7.7/10
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20 user 16 critic
After waking up from his wacky dream, a theater stage hand inadvertently causes havoc everywhere he works.

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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1 nomination. See more awards »

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By accident, Buster and an intimidating woman end up married.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Buster Keaton ... Audience / Orchestra / Mr. Brown - First Minstrel / Second Minstrel / Stagehand (as 'Buster' Keaton)
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Storyline

Portraying more than twenty characters at once--including lively stage actors, an attentive audience, an orchestra, and an entire nine-member minstrel act--Buster Keaton pushes the boundaries of technical artistry and film trickery, in a time when effects really were special. With this in mind--after waking up from a delightful vaudeville dream sequence--Buster realises that he still is the play house's humble general factotum, and he must keep the show up and running amid delusion and disorder, identical twin sisters, Zouave guards, and a rampant orangutan on the loose. But, can a mere gopher yearn for recognition, and perhaps, love? Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Short | Comedy | Fantasy

Certificate:

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Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Release Date:

6 October 1921 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Playhouse See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD) | (1995 Film Preservation Associates print)

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Buster Keaton used a hand double in the shot where he writes, to avoid showing his right hand with the missing index fingertip. See more »

Goofs

Sometimes the background is visible through the elbow of Male Audience Member Buster, revealing the double-exposure technique used to film two Buster Keatons sitting side by side. See more »

Quotes

Man in Audience: This fellow Keaton seems to be the whole show.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The 35mm print currently (2006) available for theatrical exhibition is slightly different from the DVD version:
  • - There is a British Board of Film Censors approval title and an extra title mentioning the Raymond Rohauer collection.
  • - The inter-titles are in a different font but contain the same text as the DVD version.
  • - The "Written and Directed by" title credits Buster Keaton solely.
  • - There is an out-of-sequence edit in the print. The scene where the Zouave guards walk out and Buster replaces them with street workers comes immediately after the sequence where Buster meets the twins. It begins right as the Zouave chief comes under the stage backdrop and confront Joe Roberts. The scene plays to the fadeout and then immediately cuts to the beginning of the monkey scene. At the end of the monkey scene, the backdrop confrontation begins and abruptly cuts right where it left off earlier in the film.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Buster Keaton: A Hard Act to Follow (1987) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Play House was a quite hilarious Buster Keaton short though the first half where there are multiples of him wasn't the most funny part for me
25 July 2009 | by tavmSee all my reviews

I just watched The Play House which was the first film that was presented in the "Industrial Strength Keaton" DVD collection of various Buster Keaton films from the silents to the end of his life. The first half where he appears in various incarnations of himself was quite impressive especially when 9 of him appear together in the same frame. Some amusing, if not hilarious, gags occur there. The rest of the short has Buster being an actual stagehand/performer who goes through more hilarious mishaps that has to be seen to be believed. I especially loved the way he put out a man's fiery beard or got a woman out of a water tank. Not to mention how he impersonates a monkey. Or how he tells one twin sister from another. So on that note, I highly recommend The Play House.


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