(director: Edward Sedgwick; screenwriters: story by Al Boasberg and Sidney Lazarus/Richard Schayer;
Smith; editor: William LeVanway; music: William Axt; cast:
(Elmer), Sally Eilers (Mary), Cliff Edwards (Nescopeck),
Edward Brophy (Sgt. Brophy), Victor Potel (Svendenburg),
Arnold Korff (Gustave), Frank Mayo (Capt. Scott), Pitzy
Katz (Abie Cohn), William Steele (Lt. Randolph);
Runtime: 79; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: ; Kino; 1930)
"Buster Keaton's second talkie for MGM is a stinker."
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Keaton's second talkie for MGM is a stinker. Edward
Sedgwick ("The Cameraman"/"Spite Marriage"/"A Southern
directs the conventional narrative. It's based on a
story by Al
Boasberg and Sidney Lazarus; the writer is Richard Schayer. The lame military comedy is
never better or worse than your typical Abbott &
Costello war pic.
Idler wimpy rich boy Elmer
Stuyvesant (Buster Keaton) tries in vain to pick up
shopgirl Mary (Sally
Eilers) in his
Rolls Royce, as she leaves work. During this time his
chauffeur enlists to fight in WW I, at its
outbreak. Elmer seeks another chauffeur, but mistakes
a recruiting station for the unemployment office and
gets roped into volunteering for the army. Drill
verbally berates the misfit recruit. The only good
thing is that Elmer meets his dream girl Mary, who
volunteers for service to entertain the troops
overseas. Mary now dates Elmer because of the uniform.
In France, Elmer
accidentally becomes a war hero when he enters the
German trenches and meets his former servant Gustave (Arnold Korff). After giving the starving
German soldiers food, the grateful Germans return the
favor by giving Elmer a lugar as a souvenir and unwittingly wrap it in
a map that has their war plans.
The wildest comedy scene has Buster dancing in drag and his soldier buddy Nescopeck (Cliff Edwards) playing the ukulele at an army show, as the dance ends up in a wrestling match.
REVIEWED ON 10/26/2011 GRADE: C
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