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The Electric House (1922)

After being mistakenly certified as an electrical engineer, Buster is hired to wire a house.

Directors:

Edward F. Cline (as Eddie Cline), Buster Keaton (as 'Buster' Keaton)

Writers:

Buster Keaton (as 'Buster' Keaton), Edward F. Cline (as Eddie Cline) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Buster Keaton ... Buster (as 'Buster' Keaton)
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Storyline

Botany major Buster mistakenly graduates in electrical engineering and is hired to wire a new home. He installs lots of fanciful gadgets. The one who should have received the degree gets even by rewiring all the gadgets to wreak havoc. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It's the Cat's Sparks! See more »

Genres:

Short | Comedy

Certificate:

TV-G | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 October 1922 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Electrical House See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(DVD) | (DVD) | (Blu-ray)

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Filming was delayed when star Buster Keaton got his foot caught in the escalator and broke his ankle. During his recovery, Keaton released his previously shelved film, The 'High Sign' (1921), and filmed The Play House (1921). Upon his return to this short, he abandoned his original footage and started fresh. Little is known about the first version, and no scenes are known to still exist. See more »

Alternate Versions

In 1995, Film Preservation Associates copyrighted a version with new titles by Jeffrey Vance and a music soundtrack arranged by Robert Israel. The running time was 24 minutes. See more »

Connections

Featured in Buster Keaton: A Hard Act to Follow (1987) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not his funniest, but technically astounding
24 March 2009 | by motta80-2See all my reviews

What makes The Electric House such a must-see Keaton short is curiously not the showcasing of the great man himself but that of the technical prowess of his technical director Fred Gabourie. Gabourie had built The Boat and worked with Keaton since 1920's One Week, which was the one with the ingenious portable house, and he would progress with Keaton from the shorts to the features. But never were the technical gadgets Keaton used and Gabourie had to make work practically better displayed than in The Electric House. Keaton really lets Gabourie's gadgets take centre stage here and it is a chance to marvel at a master at work.

In a strange way it's almost too brilliant because the laughs don't really play as well. Whereas in One Week or The Boat the gadgets and physical comedy worked in perfect harmony in The Electric House Keaton lets the film get a bit bogged down in watching the gadgets at work.

Nevertheless in these days of CGI and visual cheats it is stunning to see these practical effects in full flow. Gabourie was clearly a genius, one whose name deserves to be held in the same light as practical effects masters like Willis O'Brien, Ray Harryhausen and Stan Winston.


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