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?
Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle
Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle,
Al St. John
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.
Buster Keaton appears in at least 2 scenes: First at 0:11:40 as Wallace Beery and Indian band stop; Buster is dressed as an Indian, wearing a patterned shirt with dark background, appearing right behind Wallace. Second at 1:05:00 with Buster as the Indian who has the knife shot out of his hand by Fatty just as he attempts to scalp the fallen calvary soldier. Buster flees, only to be killed by Fatty and Buster then tumbles head over heels, downhill, perhaps inspiring his later feature film spectacular falling rock/tumbling stunt in the 1925 "Seven Chances." See more »
Tell Jack Payson an old friend from Mexico wants to see him out here - I ain't dressed to horn into the party.
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So Joe Schenck cut a great deal with Paramount to get Arbuckle into features. And as long as they were paying him an amazing sum of money, they gave him a role in this western until they could get a comedy vehicle ready for him. Paramount got its money's worth out of its stars by putting them in a LOT of movies.
Roscoe is pretty good in a largely straight role here. It's a supporting role in the midst of eight or nine major plots, but built up a bit because Arbuckle is the biggest star here. He gets to do his signature cigarette-rolling gag. If you've never seen it, look for it.
But what makes this movie a joy is that director George Melford was a great stylist and knew where to tell his cameramen to point the camera: keep the mountains in the picture, that's an amazing bunch of rocks, and so on. And, frankly, the print I saw, from the Library of Congress, is a wonderful print: plenty of silver in the print, no scratches and just enough granularity to make the stars shimmer. It's the most beautiful black-and-white print I've seen in at least 15 years. If you get a chance to see it, take it. When someone says "they don't make 'em like that anymore" sometimes they're referring to the actual piece of film.
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