Fatty invents a liquid with flubber-like properties which makes objects resilient and unbreakable. Unfortunately, in his rush to get out of the house to demonstrate his invention, he ...
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A Traveltalks entry with briefs looks at the Painted Desert and San Francisco Peaks en route to the Grand Canyon. Once there, views are majestic from the rim-hugging road and up close from muleback while descending to the Colorado River.
Narrator 'John Nesbitt' visits his old hometown and reminisces about how much simpler things were there when he was growing up. He also says that he wouldn't want to visit that time again, ... See full summary »
Jackie 'Butch' Jenkins,
Slim starts his first day of work at a bakery on the same day that local gangsters pay a visit to his boss demanding protection money. When the boss refuses to pay, the gangsters hatch a ... See full summary »
Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle,
Benchley, a newspaper columnist who writes on issues of etiquette, receives a telephone call from two men working deep in a manhole, they who are arguing about what to do if a woman fell ... See full summary »
James P. Burtis,
Based on the Stephen Potter "One Upmanship" and "Lifemanship" books, Henry Palfrey tries hard to impress but always loses out to the rotter Delauney. Then he discovers the Lifeman college ... See full summary »
When Joe Doakes listens to a quiz show on the radio and knows all the answers, his wife encourages him to go on a quiz show himself. He appears on a new show called "Why Daddy?", where a ... See full summary »
Fatty invents a liquid with flubber-like properties which makes objects resilient and unbreakable. Unfortunately, in his rush to get out of the house to demonstrate his invention, he unknowingly grabs a jar of moonshine instead of the jar which holds his wonder liquid. To make matters worse, as he drives to the demonstration, a football-sized beehive falls from a tree onto the cargo bed of his truck . . .Written by
Thomas McWilliams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
"Buzzin' Around" is the funniest (and most action-packed) of the six Vitaphone shorts which comprise Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle's entire talking-picture career. (Of the other five, "Close Relations" and "In the Dough" are only a whisker less funny than "Buzzin' Around".)
More significantly, "Buzzin' Around" features the ONLY team-up of Roscoe Arbuckle and Al St John in a sound film. St John was Arbuckle's nephew, who got into films (at Keystone) with Arbuckle's help. A natural athlete and acrobat, St John did some virtuoso pratfalls and daredevil stuntwork in many silent films for Keystone and other studios ... usually in support of other comedians, but also (with less success) in his own starring series. When Arbuckle starred in his own series of silent comedies at the Comique studio, Al St John came along and did dazzling work as Arbuckle's third banana (seconded by Buster Keaton).
Throughout their silent-film collaborations, Al St John nearly always played Arbuckle's rival ... usually for the affections of the girl. The first time I saw "Buzzin' Around", I expected them to play rivals or enemies here. To my delight, I was wrong. In this movie, Arbuckle and St John are working towards a mutual goal, although mostly in separate scenes. Roscoe plays Cornelius, a hayseed who has invented a varnish which renders pottery unbreakable. He goes off to the big city to demonstrate his invention to some investors, but the varnish has vanished and he accidentally brings along the family's moonshine jug instead of the jug containing his varnish. When St John discovers this, he grabs the proper jug and goes off to rescue Roscoe. But then the two jugs (and the two jugheads) get mixed up with a hive full of bees. Oh, beehive yourself! The precise relationship between the characters played by Roscoe and Al in this film is never explained; they live together in a hillbilly shanty and are apparently brothers, or possibly cousins. Cue the theme from "Deliverance".
It's a joy to see Arbuckle and St John playing allies for once, in their last appearance together. They both do dazzling pratfalls during the climax of this movie, although they appear separately in most of the footage. After this film, alas, Al St John's career dwindled into supporting roles in cheap westerns, and Arbuckle died tragically young.
The "bees" in this movie are actually animation, but they are extremely well drawn and animated, and look quite realistic. Silent-film veteran Arbuckle uses sound quite effectively, especially in a sequence in which Cornelius has swallowed a bee, and weird buzzing sounds replace Arbuckle's voice.
One footnote, or paw-note: In this film, Arbuckle and St John appear alongside a dog named Pete who is a dead ringer for Pete the dog in the 'Our Gang' comedies, including the ring round his left eye. I'm positive that this is NOT the same dog, though he has clearly been made up to look like the original.
IMDb reviewer Ron Oliver has called this film Arbuckle's final curtain call. Not quite. "Buzzin' Around" was the second of Arbuckle's six Vitaphone shorts: it was, however, the last of his films released during Arbuckle's lifetime. The third ("How've You Bean?") was released less than a week after Arbuckle's sudden death. The sixth and last, "Tomalio", is by far the least funny.
"Buzzin' Around" benefits from some interesting location work in a semi-rural section of Brooklyn near Coney Island. "Buzzin' Around" is required viewing for anyone who cares about American film comedy. Rate it ten out of ten: no; let's cheat and rate it an eleven. Make every possible effort to see this hilarious short movie.
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