7.1/10
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16 user 9 critic

Hard Luck (1921)

Strange things ensue after a young man attempts to take his own life.
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Buster Keaton ... Suicidal Boy
Virginia Fox Virginia Fox ... Virginia
Joe Roberts ... Lizard Lip Luke
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Storyline

Out of work, Buster tries various ways to commit suicide. At last he tries "poison" from a bottle containing booze. The president of a sporting club speaks of the need for a sportsman to promote the club and drunken Buster gets the job for which he must learn fishing, hunting and riding. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Short | Comedy

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 March 1921 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Buster Keaton ist nicht totzukriegen See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(extant print)

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

This film was considered to be Buster Keaton's major lost film until it was rediscovered in 1987. The recovered print did not have the final climactic gag; another print with the gag intact was found later on. See more »

Goofs

Buster's attempt to hang himself fails because the rope isn't tied to the tree limb at all, and he falls flat on the ground. But when the cops come running over, the rope is tied tightly to the tree limb with just enough slack for Buster to stand upright. See more »

Connections

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

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User Reviews

 
Unfortunately lost
3 March 2006 | by Polaris_DiBSee all my reviews

It's interesting and very tragic how much of the silent era has been lost to the world forever. Some works we've managed to reproduce, but not very effectively.

This is Buster Keaton's favorite one of his shorts. How, then, it managed to be one of those nearly completely destroyed, is beyond me. You'd think that his favorite would be the one most taken care of. But that's not how it worked, unfortunately. Film preservationists have done their best, but what remains is only okay at best.

A down-and-out guy who lost his girlfriend and his job tries to commit suicide via different methods before eventually getting drunk (off of "poison"--a butler's hidden stash, if you know what I mean) and volunteering to find "The illusive and rare armadillo" for a zoological society. Of course he doesn't go to Texas or anything, where you can basically just pick up an armadillo off of any side of the highway, but instead finds his way (unclearly, due to lost footage) to a high-class country club, where he makes his last desperate attempts to fit in.

The biggest gag is missing. The timing is a bit off. There's still some great stuff, like the two motorcycle headlight gag and probably one of the darkest jokes of Keaton's career ("I was on a branch of the zoo!"), but most of it's oomph is basically gone.

Tragic.

--PolarisDiB


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