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Spite Marriage (1929)

Passed | | Comedy | 6 April 1929 (USA)
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.

Directors:

Edward Sedgwick, Buster Keaton (uncredited)

Writers:

Lew Lipton (story), Ernest Pagano (adaptation) (as Ernest S. Pagano) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview:
Buster Keaton ... Elmer Gantry
Dorothy Sebastian ... Trilby Drew
Edward Earle ... Lionel Benmore
Leila Hyams ... Ethyl Norcrosse
William Bechtel ... Frederick Nussbaum
Jack Byron Jack Byron ... Scarzi (as John Byron)
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Storyline

Elmer is a dry cleaner. He is madly in love with stage star Trilby Drew; for each of her 35 performances, he dons someone else's tuxedo and races to the theatre. When Trilby's co-star boyfriend gets engaged to a socialite, she marries Elmer to get even, assuming Elmer is a millionaire (since his clothes are so snazzy.) But she's clearly still in love with her scoundrelous co-star, and her manager makes her leave Elmer, trying to pay him off so the papers don't hear about her marriage to a "cheap pants presser." Can Elmer win her love? Maybe a sea voyage will help. Written by <bletzler@lan.tjhsst.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Scream of the Screen-Buster in a Matrimonial Maelstrom- Buster's Adventure in Married Bliss. (Print Ad- Auckland Star,((Auckland, NZ)) 7 September 1929)

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 April 1929 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Die unvollkommene Ehe See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

Silent (musical score and sound effects)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Keaton' s character Elmer Gantry uses the name of the bogus evangelist/con-man in the 1927 novel "Elmer Gantry" by Sinclair Lewis. The picture's original running-time was apparently 90 minutes, and the few minutes of footage in the currently-available 76-minute version in which Elmer encounters Trilby on a bridle-path are clearly all that remain from a much-longer sequence involving Eimer's accident-prone attempts to ride a horse. See more »

Goofs

In the dressing-room scene while attempting to trim the hair for his false beard, Elmer accidentally severs the left-hand shoulder strap of his vest and has no time to repair it. When we see him hurriedly changing back into his smart clothes after the performance, both straps are still whole. See more »

Quotes

Actor as 'Union Officer': Search yon plantation and leave not a cotton bulb untouched!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Parlor, Bedroom and Bath (1931) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Another reason Keaton was the greatest comedian of the 20s!
27 December 2004 | by EdisoneSee all my reviews

The story isn't much, but Buster packs every scene with so many gags that you don't mind. It's easy to see why he was so successful, until MGM stuck him with stories that were totally unsuitable.

The original score is fantastic, here - it includes a great deal of popular music and makes commentary on the situations, but the meaning will be lost on most modern viewers (I collect records from that period, so I recognize most all of it); even so, it moves the action right along and gives us a rare chance to experience a silent film just as it was presented to contemporary audiences. No cheesy piano accompaniment, here! The sound effects are well done, and used sparingly.

The shipboard scenes could have been trimmed a bit; they seem to drag. Otherwise, time flies during this movie - you won't regret watching it! Just compare it with the average sound 'comedy' which Hollywood produced until 1932 or so, and you'll realize how they lost the art of making good films for a while. It's a crime that Keaton wasn't given the chance to produce his own talkies, because he might have changed the whole concept of what made a good SOUND comedy! It's a wonder that audiences didn't rebel against the boring, static, yawnful talk-fests that early sound comedies became; maybe the novelty of Talkies really WAS enough to bring them into the theaters.

I'd haven given this a 10, except for the draggy ship scenes - but the ending is satisfyingly Keatonesque!


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