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Pardon My Berth Marks (1940)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Short  |  22 March 1940 (USA)
Your rating:
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Ratings: 6.1/10 from 94 users  
Reviews: 4 user | 1 critic

Buster, a reporter, takes a train trip and winds up innocently involved with a gangster's wife.



(story), (screenplay)
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Cast overview:
Elmer - Newspaper Copyboy
Dorothy Appleby ...
Mary Christman
Vernon Dent ...
Mr. Boggle, Newspaper Editor
Richard Fiske ...
Ted Christman - Racketeer
Wedding Guest in Train Station
Lynton Brent ...
Train Passenger
Stanley Brown ...
Bud Jamison ...
Train Conductor
Jack 'Tiny' Lipson ...
Angry Man in Pullman Berth
Eva McKenzie ...
Cy Schindell ...
Al Spumoni, mobster
Fred 'Snowflake' Toones ...
Train Porter
John Tyrrell ...
Train Passenger


For ten years, Elmer has been an office boy at the Daily Chronicle, hoping to be a reporter. On a day when all the reporters are elsewhere and a hot tip comes into the paper, the city editor reluctantly gives the story to Elmer: he's to follow a society dame, Mary Cristman, on a train trip to Reno where she'll file for divorce from a local racketeer. Traveling with his parrot Clarisse, Elmer seems doomed to blow the story. Will he get the scoop and a permanent job, or will he forever empty wastebaskets? Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Short


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Release Date:

22 March 1940 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Remade as Rolling Down to Reno (1947) See more »

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User Reviews

Unpardonable Waste
26 October 2004 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

This being a comedy directed by Jules White, the first thing we establish is that Buster Keaton's character is a half-wit. This is a basic problem with his sound studio pictures. The real Keaton character is not an idiot triumphing over fate by luck, but a dreamer, out of step with the chaotic world, who triumphs -- or sometimes sinks --by stoic perseverance. He learns his lesson in the school of hard knocks.

But this is 1940, not 1927, and Buster is toiling in the Columbia short subjects department, not building features with his hand-picked crew. And he's got Jules White, who thinks that sheer pain frequently applied is the only source of comedy. So there is a constant struggle between Keaton, backed by his co-director from THE GENERAL, Clyde Bruckman, as writer, and Jules White as producer-director.

Unhappily, Jules White wins. People get sat on, people get hit on the forehead by shoes with loud sound effects. But Keaton wins a few battles. He still takes a fall beautifully and he has a nice little sequence trying to undress in an upper berth. So don't expect a classic, but do expect some wonderful little bits.

Just ignore the parrot.

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