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Coney Island (1917)

Roscoe tries to dump his wife so he can enjoy the beach attractions. Buster arrives with Alice who is taken away from him by Al who loses her to Roscoe. Bathing beauties and Keystone Kops abound.

Director:

Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle (uncredited)
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More Like This 

Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Customers and clerks frolic in a general store. Roscoe walks out of the freezer wearing a fur coat, then does some clever cleaver tossing. In Buster's film debut he buys a pail of molasses.

Director: Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle
Stars: Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle, Buster Keaton, Al St. John
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

In a drugstore Al and Roscoe are rivals for Alice. Roscoe slings melons and operates the gas pump. Buster delivers a wedding gown for Alice, begins modeling it, is mistaken for Alice and is kidnapped by Al.

Director: Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle
Stars: Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle, Buster Keaton, Al St. John
Oh Doctor! (1917)
Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Roscoe is a doctor who falls in love with a pretty woman whose boyfriend, in turn, falls in love with Roscoe's wife's jewelry.

Director: Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle
Stars: Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle, Buster Keaton, Al St. John
The Bell Boy (1918)
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

At the Elk's Head Hotel bellhops torment the lobby, each other and guests. The elevator is powered by a stubborn horse. A sham robbery turns into a real one. And there is a chase on a ... See full summary »

Director: Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle
Stars: Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle, Buster Keaton, Al St. John
Out West (1918)
Short | Western | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

After escaping from a marauding group of Indians, a wandering bartender teams up with a saloon owner, only to find themselves up against a ruthless outlaw who is after an unprotected Salvation Army girl. Can they beat him at his own game?

Director: Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle
Stars: Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle, Buster Keaton, Al St. John
Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Roscoe, his wife and his mother-in-law run a seaside resort. Buster plays a gardener who puts out a fire started by Roscoe, then a delivery boy who fights with the cook St. John, then a cop.

Directors: Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle, Buster Keaton
Stars: Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle, Buster Keaton, Al St. John
The Cook (1918)
Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Cooks make hovoc in seaside resort hotel.

Director: Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle
Stars: Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle, Buster Keaton, Al St. John
Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Roscoe's wife wants him committed to the No Hope Sanitarium for a cure from drink. He is greeted by blood spattered, cleaver-wielding Buster and a barely clad female patient. He eats a thermometer and must be rushed into surgery.

Director: Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle
Stars: Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle, Buster Keaton, Al St. John
Back Stage (1919)
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Working their fingers to the bone to prepare the set for an upcoming performance, the enthusiastic stagehands, Roscoe and Buster, find themselves on stage when the cast quits. However, is will alone enough to earn a big round of applause?

Director: Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle
Stars: Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle, Buster Keaton, Al St. John
The Garage (1920)
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Roscoe and Buster operate a combination garage and fire station. In the first half they destroy a car left for them to clean. In the second half they go off on a false alarm and return to find their own building on fire.

Director: Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle
Stars: Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle, Buster Keaton, Molly Malone
Moonshine (1918)
Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A feud between the Owens and the Gillettes ends when the last remaining Gillette is killed, but new trouble erupts for the mountain folk with the arrival of a U.S. revenue agent and his ... See full summary »

Director: Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle
Stars: Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle, Buster Keaton, Al St. John
Convict 13 (1920)
Short | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A young golfer is mugged by an escaped convict and finds himself in a prison where he foils a jailbreak.

Directors: Edward F. Cline, Buster Keaton
Stars: Buster Keaton, Sybil Seely, Joe Roberts
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle ... Fatty
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Storyline

A rotund young man and his wife are spending the day at the beach at Coney Island. Feeling restless and wanting to go to the amusements at Luna Park, he ditches his wife. At the amusement park, he meets a pretty young woman. She arrived at the amusement park with one man, went in with another who had money to pay her entrance, before she ends up spending much of the day with the rotund husband, who managed to get the second man arrested. As the husband and the pretty young woman get into one misadventure after another, the first two men try to win back the affection of the pretty young woman, while the wife goes searching for her husband. The wife and the second man, who are old friends, team up in their quest, which leads to further misadventure for all five and the police. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Short | Comedy

Certificate:

TV-G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 October 1917 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Fatty at Coney Island See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Comique Film Company See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(DVD)

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Witching Waves ride consisted of a large oval course with a flexible metal floor. The floor itself did not move but an undulating wave, produced by hidden reciprocating levers, propelled two seated scooter-style cars which could be steered by the riders. It was invented by the same man who also invented the revolving door, Theophilus Van Kannel.

