29 user 11 critic

Free and Easy (1930)

Approved | | Comedy , Musical | 22 March 1930 (USA)
A bumbling manager tries to get a small town beauty contest winner into the movies.


Edward Sedgwick


Richard Schayer (scenario), Paul Dickey (adaptation) | 1 more credit »

On Disc

at Amazon


Learn more

More Like This 

Certificate: Passed Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

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
Stars: Buster Keaton, Dorothy Sebastian, Edward Earle
Doughboys (1930)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A naive and wealthy young man seeks to impress a girl and then unwittingly signs up for army service.

Director: Edward Sedgwick
Stars: Buster Keaton, Sally Eilers, Cliff Edwards
Certificate: Passed Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A man tries passing off a socially awkward fellow as a Casanova in the hopes of marrying off his would be sister-in-law.

Director: Edward Sedgwick
Stars: Buster Keaton, Charlotte Greenwood, Reginald Denny
Three Ages (1923)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The misadventures of Buster in three separate historical periods.

Directors: Edward F. Cline, Buster Keaton
Stars: Buster Keaton, Margaret Leahy, Wallace Beery
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A dim-witted slumlord tries to reform a gang of urban boys (and impress an attractive young woman) by transforming their rough neighborhood into a more decent place.

Directors: Zion Myers, Jules White
Stars: Buster Keaton, Anita Page, Cliff Edwards
Certificate: Passed Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

To make her lover jealous, a beautiful socialite passes off a bumbling plumber as her paramour.

Director: Edward Sedgwick
Stars: Buster Keaton, Jimmy Durante, Polly Moran
What-No Beer? (1933)
Certificate: Passed Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Two men decide to cash in on the end of Prohibition by selling watered down beer.

Director: Edward Sedgwick
Stars: Buster Keaton, Jimmy Durante, Roscoe Ates
Speak Easily (1932)
Certificate: Passed Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A timid professor inherits a large sum of money and decides to fund a terrible musical.

Director: Edward Sedgwick
Stars: Buster Keaton, Jimmy Durante, Ruth Selwyn
Short | Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A bank clerk ends up in a seemingly haunted house that is actually a thieves' hideout.

Directors: Edward F. Cline, Buster Keaton
Stars: Buster Keaton, Virginia Fox, Joe Roberts
Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Buster Keaton shoes horses and repairs cars, with mixed results.

Directors: Buster Keaton, Malcolm St. Clair
Stars: Buster Keaton, Virginia Fox, Joe Roberts
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A love-struck weakling must pretend to be boxer in order to gain respect from the family of the girl he loves.

Director: Buster Keaton
Stars: Buster Keaton, Snitz Edwards, Sally O'Neil
College (1927)
Comedy | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

To reconcile with his girlfriend, a bookish college student tries to become an athlete.

Directors: James W. Horne, Buster Keaton
Stars: Buster Keaton, Anne Cornwall, Flora Bramley


Complete credited cast:
Buster Keaton ... Elmer Butts
Anita Page ... Elvira
Trixie Friganza ... Ma
Robert Montgomery ... Larry
Fred Niblo ... Director Fred Niblo
Edgar Dearing ... Studio Gate Guard
Gwen Lee ... Gwen Lee - Actress in Bedroom Scene
John Miljan ... John Miljan - Actor in Bedroom Scene
Lionel Barrymore ... Lionel Barrymore - Director of Bedroom Scene
William Haines ... William Haines - Guest at Premiere
William Collier Sr. ... William Collier Sr. - Master of Ceremonies at Premiere
Dorothy Sebastian ... Dorothy Sebastian - Actress in Cave Scene
Karl Dane ... Karl Dane - Actor in Cave Scene
David Burton David Burton ... Director DavidBurton


Gopher City Kansas hosts a beauty contest. The winner, Elvira Plunkett, and her mother go to Hollywood. The Chamber of Commerce also provides Elvira with an agent, Gopher City's own Elmer J. Butz. Elmer likes Elvira and the shy Elvira likes him, but Mrs. Plunkett, a formidable woman, has little use for hapless Elmer. On the train west, they meet movie star Larry Mitchell, who takes a shine to Elvira and helps her meet MGM directors once they get to Tinsel Town. Elmer, meanwhile, wants to help Elvira with her career and he also wants to be her man. Movie stardom does come to the Gopher City entourage, but to whom is a surprise. And who will win the lovely Elvira's hand? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Musical


Approved | See all certifications »





English | German

Release Date:

22 March 1930 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Easy Go See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Retitled "Easy Go" in order to avoid confusion with the similarly titled 1941 MGM release, this film was first telecast in New York City on the Late, Late Show Monday 8 September 1958 on WCBS (Channel 2). See more »


When Larry orders his car, a visible mike descends from the upper right hand corner of the frame while he says his line, then rises out of sight again. See more »


Elmer Butts: [singing] All the boys, with high blood pressure/ All the girls, with too much flesh/ Your day has come at last/ Here's a dance, you poor wall flowers/ Once you try, you'll dance for hours/ I'll explain it fast/ Hot stuff is taboo/ Follow me and do/ The Free and Easy...
See more »


Alternate-language version of Estrellados (1930) See more »


It Must Be You
(1930) (uncredited)
Lyrics by Roy Turk
Music by Fred E. Ahlert
Performed by Robert Montgomery and Lottice Howell with dance chorus
Reprised by Buster Keaton
Copyright 1930 Robbins Music Corporation
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Well worth watching!!
13 February 2011 | by rap-39See all my reviews

The first 2/3 of the flick has Buster Keaton rambling around movie sets, pretty much getting into trouble. While the last roughly 1/3 of the movie focusing on the "Free and Easy" dance presentation, very entertaining (at least to this writer). If you are at all interested in the 1930's movies then this is a must have for your collection, and you WILL enjoy it!

Incidentally, it's easy to see why background dancer, Ann Dvorak went from an 18 year old dancer in this film to co-starring in a major movie (Scarface) only two years later. She really captures your attention – a beautiful gal!!

Regarding the singer/dancer listed as "Marion Shilling", IMDb indicates that Marion Shilling is the "Singer and Dancer in 'The Free and Easy' Number (uncredited)". The girl dancing with Keaton most decidedly is not Marion Shilling.

"Free and Easy" was released March 22, 1930. I have a number of DVD's featuring Marion Shilling in co-starring roles: "Shadow of the Law'with William Powell (released a couple months later on June 6, 1930). I also have DVD's of Marion Shilling in "Rio Rattler" (released Aug 1, 1935) and "I'll Name the Murderer" – Jan. 27, 1936. The dancer with Keaton in "Free and Easy" bears little resemblance to the Marion Shilling that co-starred in the DVD's I list above.

In his review of Free and Easy, Kidboots states: "Elmer is teamed with a cute dancer (Estelle Moran)". This may well be; however I could find no movies or pictures of an actress named Estelle Moran (or "Estelle Morgan") from that period. So the identity of the singer/dancer remains unclear – except it is not Marion Shilling. Perhaps if you listed the dancer as "Unknown" it would be more accurate.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 29 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed