Buster Keaton leaves his family vaudeville act for the movies. He starts out as a bit player but quickly becomes famous as he acts in and directs his own films. Casting director Gloria Brent is in love with him, but he favors a starlet. When she rejects him, he starts drinking, a problem which only worsens when sound destroys silent cinema and his career. Will Gloria's love and his desire to make people laugh win out?Written by
It's always been the case in Hollywood when "they" go to make a film based upon an actual historical event or do a biopic on an historical figure: they never get it right. The names and dates are usually correct but after that, it's pretty much whatever they think will sell tickets. And this picture is certainly no exception. The shame of it really is that this was made while Buster Keaton was very much alive and still relatively active in show business. But, obviously, he was never contacted concerning the facts about his own life. And that's a real shame. Donald O'Connor is great, for what he's allowed to show of Keaton's genius but the writers and producer were obviously much more interested in portraying Keaton as a base, alcoholic slob without any real feelings. And we who have read the books know that to be totally untrue. I'm surprised Keaton didn't actually sue the production company for defamation of character over this. I sure would have. In any case, despite Mr. O'Connor's valiant efforts to "save" this film, don't bother with it. Watch the documentary "Keaton: A Hard Act to Follow." You'll enjoy that much more.
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