6.6/10
1,193
18 user 5 critic

The Cook (1918)

Cooks make hovoc in seaside resort hotel.

Writer:

Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle (story)
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More Like This 

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
Back Stage (1919)
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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
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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
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 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.

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Out West (1918)
Short | Western | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 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
The Hayseed (1919)
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Buster manages the store while Roscoe delivers the mail, taking time out for hide-and-seek with Molly. The constable, also interested in Molly, steals $300 while being observed by Buster.

Director: Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle
Stars: Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle, Buster Keaton, Molly Malone
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
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
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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
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
Coney Island (1917)
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

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
Stars: Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle, Buster Keaton, Joe Bordeaux
Neighbors (1920)
Short | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A young couple who live next to each other in tenement apartments do everything they can to be together despite of their feuding families.

Directors: Edward F. Cline, Buster Keaton
Stars: Buster Keaton, Edward F. Cline, Jack Duffy
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle ... Chef
Buster Keaton ... Assistant Chef
Al St. John ... Holdup Man
Alice Lake ... Waitress / Cashier
Glen Cavender
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Luke the Dog Luke the Dog ... Dog
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Storyline

In an attempt at greater efficiency, the chef of a fancy oceanside restaurant and his assistant wreak havoc in the establishment. Adding to the complications is the arrival of a robber. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Short

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 September 1918 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Koch See more »

Filming Locations:

Long Beach, California, USA

Company Credits

Production Co:

Comique Film Company See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Considered lost for several years. A surviving print was found and shown, for the first time in over 70 years, in Venice 1999. The surviving print was found in the attic of a former hospital in Norway. Apparently, the director of the hospital in the 1920s and 30s felt that laughter and comedy helped soothe mentally challenged patients and kept a collection of short films by Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd and Charlie Chaplin on hand. None of the other short films found were considered lost. See more »

Alternate Versions

The restored print of "The Cook" runs 21 minutes. It was compiled from a 17 minute print discovered in Norway in 1999 and a 10 minute print discovered in the Netherlands in 2002. Both the restored print and the Norwegian print have a blue color tint, while the Dutch version is in black and white. While all three versions are available on DVD, none include the last minute and a half of the film, which is still considered lost. See more »

Connections

Featured in Silent Clowns: Buster Keaton (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Comedy served up with all the trimmings
17 January 2007 | by wmorrow59See all my reviews

What I love about this movie is that it feels like a live action cartoon, one of those Betty Boop-style cartoons where everyone seems to be made of rubber, and even the cars and buildings come to life and bounce to the music. That isn't exactly what happens in The Cook, but it sure is the "cartooniest" comedy Roscoe Arbuckle & Buster Keaton made together. This was the last short Buster appeared in before he shipped off to France for military service in the First World War, so it's all the more striking that everyone appears to be having so much fun. The Cook has a party atmosphere that's contagious, even now.

Most of the action is set in a medium-sized restaurant, where the clientèle is respectable and there's a jazz combo on hand to entertain. Roscoe is the cook, and this of course gives him the opportunity to perform a medley of his favorite food prep gags: flipping pancakes high in the air and catching them behind his back, playing "hacky-sack" with wads of dough, etc. Buster is the waiter, and we're treated to several close-ups that reveal just how amazingly handsome he was at this point in his life. The Cook isn't as violent as some of the other Keaton & Arbuckle shorts, but there's a gag early on that made me gasp: Roscoe is using a meat cleaver to chop a large fish, and when Buster unexpectedly flies headlong into the kitchen and lands on the chopping block, Roscoe brings the cleaver down on his neck! No harm done, however, just like cartoons.

The highlight is an impromptu musical number. An exotic dancer in an Arabian costume is performing for the customers, and although Buster is busy waiting tables the music inspires him to participate. His pseudo-Egyptian "snake dance" is great fun to watch, but back in the kitchen Roscoe manages to top him when he joins in, transforming common kitchen items into a Cleopatra costume. (He also works in a reference to Salome, using a cabbage as the head of John the Baptist.) Most of Roscoe's dance isn't visible to the patrons, he's just clowning back in the back for his own amusement -- and ours, of course. When he dances into the dining room and enhances his act by smashing plates no one is especially shocked or even much surprised, and the finale is greeted with a vigorous round of applause. The mood is downright giddy. Unfortunately the mood darkens when scuzzy Al St. John shows up and manhandles pretty cashier Alice Lake, but the staff at this establishment knows how to handle the undesirable element, and Luke the Dog is soon on call to teach the tough guy some manners. The next sequence features Roscoe, Buster, and two restaurant staffers eating spaghetti in a variety of funny ways; they turn a long strand into an impromptu clothes-line, Roscoe gets the food mixed up with his tie, etc. That's the joy of this film, there's no plot to worry about and no reason to hurry: these guys seem to have all the time in the world to sit around and perform clever gags. (Incidentally, the staffer with the big mustache is John Rand, familiar from a number of Chaplin films; Laurel & Hardy fans will recognize the other gent as Bobby Dunn, the cheerful shoplifter from Tit For Tat.)

The finale takes place in a nearby amusement park, where customers are borne in goat-carts. Al St. John reappears to menace Alice, so Luke obligingly reappears to menace Al. The last shots of the film are missing, unfortunately, but we're lucky we're able to see this much; The Cook was believed to be gone forever until the 1990s, when a portion of the film was found, and that section was matched up with another newly discovered fragment in 2002. The result is a funny and light-hearted comedy, offering modern day buffs a pleasant reunion with two great comedians supported by familiar colleagues, all having a blast.


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