Elmer Doolittle (Buster Keaton), an apprentice seaman doing training at the U. S. Navy's San Diego Training Station, can't seem to keep out of trouble or the brig. Most of his problems ...
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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 »
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 »
Filmed at a navel base in San Diego, this is basically two reels of Buster Keaton running around and getting into trouble as an apprentice sailor. It is virtually a silent film. Dialogue is only used when absolutely necessary. Buster is not interested in verbal jokes and wisecracks. He was a quiet comedian who only spoke when necessary. The film is totally natural and one does not get the feeling that Buster refuses to speak. The special treat of the film has Buster doing battle with superior officer Vernon Dent. Dent was usually paired with Harry Langdon and later became a staple at Columbia, often appearing with the Three Stooges. Because of Dent's presence, the film feels more like a Harry Langdon comedy than a Buster Keaton comedy. These are the kind of situations Langdon and Dent found themselves in during the silent Sennett comedies and later in their talkie Educational comedies. However, Keaton uses sound smartly, where sometimes Langdon became a babbling idiot, trying to show that he is a talking comedian.
The film itself is only mediocre, with typical military gags which have been used many times before. The rivalry between Buster and Vernon for the girl is weak. Buster was inebriated during the filming, but it doesn't have much effect on his performance. This film is worth seeing for all Keaton fans and fans of slapstick comedy.
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