Before Chris Farley, there was Roscoe Arbuckle, the original "Fatty falls down" clown whose popularity in silent films once rivaled Charlie Chaplin's. But he became a pariah following the death of actress Virgina Rappe at an infamous wild party in 1921. The tabloid press had a field day, though Arbuckle was acquitted after three sensational trials. He was the first actor to be blacklisted. This collection of short subjects made at the peak of Arbuckle's popularity should restore his rightful place in film comedy history. "The Bell Boy," "The Butcher Boy," "Out West," "Moonshine," and "The Hayseed" are knockabout slapstick gagfests in the classic tradition of Mack Sennett, with whom Arbuckle got his start as one of the Keystone Cops. Despite his heft, Arbuckle proves himself an agile clown. But he is upstaged by his costar, Buster Keaton, then 21 years old (but a 20-year show business stage veteran!). Keaton buffs will thrill to his earliest screen appearances. He makes his auspicious screen debut in "The Butcher Boy" as a general store customer who gets into a sticky situation when he tries to purchase a pail of molasses. More sensitive viewers will want to fast forward through the rather brutal "Out West," which includes some unfortunate racial humor. --Donald Liebenson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
...it would deserve 10 if the music had been composed by somebody who liked Buster Keaton and not some dim-wit specialized in background sounds (or, better say noises) for... Read morePublished on June 27 2002 by philrob
The Alloy Orchestra has no idea what they're doing - the idea is to support the film, not compete with it. Read morePublished on Nov. 7 2001 by K. Lundy
These shorts, made between 1917 and 1919, reveal optimism on the faces of Buster and Fatty before the future troubles of scandal, alcoholism, and domestic problems altered their... Read morePublished on April 25 2001 by Cheated