Elmer Doolittle (Buster Keaton), an apprentice seaman doing training at the U. S. Navy's San Diego Training Station, can't seem to keep out of trouble or the brig. Most of his problems ... See full summary »
A professional magician, "The Great Spumoni", fires his male assistant and his female assistant insists that he hire another one. The young man he hires turns out to have no aptitude whatsoever for a magic act. Complications ensue.
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.
This Educational short with Buster Keaton had him directed by comic legend Al Christie and this here would be the only picture where they'd work together. I guess it should come as no surprise but the film itself is without question the best Keaton did at Educational. In the film he plays a college chemist who keeps creating eccentric potions including one that will make girls love you and another that will make anything bigger. When he creates a noiseless explosion it catches the minds of some gangsters who kidnap him and plan to use the potion to rob a safe. THE CHEMIST isn't a classic and it's not going to make you forget Keaton's silent work but there's no question that it's the best thing he did at Educational and there's enough good stuff going on here that you'd be willing to recommend it to people. Christie's direction keeps the movie going at an extremely fast-pace and you really couldn't help but wish that he had gotten to handled some of the earlier films Keaton did with this studio. There's a terrific piece where Keaton is trying to feed the girl he loves his magical candy, which will make her love him but another woman ends up eating some of the candy and then the woman tries to feed the candy to Keaton, which turns out to be the magical piece but things don't go as planned. The scene where the bigger potion is put in with some goldfish had a pretty funny end as well. Keaton certainly appears to be having fun as his stone face is perfect for this character who takes himself way too serious no matter how silly his creations are. Keaton is perfect in the part and the screenplay allows him to not only get some good one-liners but also one of his most memorable characters from the sound era.
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