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She's Oil Mine (1941)

Buster fights a duel over a girl.


Jules White


Felix Adler (story and screen play)

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Cast overview:
Buster Keaton ... Buster Waters - Plumber
Elsie Ames Elsie Ames ... Heiress
Monte Collins Monte Collins ... Monty Piper - Plumber (as Monty Collins)
Eddie Laughton Eddie Laughton ... Clementi - Elsie's Suitor / Voice of Radio Announcer


Elsie, an oil heiress being wooed by a phony foreign nobleman, takes refuge in a plumbing shop where Buster and Monty are working on a boiler. They hide her and, in appreciation, Elsie offers Buster the job of fixing the shower in her home. Clementi, the foreigner, enters the house and gets into a scrap with Buster and challenges him to a duel. As the duelists step off their paces, a hunter fires a shot and Clementi and his entourage take off. Buster is Elsie's hero. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Short | Comedy







Release Date:

20 November 1941 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Den tapre blikkenslager See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
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?


An unhappy Buster Keaton had left Columbia after filming of this short ended and vowed never to make another "crummy" two-reeler for the studio. Felix Adler had written another script for another short to star Keaton, but it was shelved and eventually was made with Joe Besser with the title changed to Dizzy Yardbird (1950). See more »

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User Reviews

Creative reworking
30 March 2006 | by Igenlode WordsmithSee all my reviews

"She's Oil Mine" basically consists of three set-pieces -- in the workshop, in the bedroom, and at the duel -- of which the second two are straight re-workings of the corresponding sequences from "The Passionate Plumber". As with "General Nuisance", however, these are not simply reused gags but in fact improved and more sophisticated versions which Keaton has taken the chance to develop further. I actually liked "The Passionate Plumber", but there's no denying that the 'tapping-on-the-water-pipes' sequence here is slicker and more plausible than the one in the earlier film -- I only wish one could send it back in time as a replacement! Other developments serve to escalate the existing humour a step further in trademark Keaton fashion: for example, the introduction of the time-clock is a stroke of pure genius, and the famous gag in which a towel-clad Buster instinctively retaliates to a blow from his aristocratic rival's gloves via the only means at hand acquires a subsequent twist. (Now in his mid-forties, Keaton very sportingly plays a prolonged undressed sequence, demonstrating a trim physique still nothing to be ashamed of.)

As a comedy in its own right it's good fun -- regarded as a cut-down version of the MGM feature it's equally entertaining. And the workshop sequences, although the humour can be somewhat cruder, are also worthwhile. There's a topical nod to Orson Welles' "War of the Worlds", a brief but classic moment in which the two men catch sight of one another in an unexpected context, a broad piece of misdirection where we are led to assume Buster is about to hit his partner with a hammer, and a brilliant sequence in which he gets his finger caught in a pipe, requiring an inventive (and impressive) stunt expedient; "Your finger's got a left-hand thread", Monty informs him cheerfully afterwards. (Oddly enough, they *don't* make use of the special effects potential provided by the fact that the digit in question is notoriously missing its last joint; perhaps because the implied amputation would be too serious a matter for a laugh.) This was Keaton's final Columbia short, and it's a pretty good note to go out on.

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