One Week

  • Directors: Edward F Cline, Buster Keaton
  • Producers: Joseph M Schenck
  • Writers: Edward F Cline, Buster Keaton
  • Genres: Short, Comedy
  • Actors: Buster Keaton, Sybil Seely, Joe Roberts, Lon Chaney citation needed

The story involves two newlyweds, Keaton and Seely, who receive a build-it-yourself house as a wedding gift. The house can be built, supposedly, in “one week.” A rejected suitor secretly re-numbers packing crates. The movie recounts Keaton’s struggle to assemble the house according to this new “arrangement”. The end result is depicted in the picture. As if this weren’t enough, Keaton finds he has built his house on the wrong site and has to move it. The movie reaches its tense climax when the house becomes stuck on railroad tracks and with great effort, Keaton and Seely just manage to move it out the way of an oncoming train. As the couple look relived, the house is immediately struck and demolished by another train coming the other way. Keaton stares at the scene, places a ‘For Sale’ sign with the heap (attaching the building instructions) and walks off with Seely.

The New York Times movie review said, “One Week, a Buster Keaton work, has more fun in it than most slap-stick, trick-property comedies.”[2]

Steamboat Bill Jr

  • Directors: Charles Reisner, Buster Keaton
  • Producers: Joseph M Schenck
  • Writers: Carl Harbaugh, Buster Keaton
  • Genres: Action, Comedy, Drama, Family, Romance
  • Actors: Buster Keaton

The story concerns a young man straight out of college making good as a Mississippi steamboat captain, trying to follow in his father’s footsteps, and falling in love with the daughter of John James King (Tom McGuire) who is his father’s business rival.

Limelight

  • Directors: Charlie Chaplin
  • Producers: Charlie Chaplin
  • Writers: Charlie Chaplin
  • Genres: Comedy, Drama
  • Actors: Charlie Chaplin, Claire Bloom, Nigel Bruce, Buster Keaton, Sydney Earle Chaplin, Norman Lloyd

The movie is set in London in 1914, on the eve of World War I. 1914 was the year Chaplin made his first movie. Calvero (Charles Chaplin), once a famous stage clown but now a washed-up drunk, saves a young dancer, Thereza, alias Terry (Claire Bloom), from suicide. Nursing her back to health, Calvero helps Terry regain her self-esteem and resume her dancing career. In doing so he regains his own self-confidence, but his attempts to make a comeback are less successful. Terry says she wants to marry Calvero despite their age difference, although she has befriended Neville, a young composer whom Calvero believes would be better suited to her. In order to give them a chance Calvero leaves home and becomes a street entertainer. Terry, now starring in her own show, eventually finds Calvero and persuades him to return to the stage for a benefit concert. Reunited with his old partner (Keaton), Calvero gives a triumphant comeback performance but suffers a heart attack and dies in the wings while just a few feet away Terry, the second act on the bill, is dancing on stage.

College

  • Directors: James W Horne, Buster Keaton
  • Producers: Joseph M Schenck
  • Writers: Bryan Foy, Carl Harbaugh
  • Genres: Comedy, Drama, Sport
  • Actors: Buster Keaton, Anne Cornwall, Harold Goodwin

Set in Southern California, the movie opens with Ronald graduating high school as the school’s “most brilliant scholar”. At his graduation, Ronald speaks on the “Curse of the Athlete” in which he argues that books are more important that athletics.

After Graduation Ronald decides to follow Mary, the girl who rejected him because she loves athletes more than book worms, to Clayton which the dean describes as an “athlete-infested college”. While at Clayton, Ronald, in an effort to impress Mary tries out and fails in the various sports.

Eventually the dean calls in Ronald to ask him why his grades are suffering. After Ronald explains the situation to the dean, the dean empathizes with Ronald and orders the rowing coach to make Ronald the coxswain in the upcoming competition. The coach reluctantly agrees but tries to sabotage Ronald so he cannot compete.

Meanwhile, Mary starts to appreciate Ronald’s futile efforts to impress her. However, on the day of the competition Jeff, Mary’s jock boyfriend, gets kicked out of college and takes her hostage in her room in an effort to get her kicked out also so she can marry him. In the end, Ronald ends up winning her over.

Sherlock Jr

  • Directors: Buster Keaton
  • Producers: Joseph M Schenck, Buster Keaton
  • Writers: Clyde Bruckman, Jean Havez, Joseph A Mitchell
  • Genres: Short, Action, Comedy, Crime, Fantasy, Mystery
  • Actors: Buster Keaton

A movie projectionist and janitor (Buster Keaton) who is studying to become a detective is in love with a beautiful girl (Kathryn McGuire). On a date he presents her with chocolates and an engagement ring. However, there is another man who’s also interested in his girl (Ward Crane).

