Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Tuesday, October 10, 2017


There were a lot of great comedians in the silent film era, but, for my money, few could top Buster Keaton.  His timing and pacing were impeccable.  His mild manner belied his athleticism.  His deadpan reactions were always perfection.  And he was funny.  Very funny.

Unlike many of his contemporaries, the introduction of the talkies did not slow him down.  His career in film lasted nearly fifty years, from his first short in 1917 to his final (and wonderful) performance in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum in 1966, the year he passed away.

In The Electric House Keaton plays a botany student who is mistakenly given a degree in electrical engineering and things go downhill from there.  Keaton's real-life parents and sister play his parents in sister in the film.  Also featured are Virginia Fox (soon to become the wife of Darryl F. Zanuck), Laura La Varnie (Mickey, Raggedy Rose, Who's Your Friend), Steve Murphy (The Circus, Rolling Stone, The Fighting Skipper), and Joe Roberts (The Paleface, Little Lord Fauntleroy, The Misfit) -- of the four, only La Varnie made it past the silent era, and that for a very small part in one picture in 1930.  The cast knew how to put together a silent film comedy, especially under Keaton's direction.

Enjoy this one.  You know you need a laugh.


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