6/10
The weakest Keaton short
21 February 2013
Warning: Spoilers
After watching this for the first time, one of my sisters commented, "That was the worst Buster Keaton film I've ever seen." That statement pretty much sums up my feelings about The Blacksmith (1922). Some think "The Balloonatic" (1923) is worse, but at least that one has the benefit of containing a few good gags and a charming leading lady to keep it from being boring. This one is just lame and forgettable.

There's no plot and the blacksmith scenario offers little opportunities for comedy. The scene where Keaton wrecks a Rolls-Royce was a scene he later disliked since he didn't think it was funny to destroy something the audience themselves might covet. The romance subplot is barely developed even by the standards of a Keaton two-reeler (the girl is usually used as an easy means of putting conflict into a short; in this she starts out as one of Keaton's clients and at the last minute they get married) and seems to have been added just because. Unless you're a Keaton fan, just skip.
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