Portraying more than twenty characters at once--including lively stage actors, an attentive audience, an orchestra, and an entire nine-member minstrel act--Buster Keaton pushes the boundaries of technical artistry and film trickery, in a time when effects really were special. With this in mind--after waking up from a delightful vaudeville dream sequence--Buster realises that he still is the play house's humble general factotum, and he must keep the show up and running amid delusion and disorder, identical twin sisters, Zouave guards, and a rampant orangutan on the loose. But, can a mere gopher yearn for recognition, and perhaps, love?Written by
Buster Keaton used a hand double in the shot where he writes, to avoid showing his right hand with the missing index fingertip. See more »
Elegant Elderly Lady Buster Keaton is wearing long evening gloves, but when she reaches down to pick the lollipop off her lap, she is not wearing gloves. See more »
Mr. Brown, I understand you had a cyclone in your town.
Mr. Brown /First Minstrel:
Yes, sir, the wind blew so hard it blew a silver dollar into four quarters.
That nothing. The wind blew so hard it blew a wart off a man's nose and broke a window two blocks away.
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The version shown on the American Movie Classics channel was copyrighted in 1995 by Film Preservation Associates and had a music soundtrack arranged by Robert Israel. It ran 23 minutes. See more »
In The Play House there is an opening sequence with multiple Buster Keatons on stage, playing the performers, musicians and the audience. It is a dream sequence which also comes across as a tribute to Georges Méliès.
This short then settles down as Keaton plays a stage hand and a performer, well a performing monkey. Keaton also tries to woo his girl but she is a set of identical twins and he keeps picking on the wrong twin to kiss. He then gets constantly interrupted by the main performer who is also a beastly big man leading to hijinks and acrobatics.
This short is rather episodic and surreal. Keaton's stunt work is more safe here as he was recovering from an injury at the time.
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