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The Taming of the Snood (1940)

A jewel thief uses Buster as an unsuspecting dupe.


Jules White


Ewart Adamson (story and screen play), Clyde Bruckman (story and screen play)

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Cast overview:
Buster Keaton ... Buster Keaton
Elsie Ames Elsie Ames ... Odette, the Maid
Dorothy Appleby ... Miss Wilson


The police are hunting for a jewel thief. Two detectives follow a suspect who ducks into Keaton's Snappy Hats, where all hats are four-thirds off. The thief, a good-looking gal, has the clerk model several hats before she picks one; she slips a huge diamond ring into the band and asks the clerk to deliver the hat to her house. At her flat he finds an irrepressible maid, Odette; complications arise when Odette bangs her head and the clerk revives her with too much whiskey. The thief, the clerk, the maid, and a parrot are soon in various forms of duress, distress, and undress. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Short

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

28 June 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Four-Thirds Off See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The sequence of stunts around the table hearken back to Buster Keaton's original vaudeville routine with his father, "The Man With The Table." See more »


References Spite Marriage (1929) See more »

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User Reviews

Somebody should have rapped Elsie Ames in the mouth!
17 February 2009 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

This is one of 10 films that are included in the two DVD set "The Buster Keaton Collection". It's a sad set of films Keaton did later in his career with Columbia Pictures and the films bore more resemblance to Three Stooges films than Keaton's classic silents. Of the 10, eight were directed by Jules White--a man who had absolutely no understanding or appreciation of Keaton's subtle humor. As a lady said in the documentary included with the set ("Buster Keaton: From Silents to Shorts"), White's idea of funny was dropping anvils on people's heads! His totally unsubtle and dopey humor made all the films he directed with Keaton a chore to watch at times--especially with the silly Stooge sound effects and timing. In addition, this film also co-starred Keaton with Elsie Ames--a completely obnoxious and untalented lady in every film she did with Keaton. Her overly exaggerated facial expressions, mannerisms and yelling made Patsy Kelly look subtle in her shorts for Hal Roach!! So already from the start, Keaton had two major disadvantages in the film, so you certainly cannot expect magic.

In this film, a thief places a stolen ring inside Buster's hat. After that, he goes to the home where Elsie Ames is the maid and the film degenerates into a slapstick nightmare thanks to the loud and obnoxious and totally untalented Ames. She should have been ashamed for her performance--one that the Stooges themselves would have complained about because of its low humor!! This might just be the worst short of the series of ten. Don't say I didn't warn you!

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