In May 1943, two American soldiers, Joe and Frank, of Italian descent are searching the North African desert for a German general called Von Kassler, when they are captured by Von Kassler ... See full summary »
Marianne de Beaumaniour is on her way to New Orleans from Paris to inspect the plantation she inherited from her uncle. On the ship with her are bondsmen, that are to be sold for slavery. ... See full summary »
Robert Z. Leonard,
W.S. Van Dyke
An astronaut goes into space with a chimpanzee. When they return to Earth after their orbit, it is discovered that the chimp has the brains of the astronaut, and the astronaut has the brains of the chimp. Complications ensue.
Star-packed promotional short subject intended to raise funds for the National Variety Artists tuberculosis sanatorium, produced in association with a cigarette company! Plot involves the ... See full summary »
In the fourth of the highly successful Frankie and Annette beach party movies, a motorcycle gang led by Eric Von Zipper kidnaps singing star Sugar Kane managed by Bullets, who hires ... See full summary »
Elmer Doolittle,a hired hand on a farm,encounters some complications in his romancing and believes he will have to marry the farm-owner aunt of Molly, the pretty girl he loves. Further ... See full summary »
Frankie, on naval-reserve duty in Tahiti, doesn't trust Dee Dee to stay faithful, so he hires Bwana, a witch doctor, to help. Bwana conjures up a floating bikini, "stuffs" it with Cassandra... See full summary »
Gogo, a Martian teenager, is sent to Earth to prepare the way for an invasion. The first Earthling he meets, one Aunt Wendy, is a rich widow who runs a dress shop catering to teenagers. Her... See full summary »
Buster Garnier is having a very bad day, even by his standards. First of all he manages to lose his job distributing flyers for a car company when he accidentally hands out packets of real notes instead of the false money-off vouchers; then he blunders into a stage performance at the theatre where his mother is prompt, and gets thrown out there too. Methodically, he drapes a black band across his own portrait, writes a last note to his mother, bids farewell to his pets one by one, switches on the gas tap, and composes himself calmly on the floor to await oblivion. But Life hasn't had its last laugh at his expense just yet... Meanwhile, across town, a scarred and ruthless gangster is preparing to break out of jail. Unknown to either man, the two of them are almost exactly alike; and when Buster finds himself on stage in the role of a jail-bird, fact and fiction are about to get extremely confused! Written by
Rarely screened publicly in U.S. (never distributed commercially); Los Angeles premiere on 3 June 2005 (UCLA). See more »
Buster Keaton did not speak French, so his dialog in this Paris-made talkie was dubbed by an actor whose vocal pitch was an incongruous tenor. In one scene with Colette Darfeuil (who played Simone) the dubbing engineer missed a line, and we can plainly hear Buster say "Go get me a drink" in English, in his distinctive gravelly voice. See more »
This is good movie. I found a fairly clear copy with English subtitles from A-1 video, image and sound properly in-sync, but image tightly cropped, and it can be seen from reading the subs that the movie has none of the awful joke-dialogue that plague the MGM comedies. The story is well put together and, unusually, I can find nothing I would edit down or cut out. It is not a high-budget affair, but the script does not require it.
The notion that a U.S. release of this film might have revived Buster Keaton's career doesn't make any sense: the general public still loved Keaton in the early 1930s, and his worst movies were very successful; the only way of "reviving" his career would have been for a major studio to hand over full production of movie-making to Buster, and I don't see how this film or any other non-Buster directed movie would have accomplished that. However, if the idea is that "Le Roi " brought Keaton back to his old self, well, that's debatable, but he does not seem to be fighting for his comic life, either.
Of course, under Keaton's direction, the photography might have been pellucid instead of so much shadowy-gray, and the cinematography probably would have focused more clearly on the gag and story elements. If Buster had been completely in control, no doubt he would have found an even higher level of wit or irony in the story, and greater comedy in the details with probably a few innovative stunts as well; but overall "Le Roi " remains a successful, if lesser Keaton vehicle. It is a particularly surprising and moving accomplishment to have taken place during the most disastrous time of his life, a time of suffering that would have killed anyone with less inner strength and resilience. This is a movie that deserves restoration and perhaps dubbing (so we can always watch the all-important physical action instead of reading).
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