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Author Topic: His Wedding Night (1917) - Roscoe Arbuckle and Buster Keaton  (Read 530 times)

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Offline Paul Pain

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http://Http://www.busterkeaton.com/Films/A03_His_Wedding_Night.html
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=SrfN2y2NG0s

Watch HIS WEDDING NIGHT in the link above.

This is a bizarre short.  Here we see the Roscoe Arbuckle character people so fondly look at.  Likewise, we see Buster Keaton in his first role that really shows his "Great Stone Face."  Throw in a solid supporting cast, and you have a perfect short, right?

WRONG

We have some great moments with props... the soda fountain, the perfume, the comb, the mule, etc.  These little things are what made the silent film stars legends, and it is also what made Curly Howard so great.  Roscoe's smile in this one is somehow endearing.

It's the chloroform scene.  Now, having worked in a chem lab, I have used chloroform as a solvent, and one would not get knocked out by such a little spritz of the stuff.  But what bugs me more is that he kisses the lady and keeps her knocked out so he can keep kissing her.   It's too close to rape for my liking.

The gas pump scene is a bit of a head-scratcher and doesn't really fit although it gives Roscoe a moment of shrewd business practice.  The two Alices, Lake and Mann, are a bit wooden in their acting, which makes love scenes with them always seem flat.  But they were learning on the fly, too.  Likewise, I am a bit bored of the constant "lovable Roscoe versus dorky Al St. John for girl's love."  Not to take away from their talents, but was that rwally ALL that sold?  Couldn't they have a different plot for once?  Roscoe loves girl; girl loves Roscoe; Al loves girl; girl hates Al; Al kidnaps girl; Roscoe saves girl.

Buster Keaton is pretty good here.  I don't normally enjoy men in drag, but his overt masculinizations of feminity are pretty good.

Thank God next week is different!

7/10
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Offline Umbrella Sam

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Re: His Wedding Night (1917) - Roscoe Arbuckle and Buster Keaton
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2017, 08:43:29 PM »
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  • This felt like a huge letdown compared to last week's short. Let me start by saying that I totally agree with you about the scene with Arbuckle, the chloroform, and the lady. It felt very disturbing to watch and brought down what I already considered a kind of weak short.

    That brings me to my other big problem with this, as I felt this was really dull when compared to the previous two shorts. The only two moments I really found funny were when Keaton fell off the bike and Keaton's failed attempt to spit in the bucket.

    Keaton in drag almost works. While I do agree that there is something funny about seeing him out of all people in a dress, I feel like this was introduced way too early and leads to an ultimately pointless chase scene. I felt it would have been more satisfying had we found out that it was Keaton in the dress at the same time Arbuckle did.

    While it's not the worst short I've ever seen, I still found it to be pretty bad. I just didn't think it was very funny and it was also hurt by the chloroform scene. I didn't want to give an Arbuckle short a bad rating, but unfortunately I think I will have to give one to this short.

    3 out of 10

    Offline metaldams

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    Re: His Wedding Night (1917) - Roscoe Arbuckle and Buster Keaton
    « Reply #2 on: February 18, 2017, 10:22:11 PM »
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  •       I agree with you guys about the chloroform.  Since only a kiss is involved, let's just call this a PG version of date rape.  Fatty's character was also engaged when performing this act and also had to knock out his future father in law before performing this act on the girl, so this is not really in good taste, to say the least.  Also not a fan of the racial gag.  Look, I'm no politically correct social justice warrior safe space pansy, Dudley Dickerson and Mantan Moreland types are funny to me because I can accept funny and black without considering it insulting like some people do in these old films.  The woman in this short, however, is just a normal customer who happens to be black, and Fatty makes a joke out of her and is freaked out by her for no other reason.  It's simply stupid, nothing more, nothing less.  Speaking of stupid, Al St. John's character when getting rejected by the girl first turns into tears, then into biting her!  This is a product of crazy immature humor somewhat common in the teens that would be abandoned in the twenties.  You would never see that kind of thing in a pure Keaton film, for example.  Keaton and Arbuckle had a disagreement, according to Keaton.  Arbuckle thought to make films for 12 year olds, while Keaton thought the audience more intelligent.  I like Keaton's thinking better, and some of that 12 year old humor shows up in this short.

          For the good, when it's Arbuckle just being himself and playing with props in the beginning, he's very likable.  Keaton is by far the highlight.  I usually don't like drag comedy, but here I'll make an exception.  The situation Keaton is in the dress in the first place is wonderfully bizarre.  The bride, instead of trying on the dress herself, asks Keaton to try it on for her, and he just goes along with it!  Also, instead of acting like a woman, Keaton gets kidnapped and takes all these wonderful falls in a wedding dress.  Keaton is simply put in a bizarre situation and goes with it, not creating the bizarre situations like Arbuckle and St. John mentioned above.  A big difference in comic styles this early on.  The overall pacing of this short i more logical than the last two, it's just that some of the humor is unfortunate, but yeah, chalk this one up to Keaton being the highlight.

    6/10

    Offline Umbrella Sam

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    Re: His Wedding Night (1917) - Roscoe Arbuckle and Buster Keaton
    « Reply #3 on: February 19, 2017, 09:17:49 AM »
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  •       Also not a fan of the racial gag.  Look, I'm no politically correct social justice warrior safe space pansy, Dudley Dickerson and Mantan Moreland types are funny to me because I can accept funny and black without considering it insulting like some people do in these old films.  The woman in this short, however, is just a normal customer who happens to be black, and Fatty makes a joke out of her and is freaked out by her for no other reason.  It's simply stupid, nothing more, nothing less.

    Totally forgot to mention the racial gag. I didn't like it either, although it's pretty short compared to a certain other racial "gag" that'll be coming up a few shorts later. Also, agreed about Dudley Dickerson and Mantan Moreland. I can accept their humor because usually they're doing similar stuff to the Stooges, as opposed to simply making fun of the fact that they're black.

    Offline metaldams

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    Re: His Wedding Night (1917) - Roscoe Arbuckle and Buster Keaton
    « Reply #4 on: February 19, 2017, 07:17:53 PM »
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  • it's pretty short compared to a certain other racial "gag" that'll be coming up a few shorts later.

    Oh, I think I know what you're talking about if it involves tears. Yes, we'll cross that bridge when we get there.

    Offline Paul Pain

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    Re: His Wedding Night (1917) - Roscoe Arbuckle and Buster Keaton
    « Reply #5 on: February 20, 2017, 04:46:12 AM »
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  • I'm not a fan of the black lady gag, but, to their credit, you'd be surprised, too, if you puckered up to kiss a babe and turned around and found a different person, especially one of a different race.
    #1 fire kibitzer