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Speak Easily (1932)

Passed | | Comedy | 13 August 1932 (USA)
A timid professor inherits a large sum of money and decides to fund a terrible musical.

Director:

Edward Sedgwick

Writer:

Clarence Budington Kelland (from the story by)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Buster Keaton ... Prof. Post
Jimmy Durante ... James
Ruth Selwyn ... Pansy Peets
Thelma Todd ... Eleanor Espere
Hedda Hopper ... Mrs. Peets
William Pawley ... Griffo
Sidney Toler ... Stage Director
Lawrence Grant ... Dr. Bolton
Henry Armetta ... Tony
Edward Brophy ... Reno
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Storyline

Naive, bookish Professor Post (of Potts College) inherits a huge amount of money and decides that now he can afford to go out and enjoy life. He falls for a dancer in a bad stage show, and with his new money decides to buy the show and take it to Broadway. Will the Professor prove too nice to succeed in show business? Or will he triumph over bill-collectors, critics, and sexy vamp Eleanor Espere? Written by Ken Yousten <kyousten@bev.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

See it and laugh to your heart's content! See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 August 1932 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Theaterprofessor See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Turner library print) | (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Three years after its first film appearance in The Hollywood Revue of 1929 (1929), the song "Singin' in the Rain" is played and referred by Jimmy Durante. Although the characters imply the song was famous at the time, it wasn't until 1952 when Gene Kelly performed it in the film of the same name (Singin' in the Rain (1952)) and gave it its worldwide fame that continues to this day. See more »

Goofs

While Professor Post (Buster Keaton) is dragged by the train, clutching his luggage, his hat flies off and he is unable to grab it. In the next shot, his hat is once again firmly on his head. See more »

Quotes

James: Well, how are you, Professor? For the love of Mike, how did you get here?
Professor Post: Oh, I was vibrated here in a most unusual vehicle.
See more »


Soundtracks

Can Broadway Do Without Me?
(1929) (uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by Jimmy Durante
Performed by Jimmy Durante
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

The great ones can always adapt.
20 August 2006 | by mkilmerSee all my reviews

Keaton fans, you will not "die a thousand deaths" if you view this. Nothing Keaton does is bad, if for nothing else then for his presence. That being said, Buster was a silent start who was best when doing stuff created by his own mind. By 1932, the silent era was dead and the studios owned the movies. That Buster Keaton of "Seven Chances" and "Steamboat Bill Jr." was no more. That could never be recreated.

Times changed, films changed, and Buster adapted. Better this Buster than no Buster.

The story is funny, and there is some amusing slapstick. Buster plays his role well, adds some Buster to it, and is believable as a clueless college professor. Jimmy Durante is larger than life, in a hammy sort of way, but it's a good contrast with Keaton if anything. The movie works, and the closing scenes – the show on Broadway – is madcap with a modicum of brilliance.

We can ask what if. What if the silent era had never ended? What if Keaton and Arbuckle had not been separated so suddenly? What if the studios had taken over the industry with their formulae? Look, this is a pretty good film. It's not Keaton being tragically reduced to nothing. (Such was never possible! The great ones always adapt.) The tragedy is what happened to Roscoe Arbuckle. What happened to Buster? He hung in there and made people laugh.


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