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>
A rare example of a Buster Keaton movie being based on a stage play. The original ran for 313 performances on Broadway, opening at the Selwyn Theatre, 227 W. 42nd St. on October 8, 1923 and moving to the Times Square Theatre on April 21, 1924 with Charles Ruggles playing the lead. 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 »
This is kind of a typical Buster Keaton story, except in reverse: the girl comes along earlier in the movie, the men are impressed with him earlier on, everything works out for him earlier on, and then the rest of the movie is him trying to maintain his luck versus trying to get the girl against all the forces of bad luck. It also goes in a couple surprising directions, which are noteworthy.
I notice through the evolution of Keaton's movies that he did more and more acting and less and less physical comedy, with the exception of course of The Saphead, which was his first feature-length that was mostly drama-based, not slapstick-based. By now, 1926, Keaton knows what he's doing and knows where he's going, and thus this is a pretty clean and well-put together movie.
Still, the stuff he does in the training-ring scene is amazingly original and marvelous. When watching this movie, one expects something more along the lines of Chaplin's moment in City Lights, where he dodges around limberly and almost succeeds. Not the case, this was more real and brutal. Marvelous stuff, really, and surprising in its own right.
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