Silent Sunday: One Week (1920)

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The story involves two newlyweds, 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 were not enough, Keaton finds he has built his house on the wrong site and has to move it.

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Keaton’s first work away from Roscoe Arbuckle is also his first (of many) masterpieces.  Keaton, already an established physical comedian takes his gift for physicality and outrageous stunts to a whole new level in this work.  It is a sign of things to come.  Free of “second, third, or even fourth banana” in Arbuckle’s films, Keaton spreads his wings and soars.

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Not Keaton’s best film by any stretch, but it is his first great film and the perfect jumping off point for any Keaton novice.  Of all the great silent film comedians, Buster Keaton’s physical daring and dedication for going all out for the gag make him the most accessible to today’s audience.  He is the perfect comedian to introduce novice silent film goers to…

Buster Keaton: The Shorts Collection 1917-1923

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