rest in the aftermath of the duel, it is a visible decision to take full advantage of the opportunity! And as ever with Keaton, many of the most hilarious moments are unspoken. His ever-helpful provision of ammunition to the incensed ladies as events catch up with Tony, a scene which had me in stitches; his attempt to conceal a ridiculously fluffy lap-dog in his pocket, with the whole surreal episode the supremely logical culmination of many earlier plot twists, a set-up worthy of any of his silent features; the arrival of Aunt Charlotte, and his inspired solution to the crisis; and of course the whole duel sequence.

The entire production, from script to sight-gags, is somewhat reminiscent of the classic "Carry On" comedies of the 1960s -- and as a longstanding fan of the latter I mean that as nothing more than a thoroughly-going recommendation. It's very easy to mentally substitute Sid James into the Durante role (arguably an improvement...), Joan Sims as Patricia, and Hattie Jacques as Aunt Charlotte, and oddly enough Buster seems entirely at home in such company. But what I hadn't realised is that the actual duel sequence in the Scarlet Pimpernel spoof "Carry On Don't Lose Your Head" -- including the hero's famous offer "You have the swords, I'll have the pistols" -- is a direct homage to this film; Buster, of course, did it all first.

"The Passionate Plumber" is a true sound comedy, adapted from a stage property, but in addition it's a genuine Keaton movie in ways that "Speak Easily" or "Parlor, Bedroom and Bath", for example, are not. The MGM talkies tend to treat physical comedy as the lowest form of humour, utilising pratfalls, entanglements with scenery and general bumbling to milk the audience for routine, predictable laughs. In this film, for the first time since "Doughboys" and with more consistent results, we see the return of Keaton's own unexpected inventiveness, with the 'Aunt Charlotte' scene as perhaps the most memorable example: in a standard farce, Elmer would be hiding in a creaking cupboard or frantically climbing out of a window at this point, but it wouldn't get one-half the laugh that Keaton's straight-faced expedient does, not to mention the inspired improvisation that follows.

For once, we have Buster back in problem-solving mode, overcoming obstacles and pitting his wits against the world, and it's enough to bring a whole extra sparkle for this viewer at least. He has, of course, fallen in unspoken love with the leading lady -- but that certainly doesn't mean he's going to allow her, or anyone else, to walk all over him! Competent, coherent characters always seem to suit his style better than witless stumblers, producing superior comic results, and this film simply reinforces the point; it isn't a run-of-the-mill MGM picture, and it's distinctly funnier for it.

Keaton himself apparently didn't feel that either the film or the role were right for him. As in, famously, the case of "The High Sign" -- which he actually suppressed from initial release as substandard -- I honestly believe that in this case he was wrong: much of the film depends entirely on his interpretation, many of the laughs derive directly from his reactions and timing, and the material provides opportunity for the full range of his talents. And above all, it had me laughing by the end with the sort of helpless delight I haven't experienced from any of his other sound productions...

8 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
How to find the Passionate Plumber? Notaek
Discuss The Passionate Plumber (1932) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: