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Author Topic: The Cook (1918) - Roscoe Arbuckle and Buster Keaton  (Read 405 times)

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Offline Paul Pain

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The Cook (1918) - Roscoe Arbuckle and Buster Keaton
« on: April 08, 2017, 08:36:37 AM »
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  • http://www.busterkeaton.com/Films/A11_The_Cook.html


    Watch THE COOK in the link above.  Beware, though, that the person who uploaded that video loaded in his own title cards because he didn't like Roscoe's originals.  There are other versions out there on YouTube, but the uploaders all cut 3 minutes or more out of the film.

    EDIT: here I come

    THE COOK is a pretty decent effort.  Until recently, this, too, was a lost short, and we were worse off without it.

    The scenes of Buster as the waiter and Roscoe as the cook are plain hilarious.  Every minute is full of laughs, and Glen Cavender only makes it all better.  Roscoe pulls more things out of that vat than one can imagine... gravy, ice cream, soup, milk, ham, etc.  And, for the first, Buster carries his famous stone face from start to finish.  It's an incredible moment when Buster takes the butcher knife to the neck.

    Luke the Dog is adorable in this, and I have concluded that Alice Lake had no talent.

    Once again, it is the character Al St. John plays, and not Al himself, that's the drag on this short.  His character is pretty much a carbon copy of the one in OUT WEST.  And I can't look past the stupidity of his character not being harmed by a knife.  Bent knife from an iron gut?  Sure.  Knife does nothing?  Not funny.

    After the great spaghetti scene, the rest is rushed and haphazard, and I can't forgive this, so...

    7/10 [poke] [poke] [poke] [poke] [poke] [poke] [poke]
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    Offline Umbrella Sam

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    Re: The Cook (1918) - Roscoe Arbuckle and Buster Keaton
    « Reply #1 on: April 08, 2017, 09:53:03 AM »
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  • This short is actually better than I remember. The first time I watched it, I liked it, but looking back it actually is a really good short, worthy of a 10.

    Starting off in the restaurant, a lot of comedy comes from Keaton's mishaps as a waiter and Arbuckle's skills when it comes to flipping food. We also get a good deal of business with noodles as well later on. A classic gag, of course, is the dance that Keaton and Arbuckle both did, which to me is the highlight of the short.

    Later, we get a change of scenery when they go to the park. Keaton does take some falls and Arbuckle's trouble with a long fishing pole is also fun to watch. The ending is nothing special, but does allow for Arbuckle and Keaton to do some funny gags with a rope.

    I guess that my one problem is that Al is once again playing the villain, and the stuff with him and Luke the dog is basically just a retread of FATTY'S FAITHFUL FIDO. However, this stuff is pretty short and it's not really that big of a deal, so I won't mark the short down for it.

    10 out of 10

    Offline metaldams

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    Re: The Cook (1918) - Roscoe Arbuckle and Buster Keaton
    « Reply #2 on: April 08, 2017, 06:38:17 PM »
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  •       Gonna to try to get my review in tonight, but if you look at Arbuckle's filmography after THE COOK, you'll notice a lot of films without Buster before Buster shows up in the next one.  The reason being is Buster had to take a European vacation 1918 style, as did many other young men, sadly.  Most of these Keatonless Arbuckles from this time are lost, as people weren't as interested in preserving Arbuckle's work without Keaton.  However, here are some links to a few films from this time, since they do fit into what we are discussing now.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=j6kgmwnV7qI

    LOVE (1919)

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=PsMxCZzJIuc

    A RECKLESS ROMEO (1917) Actually released after THE BUTCHER BOY

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=2kDvBJqHm_c

    SCRAPS OF PAPER (1918) A six minute Canadian propaganda film selling Canadian war bonds.  Charlie Chaplin did a similar film called THE BOND





    Offline metaldams

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    Re: The Cook (1918) - Roscoe Arbuckle and Buster Keaton
    « Reply #3 on: April 08, 2017, 06:43:07 PM »
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  • ...and Paul, since we're a few weeks away, will we be discussing THE SAPHEAD?

    Offline metaldams

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    Re: The Cook (1918) - Roscoe Arbuckle and Buster Keaton
    « Reply #4 on: April 08, 2017, 08:11:39 PM »
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  •       This is probably my favorite of the Arbuckle/Keaton collaborations.  I do remember when this was released on DVD and newly discovered about fifteen years ago or so - how time flies.  I saw the other Arbuckle/Keaton shorts before this one and while I liked them, this one I liked much better.  Some of the other shorts have really grown on me since, but this short I have loved all along.  There's not really much of a plot to this one, just a ton of playful energy. The waiter/cook business at the beginning is great stuff.  I love the way they toss around cups of coffee and bowls of soup in the air to each other without a spill, and it's always a pleasure watching Arbuckle flip those knives around.  Also, the knife to the back of Keaton's neck, as Paul mentioned?  Yow!  Crazy stuff.  The physical things these guys did to their bodies is amazing.  There's this one gag about ten minutes into the short at involves a domino effect of about four guys smashing into each other.  The momentum of one guy leads into another about four times until the final fall.  It's quite a breathtaking gag, and feels very Keatonesque.  This type of gag will totally be mastered in NEIGHBORS.

          The chase at the end?  Hey, I dig it.  Lots of great outdoor scenery, that awesome roller coaster, great falls all around, and while the ending again is kind of sudden, I wonder if it's from a lack of completeness in what is available?  Also really love the spaghetti scene.  Arbuckle and Keaton get their fun little solo bits with the spaghetti until we get to that wonderful bit where they hang napkins like clothes out to dry on the spaghetti, followed by Al St. John taking that massive fall on the table.  Hey, I love this one, just great characters and slapstick, and I was smiling the whole time.

    10/10

    Offline Paul Pain

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    Re: The Cook (1918) - Roscoe Arbuckle and Buster Keaton
    « Reply #5 on: April 09, 2017, 04:47:29 AM »
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  • ...and Paul, since we're a few weeks away, will we be discussing THE SAPHEAD?

    The jury is still out on this because circumstances in life dictate that I can't be watching any new talkies.  I am limited to silents; the decision on whether to include the silent movies with the silent shorts is still TBD.

          Gonna to try to get my review in tonight, but if you look at Arbuckle's filmography after THE COOK, you'll notice a lot of films without Buster before Buster shows up in the next one.  The reason being is Buster had to take a European vacation 1918 style, as did many other young men, sadly.  Most of these Keatonless Arbuckles from this time are lost, as people weren't as interested in preserving Arbuckle's work without Keaton.  However, here are some links to a few films from this time, since they do fit into what we are discussing now.

    I was going to do these until I realized they were almost all missing anyway.   :-\

    I wonder if it's from a lack of completeness in what is available?

    Per the Damfinos, this is indeed the case.  There is about 3 minutes missing spread between three places.  One is between Buster hiding behind the contrabass and Luke attacking Al; another is after Buster and Roscoe fall in the water.
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    Offline metaldams

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    Re: The Cook (1918) - Roscoe Arbuckle and Buster Keaton
    « Reply #6 on: April 09, 2017, 06:44:07 AM »
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  • The jury is still out on this because circumstances in life dictate that I can't be watching any new talkies.  I am limited to silents; the decision on whether to include the silent movies with the silent shorts is still TBD.


          THE SAPHEAD is silent.  A feature film starring Buster Keaton, though Keaton is simply an actor, he didn't direct or create it in anyway, but he is the star.  It was released after the first Keaton short, ONE WEEK.  If you are going to do only shorts, then you should probably skip it, but if you do features, it's worth considering. 

          If you don't do the features, and both you and Umbrella Sam participate, I may consider some silent short reviews of my own.  Either the 12 Chaplin Mutual shorts or the Harold Lloyd two and three reelers.  I'll make that decision once the Keaton shorts are done and you decide whether or not you do the features.

    Offline Paul Pain

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    Re: The Cook (1918) - Roscoe Arbuckle and Buster Keaton
    « Reply #7 on: April 09, 2017, 08:30:14 AM »
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  •       THE SAPHEAD is silent.  A feature film starring Buster Keaton, though Keaton is simply an actor, he didn't direct or create it in anyway, but he is the star.  It was released after the first Keaton short, ONE WEEK.  If you are going to do only shorts, then you should probably skip it, but if you do features, it's worth considering. 

          If you don't do the features, and both you and Umbrella Sam participate, I may consider some silent short reviews of my own.  Either the 12 Chaplin Mutual shorts or the Harold Lloyd two and three reelers.  I'll make that decision once the Keaton shorts are done and you decide whether or not you do the features.

    Let me watch THE SAPHEAD first, and if I decide to do the silent movies I'll let y'all know.   [pie]
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