Elsie, an oil heiress being wooed by a phony foreign nobleman, takes refuge in a plumbing shop where Buster and Monty are working on a boiler. They hide her and, in appreciation, Elsie offers Buster the job of fixing the shower in her home. Clementi, the foreigner, enters the house and gets into a scrap with Buster and challenges him to a duel. As the duelists step off their paces, a hunter fires a shot and Clementi and his entourage take off. Buster is Elsie's hero. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
worthwhile Buster Keaton Columbia short, reprises parts of THE PASSIONATE PLUMBER
Though the quality varies, Buster Keaton's Columbia comedy shorts have given me much pleasure over the years, and no doubt had the same effect on audiences in the late 30's and early 40's. He would not have worked at Columbia for almost a decade if he wasn't delivering at the box office, Jules White has explained in interviews. This one pairs Buster and Monte Collins (in the Jimmy Durante role) in a partial remake of THE PASSIONATE PLUMBER, at least in the second reel. Teamed with them is the hilarious Elsie Ames, a brash Patsy Kelly or Vera Vague-style lady with wonderful acrobatic skills (see TAMING OF THE SNOOD with Keaton). This being directed by Jules White (my copy is an "Official films" reissue, without the original credits), there is a lot of violent slapstick--clanking pipes in the head, burning welding torches in the rear end--accompanied by outrageous sound effects, a technique used so effectively by White with the Three Stooges. Buster is in fine form, and takes a number of pratfalls himself, as well as playing a scene without his shirt on! Perhaps the highlight for me in this film--a scene I remembered for decades of seeing this-- is one where Monte Collins needs to screw one thing into another in the workshop, and then gives Keaton the screwdriver and turns his body while Buster holds the screwdriver stationary! If a dummy or a stuntman is used, it's slickly edited in because I didn't catch it. The final reel of the film is a re-make of the dueling sequence from THE PASSIONATE PLUMBER, with Monte Collins in the Durante role and Eddie Laughton (somewhat) in the Gilbert Roland role--some may even prefer this version as the pacing is tighter. Overall, a nice Keaton short that any fan of the sound-Era Buster should enjoy. Why Columbia has not released these on video or now DVD is beyond me.
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