One day he is accused of stealing his girlfriend’s father’s watch. He falls asleep on the job and dreams that he is a Sherlock Holmes-type detective, solving the case of who stole a valuable pearl necklace.

Seven Chances

  • Directors: Buster Keaton
  • Producers: Joseph M Schenck, Buster Keaton
  • Writers: Story, David Belasco, Roi Cooper Megrue, Screenplay, Clyde Bruckman, Jean Havez, Joseph A Mitchell
  • Genres: Comedy, Family, Romance
  • Actors: Buster Keaton

The story tells of Jimmy Shannon (Buster Keaton ), a financial broker who’s nearly bankrupt when an attorney presents his grandfather’s will that left him seven million dollars.

In order to inherit the money, Jimmie must marry before 7 pm on his 27th birthday, which is the day he reads the will.

A Night at the Opera

  • Directors: Sam Wood
  • Producers: Irving Thalberg
  • Writers: Story, James Kevin McGuinness, Screenplay, George S Kaufman, Morrie Ryskind, Uncredited, Al Boasberg, Buster Keaton
  • Genres: Comedy, Romance, Musical
  • Actors: Groucho Marx, Chico Marx, Harpo Marx

In A Night At the Opera, the Marx brothers help two young lovers to succeed in love as well as in the opera world. Otis B. Driftwood (Groucho Marx) is hired by widowed socialite hopeful Mrs. Claypool (Margaret Dumont) to help her break into high society, but he instead alternately woos and insults her. At the last opera performance of the season in Italy, of Pagliacci, Otis meets Fiorello (Chico Marx), who is the best friend and manager of Riccardo (Allan Jones), an opera singer who longs for his big break and who is in love with fellow opera singer Rosa (Kitty Carlisle). However, Riccardo’s dreams are thwarted by the star of the opera, Lassparri (Walter Woolf King), an egotistical man who wants fame—and Rosa—for himself. Otis signs Riccardo to a contract, thinking he is signing Lassparri; Lassparri, meanwhile, is signed for the New York opera by snobbish financier Herman Gottlieb (Sig Ruman).

Although Riccardo and Fiorello are not allowed to accompany the troupe on their trip to New York, they manage to stow away on the ship, along with another of Fiorello’s friends, Tomasso (Harpo Marx), a dresser fired by Lassparri. Once in New York, the stowaways are pursued by the police for entering the country illegally, and Otis ends up losing his position with the opera to Gottlieb. When they find out that Rosa has been fired for siding with Riccardo, the boys spring into action, sabotaging the opening night performance of Il Trovatore by throwing it into total chaos and making sure that both Riccardo and Rosa get their due as the new hits of the opera world.

The Cameraman

  • Directors: Edward Sedgwick, Buster Keaton
  • Producers: Buster Keaton, Lawrence Weingarten
  • Writers: Story, Clyde Bruckman, Lew Lipton, Titles, Joseph Farnham
  • Genres: Comedy, Romance, Family, Drama
  • Actors: Buster Keaton, Marceline Day, Harold Goodwin

The story tells of Buster (Buster Keaton), a tintype portrait photographer who develops a crush on Sally (Marceline Day), a secretary who works for the MGM’s newsreel department. Hoping to impress her, he purchases an out-of-date movie camera and attempts to get a job in the newsreel department as a cameraman. He is thwarted in his endeavor by Harold (Harold Goodwin), a current cameraman who recognizes Buster’s inexperience and also has designs on Sally.

Sally suggests that Buster film anything and everything, but Harold’s suspicions prove true; Buster’s footage is useless. He has double exposed or over exposed much of the film and the rest is simply no good. But Sally doesn’t care and calls him up for a date that evening.

The next day, Buster’s luck at MGM is no different than the day before, but Sally gives him a tip that something big is going to happen in Chinatown. On his way, he accidentally runs into an organ grinder and apparently kills his monkey. A nearby cop (Harry Gribbon) makes Buster purchase the monkey, who turns out only to be dazed and joins Buster on his venture.

Once in Chinatown, Buster is witness to a Tong War, narrowly escaping death on several occasions. At the conclusion of the hostilities, he is arrested, but makes his escape with his camera intact.

Two things to make note of during the movie is when Buster films himself playing baseball at Yankee Stadium: you can see what the “original stadium” looked like as it had been open for about five years. When Buster takes Sally to the indoor swimming pool, she shows off her great set of legs which still look perfect on film over eighty years later.