A millionaire falls for an army nurse, who tells him she likes men in uniform. So he enlists at Camp Cluster. She still has no time for him, so he figures out how to get into the hospital ...
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The handyman is finishing getting the Island Inn Café ready for opening night: it's a speakeasy, and the owner, Louie the Wolf, has been warned by the local mob kingpin, Slugger McGraw, not... See full summary »
A millionaire falls for an army nurse, who tells him she likes men in uniform. So he enlists at Camp Cluster. She still has no time for him, so he figures out how to get into the hospital and under her care. His induction physical exam, his injury, his hospital stay, and a sudden emergency take us to the question: will she fall for him? Written by
"General Nuisance" is raucous stuff -- complete with a honk-whistle comedy soundtrack -- compared to Buster Keaton's own preferred style, but it's actually pretty good. It also features a daft and charming song and dance act from Keaton and comedienne Elsie Ames, in which the performers demonstrate alternate grace (there are moments when Keaton is stunning) and grotesquerie, in a take-off of different styles of dance that ends in a highly unusual percussion routine!
The scene in which an indignant Keaton mutely resists the medical officer's attempt to undress him is a development of the one used in "Doughboys"; but this is no detriment to enjoyment for viewers of the earlier film -- far from it, as we see a whole new set of gags, of which my favourite is perhaps the one where the two medics grapple with each other while an elusive Buster looks quizzically on. Likewise, the scene in which Dorothy struggles to transport Keaton's unconscious body is a freshly inventive variation on one of his favourite routines, originated in "Spite Marriage" and quoted many times -- but never in this form...
In addition to the interest of the reworked material -- entertainment value actually heightened by acquaintance with the original, since expectation is constantly surprised! -- there is a good deal of fast and furious new action, with never a dull moment and very few gags that fall flat. Perhaps some of the most memorable moments are Keaton's various creative attempts at injury and his unusual use of a leg in plaster when confronted with an axe-wielding lunatic (not to mention his prudent stowing of the axe...); but others are worthy of note. This is broad-brush comedy, but it's not half bad.
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