|WHAT! NO BEER?
Sedgwick; screenwriters: Jack Cluett/Carey Wilson/from
the story by Robert E. Hopkins;
Wenstrom; editor: Frank Sullivan;
Keaton (Elmer J. Butts), Jimmy Durante (Jimmy Potts),
(Tony), Roscoe Ates (Schultz), Phyllis Barry (Hortense),
Edward Brophy (Spike Moran), John Miljan (Butch Loredo),
Charles Dunbar (Mulligan); Runtime: 66; MPAA
Rating: NR; producer: Lawrence Weingarten; Kino; 1933)
"The weak Prohibition comedy is never funny."
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
This was the last starring
role for Buster Keaton. Keaton's alcoholism became
a problem for the MGM studio, and as a result he was
fired after this film wrapped.
Edward Sedgwick ("The Cameraman") directs. It's based on the story by Robert E. Hopkins and is written by Jack Cluett and Carey Wilson. The weak Prohibition comedy is never funny, but was a commercial hit.
When America votes to repeal the prohibition
amendment, overbearing barber Jimmy Potts (Jimmy
Durante) talks his naive best friend, taxidermist
Elmer J. Butts (Buster Keaton), to buy a local brewery
and be the first to legally make beer and get a chance
to become a millionaire so he can marry the girl he
loves. Jimmy didn't figure that the repeal amendment
requires every state to ratify it, and thereby slows
down the process. After buying the abandoned brewery
on a mortgage using Elmer's life savings, the partners
hire three homeless men, Tony (Henry Armetta), Schultz (Roscoe Ates) and Mulligan (Charles Dunbar), living in the brewery, to
work for them. The police raid the brewery and arrest Jimmy and
Elmer on local prohibition violations, but since the
beer when tested had no alcohol content and is known
must let them go free.
When Jimmy discovers that Schultz, a chronic
stutterer, used to be a beermeister, the guilt-stricken Jimmy
recipe to make real beer as he wants to get back his pal's
the unsuspecting boys do business with bootlegger Spike Moran (Edward Brophy). When rival bootlegger Butch Loredo (John Miljan) hears about this
partnership, he uses his muscle to wreck the deal.
Meanwhile the love-sick Elmer steals Butch's trophy
gal Hortense (Phyllis
him, as she's the one he fell in love with at first
sight. It ends on a happy note as Jimmy outwits the
gangsters and puts them out of business in a novel
way, and when selling beer is legal Jimmy and Elmer
open up a bar.
REVIEWED ON 10/26/2011 GRADE: C
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