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
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.
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
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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