Buster Keaton leaves his family vaudeville act for the movies. He starts out as a bit player but quickly becomes famous as he acts in and directs his own films. Casting director Gloria Brent is in love with him, but he favors a starlet. When she rejects him, he starts drinking, a problem which only worsens when sound destroys silent cinema and his career. Will Gloria's love and his desire to make people laugh win out? Written by
Despite what the film portrays, neither Keaton nor his family ever performed in a circus, his father died when Keaton was an adult and his father did not die while performing. One day, the real Buster Keaton visited the set while they were filming a circus scene and Keaton told all of this to a surprised Donald O'Connor. See more »
Keaton's wife, a stylish studio employee, continues to wear WWI-era fashions well into the late Twenties-early Thirties. See more »
The weird thing about this film is it's NOT the Buster Keaton story at all. The main character is a fictional studio executive named Gloria who falls in love with Buster (inexplicably, as he's portrayed as a graceless, unattractive slob) and puts her happiness and career on the line in order to nurture and protect him as he chases another woman, blows all his money and drinks himself silly. The surprisingly faithful recreations of classic Keaton routines dropped in awkwardly here and there do nothing to relieve the tedium of this glum, sour women's picture masquerading as a biopic.
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