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The Silent Partner 

When a great film star accepts an academy award, he reflects on a comedian he worked with in the early film days, owing his success to him, not realizing that man is now destitute, watching the show on TV from a barstool.


George Marshall


Barbara Avedon (as Barbara Hammer), Barbara Avedon (from a story by) (as Barbara Hammer) | 1 more credit »




Episode cast overview:
Buster Keaton ... Kelsey Dutton
Zasu Pitts ... Selma
Joe E. Brown ... Arthur Vail
Evelyn Ankers ... Miss Loving
Jack Kruschen ... Ernie
Jack Elam ... Shanks
Percy Helton ... Barney
Joe Corey ... Arnold (as Joseph Corey)
Lyle Latell Lyle Latell ... Ernie's Friend
Charles Horvath ... Barber


Kelsey Dutton once was a great name of silent comedies. But, for all his talent, sound made him redundant a quarter century before. Now he is no more than a face in the crowd. And a sad one at that! At the moment, Kelsey finds himself in a bar where he is brooding over a beer. The TV is on for both Barney, the barman, and Selma, a movie fan, want to see a program airing the Academy Awards ceremony. Which they do, not without being disturbed by a group of noisy fellows. At a time appears on the screen the famed director Arthur Vail, who takes advantage of his being presented the statuette to pay homage to a forgotten actor without whom he would not be recognized as he is tonight. An amazing performer by the name of... Kelsey Dutton. Written by Guy Bellinger

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama | Romance





Release Date:

21 December 1955 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


French visa # 20317, delivered on 21-11-1957. See more »

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User Reviews

A delightful surprise
29 July 2016 | by bugsmoran29See all my reviews

When I returned home from work yesterday I came across a Joe E. Brown films marathon on TCM. I sat through three of Joe E. Brown's slapstick feature comedies from the early thirties. I enjoyed each film immensely and I had several belly laughs. The last item on the schedule was The Silent Partner. I have never seen any of the episodes from the Screen Directors Playhouse. Oddly enough, TCM was paying homage to television programs from 1955 that was paying homage to the silent movie era, circa 1916 to 1926. I found it was a real treat, and I loved all of the outstanding actors who were in on the fun. I must admit I was especially pleased with Jack Elam part as Shank. Elam is most remembered for playing a baddie in numerous cowboy movies and program, but he was a very skillful physical comic as well. Of course, Buster Keaton stole the show in the end.

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