7.6/10
3,759
17 user 16 critic

Neighbors (1920)

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 (as Eddie Cline), Buster Keaton (as 'Buster' Keaton)

Writers:

Buster Keaton (as 'Buster' Keaton), Edward F. Cline (as Eddie Cline)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Buster Keaton ... The Boy
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Storyline

The Romeo and Juliet story played out in a tenement neighborhood with Buster and Virginia's families hating each other over the fence separating their buildings. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Short | Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

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Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Italian censorship visa # 18955 delivered on 1923. See more »

Quotes

His Father: He's my son and I'll break his neck any way I please!
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Connections

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

User Reviews

 
Buster and Virginia
24 April 2020 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Really do appreciate all kinds of comedy, though admittedly more so than others (i.e. preferring the witty, sophisticated kind of comedy over the crude type). For me, Buster Keaton was and still is one of the greatest of all comedy geniuses. He was a very daring and athletic performer with brilliant comic timing and one of the very few people alive or dead to make deadpan (hence "The Great Stone Face" nickname), a very acquired taste style usually and how well it has been done has widly varied, look good.

Keaton may have done even better than 'Neighbors', both short and feature films. Not all the pacing is quite there, but the light-hearted charm, daringly athletic stunts and funny gags certainly are and in large quantities for all three. Cannot say anything bad about Keaton either and have little to fault 'Neighbors' even overall, almost everything is done right if just lacking the extra something of his best work that were paced a little more evenly and were even more imaginative.

'Neighbors' is let down solely by some lagging pacing in the middle, where the storytelling does slow down and doesn't feel as eventful. The slightness of the story is betrayed here.

The first and especially third acts however are paced beautifully and despite it sounding routine on paper it is in execution anything but. The early portions are zany and incredibly charming, without feeling too much like set up. The chemistry between Keaton and Virginia Fox is light-hearted and sweet without being sugary. The third act has some truly inventive moments of slapstick and gags, not to mention the to-be-expected bold Keaton stunts.

While the washing line escape from the apartment is a masterful set piece where Keaton's athletic ability is something to behold, it also features one of the most inspired endings of any of Keaton's films. It looks good, if not imaginative perhaps, and all the sight gags work, being never less than very amusing and they are not predictable. The slapstick doesn't become too goofy and doesn't get clumsy or repetitive, and the stunts are wonderfully athletic and bold. 'Neighbors' is beautifully directed too.

Virginia Fox is lovely, her character meatier than in other collaborations with Keaton, and one can see what Keaton sees in her, but Keaton is the star. One envies his physicality and how he is able to do all those difficult stunts and make them look easy, and he also has witty comic timing and is still an unparallelled master at making deadpan interesting and expressive.

Overall, not one of Keaton's best but still great. 9/10


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

None | English

Release Date:

22 December 1920 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Backyard See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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