An unimpressive but well intending man is given the chance to marry a popular actress, of whom he has been a hopeless fan. But what he doesn't realize is that he is being used to make the actress' old flame jealous.
Alfred's father wants him to make of a man of himself so sends him off on a hunting and fishing trip. He doesn't catch or shoot anything, but he does fall in love with a mountain girl. When her father and brothers laugh at this they are informed that he is Alfred "Battling" Butler, the championship fighter. From there on the masquerade must be maintained.Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The close-up of Alfred Butler's hands as he opens the box with the wedding ring inside was shot with a hand double, since Buster Keaton was missing the tip of his right index finger. See more »
Buster and his valet take the train into "Mountain Girl's" hometown, so that Buster can confess that he's not the new champion; yet when circumstances require that his subterfuge continue, and he leaves to go to train for the fight vs. the Alabama Murderer, they drive away to the training camp in Buster's car. See more »
The "THE END" test is shown on a boxing bell. See more »
While it's a cut below Keaton's best features, "Battling Butler" has some good comic material and an amusing, if lightweight, story. There are some good performances from the supporting cast, a wide enough assortment of gags, and the story-line also gives Buster a chance to demonstrate a few of his many acrobatic talents.
The first few minutes contain lots of good visual gags as we are introduced to Keaton's hapless character. Then, when his identity gets tangled up with that of a prize-fighter, "Battling Butler", from there on in Buster finds himself in some increasingly complicated and tricky situations. As his character's physical ineptness is emphasized, Keaton's own agility and versatility are displayed in various antics. (The same is true to some degree of his character in "College".) Most of the specific stunts, though, are relatively routine compared to those in his best work.
In lesser hands, the fragile premise would run out of steam quickly, but here things keep moving along steadily, and there are some very good moments. It doesn't ever really hit high gear, though, and it's missing the kind of top-notch climactic sequence that distinguishes Keaton's best films. Thus it will probably be of interest primarily to those who are already fans of Keaton, but most such fans should find it worth a look. While there's nothing spectacular, there is more than enough good material to make it worthwhile as light entertainment.
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