The ride can also be seen in the silent movie "Speedy" starring Harold Lloyd. See more »

Goofs

The first title screen wrongly identifies Coney Island's Luna Park as 'Luma Park'. At 00:03:52 the entrance to Luna Park is clearly seen. See more »

Quotes

Fatty's wife: Who is that fat lady?
Rival: He ain't a lady, she's a man!
See more »

Alternate Versions

In 2005, Laughsmith Entertainment, Inc. copyrighted a 25-minute version of this film, with a new piano music score composed and performed by Philip Carli. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Great Stone Face (1968) See more »

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User Reviews

 
You want refined, subtle, underplayed comedy? Look elsewhere!
6 June 2004 | by wmorrow59See all my reviews

If you enjoy low comedy, i.e. low to the point of downright crudity, with plenty of slapstick, strenuous mugging, cross-dressing, and general anarchy -- Congratulations, you've come to the right place! The two-reel comedy known as "Coney Island" is a prime example of the sort of rough-housing that made Roscoe Arbuckle one of the top comedians of his era, second only to Chaplin in popularity. It's also a good example of the kind of comedy Arbuckle would soon outgrow, thanks at least in part to his newfound colleague Buster Keaton, who influenced Roscoe to employ more low-key and sophisticated comedic elements in his work. But that would come later. Here, in this early appearance, Buster overacts as shamelessly as everyone else, uncharacteristically grinning, laughing, and even indulging in Stan Laurel-style weeping. In addition to his prominent role as Alice Mann's escort, Buster doubles as mustachioed policeman in the movie's climax (he's the cop relieved of his trousers by Roscoe in the jail house), and also acts as Alice's stunt double in the water slide sequence. They sure did keep the guy busy.

Like so many comedies of its era, this one is built around escalating rivalries over a pretty girl. Initially, Buster is Alice's Coney Island date, but he loses her to creepy Al St. John -- how humiliating! -- who in turn loses her to Roscoe, who must first ditch his homely wife. After various shenanigans at the amusement park Roscoe and Alice wind up at the beach, where they must "hire" bathing suits, and this is where things turn a little strange. Seeing as how there are no men's swim trunks on hand large enough to fit him, Roscoe pilfers and dons a lady's XXX-tra large swimsuit instead. Alice, who doesn't seem to find this turn of events the least bit odd, helpfully finds him a curly wig to wear. Roscoe is in drag for the rest of the film, even when flirting with yet another girl who crosses his path. Somehow, when Arbuckle performs this kind of shtick it's not only amusing but strangely innocent, which is not to say there aren't some weird undercurrents. Anyhow, it all ends in wild mayhem at the jail house, leaving the viewer exhilarated and a little dazed.

This is primitive stuff all right, but it has a number of things in its favor. When the film was made the star comics were young and healthy, and had every reason to expect bright futures ahead. Their exuberance comes across strongly. (I happened to watch this film back-to-back with a short comedy called The Railrodder which Keaton made in Canada more than 45 years later; the contrast between the grinning, muscular 21 year-old Buster we see here and the grizzled, exhausted yet still game old man he would become was harrowing and poignant.) In this Coney Island romp everyone is buff, happy, and full of mischief, and they look like they're having a blast.

For that matter, Coney Island itself looks pretty spiffy here and boasts some really cool looking rides, and that's another plus. This film serves as a historical record of the legendary amusement park in its prime, and it features several great shots that have turned up in various documentaries about the place. The Coney Island of 1917 looks almost as clean and well maintained as the Disney theme parks of today, and this too is poignant: I happened to visit Coney Island myself a couple of years ago, and I'm sorry to say it's not such a cheery place anymore. The only way to visit that bright and happy Coney Island, vicariously anyway, is by seeing this film.


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