24 user 36 critic

Three Ages (1923)

Not Rated | | Comedy | 24 September 1923 (USA)
The misadventures of Buster in three separate historical periods.


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


Clyde Bruckman (story and titles), Joseph A. Mitchell (story and titles) (as Joseph Mitchell) | 1 more credit »
1 nomination. See more awards »




Complete credited cast:
Buster Keaton ... The Boy
Margaret Leahy ... The Girl
Wallace Beery ... The Villain
Joe Roberts ... The Girl's Father
Lillian Lawrence Lillian Lawrence ... The Girl's Mother
Kewpie Morgan ... The Emperor / Cave Man / Roman Thug (as Horace Morgan)


In his first independently produced feature film Buster tells of love and romance through three historical ages: the Stone Age, the Roman Age, and the Modern Age. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Six reels of furious fun. (Newspaper ad). See more »




Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Margaret Leahy did only this movie in her life. See more »


As Buster is driving to Margaret's house, his porkpie hat is battered. But when he arrives, it's fresh and undamaged, and looks brand-new. See more »

Alternate Versions

In 1995, Film Preservation Associates copyrighted a version with an orchestral score; no details were specified on the print. See more »


Spoofed in Odna iz mnogikh (1927) See more »

User Reviews

Layers, parts
8 December 2006 | by tedgSee all my reviews

The more time I spend with old films, the more of a giant I see Keaton to be. I'm beginning to think that we all need to see a lot of him, which is why I wandered into this. It seems to have been made only because they had access to a Roman set.

The setup is that a courtship story is presented in three eras: a cave-man setup, a Roman context and a modern one. All are based on film notions of those eras of course. Unlike most movie humor of the time, the joke here isn't in embellishing the story with humorous decoration. Its in the difference among the stories.

Its a clever piece of what I call folding, and you will see at least one scene here that I swear is quoted in "Rashomon."

So there's the idea of the thing, which is worthwhile, but now I've explained it, you hardly have to see it. The jokes are trite. But there is one scene that I recall over and over. I think Keaton did it elsewhere and several others too, but here it is the best.

He's driving a car, a rickety one to his girl's house. (This is in the modern setting, obviously.) He hits a bump and the car falls to pieces. And I just don't mean the wheels fall off, the car quite literally disassembles into the parts that went into the factory and there he sits among hundreds of items. I have no idea how he did this. The car really is moving as a car, and then in an instant it is in pieces.


Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.

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Release Date:

24 September 1923 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Three Ages See more »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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