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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 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>
...just like in his silent days. Unlike most of his MGM talkies, here he is not cast as the hapless bumbling butt of jokes, but instead he shows grace under pressure and ingenuity when in a tight spot.
This was the first of his three teamings with Jimmy Durante, and even that odd pairing doesn't distract too much from the film's enjoyment. Keaton here is playing Elmer Tuttle, who for some unexplained reason is an American plumber choosing to live in Paris. He enters the story as chauffeur Julius (Jimmy Durante) has been tasked by his employer to find a plumber to repair a leaky shower, and Elmer is the lucky plumber chosen for the job. Julius' employer is Patricia Alden (Irene Purcell), also an American living in Paris, who is trying to pull herself away from her married lover Tony (Gilbert Roland) since she sees there is no future in the relationship.
Patricia decides to drive the proud Tony away by claiming that Elmer is her lover, and she also hires Elmer to make sure she doesn't give in to temptation and go crawling back to Tony. The problem is, shortly after she gives Elmer the job she decides to go back to Tony, but Elmer won't take "you're fired" for an answer. He protects her in spite of herself. Keaton shows that old inventiveness at every turn here. When he needs money to rent formal attire to get into a Paris night spot he finds a way to make the night spot pay for it, every time Patricia thinks she has lost Elmer and is on her way back to Tony, Elmer finds a way to outsmart and stop her, and finally when Patricia's aunt Charlotte comes to visit and Patricia is afraid of what she'll think if she finds a man
Elmer - in her room, Keaton hilariously turns his plumbing toolkit
into a doctor's bag and makes aunt Charlotte believe he is Patricia's physician.
Some of the plot lines hit unexplained dead ends and the ending for sure doesn't make much sense, but yet I find myself pulling this one out and watching it pretty often just because it is a good example of the old Keaton magic at work.
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