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Pardon My Berth Marks (1940)

Approved | | Comedy, Short | 22 March 1940 (USA)
Buster, a reporter, takes a train trip and winds up innocently involved with a gangster's wife.

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Elmer - Newspaper Copyboy
...
Mary Christman
...
Ted Christman - Racketeer
...
Mr. Boggle, Newspaper Editor
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Storyline

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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Genres:

Comedy | Short

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

22 March 1940 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Connections

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

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User Reviews

 
One of the funnier Colmbia-Keaton shorts
2 September 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This film has been called a waste of Buster Keaton. Is it the best possible use of Buster Keaton's particular talents? Probably not -- but it is a very funny short comedy that Keaton's presence only serves to enhance. Curiously, while there is a non-stop stream of gags and jokes that keeps the film moving (and keeps it funny) all the way through, there is perhaps more plot here than a two-reeler of this kind requires. Most of it needlessly complicates the short and can be overlooked.

Even if all the gags are not characteristic of Keaton's character (and many of them actually are) they are almost all effective, and there's a good mix of varieties of humor -- puns (the "Merry Christmas" jokes), situation (Buster mistaken for a newlywed), and, of course, physical comedy (Buster's tumbling around the sleeping carriage with the air of a master).

My favorite gag here and maybe my favorite of what I've seen of Columbia's Keaton series so far is totally sound based (and surprisingly risqué): Buster's fight with his parrot, complete with exclamations of "You bad girl!" and "There was no need to bite my toe!" are dismissed by the other passengers as merely what's to be expected of a pair of newlyweds.

Definitely worth watching for some good laughs.


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