Stooge fans, shocked to see this not mentioned. We have a prison hanging gag with inmate spectators being served by a concession guy like it's a baseball game. The hanging fails, though in Keaton's case, this aspect is much better because we see a bouncing bungee jump cord comic effect versus a random cut away of the Stooges on the ground. Trivia - What Stooge film did this appear in?
CONVICT 13 is a flat out awesome short. The golf stuff for the first few minutes is fantastic. Buster can make a simple task like missing a put fascinating, which takes a lot of skill. The pool like cue shot at the end is a nice touch and the business where the ball lands in the water and the ball gets swallowed by the fish is also delightful. Keeping up with animals grabbing golf balls, the dog grabbing the ball mid put is classic surprise the audience hilarity. The camera set up is perfect, no foreshadowing, just one shot of the dog running from the side taking everyone by surprise. Also love the concept of Buster trying to impress cute as a button Sybil Seely with his golf game and she outplays him.
The chase to get Keaton into the prison, with all the surprise turns, is well thought out and the rows of prison guards following Keaton on the streets definitely foreshadows the more famous similar scene in COPS. Joe Roberts as the heavy gets his first great Keaton role, a wonderful comic menace in the same tradition as Eric Campbell with Chaplin. There is one part where there is a cat and mouse game between he and Keaton where Roberts is behind Keaton waiting to grab him, and Keaton, without overemoting, has this frightened look on his face. It's all in the eyes, a wonderful example of Keaton being expressive without overacting. The mule kick at the end is again a surprise and perfectly time.
As Big Chief mentions lots of violent comedy in this one, and it's all wonderful to watch. I absolutely love this short and have nothing bad to say. False Alarms, nice to see you watching these. A thing about varying run times in silent films. Sometimes it is because of footage in some prints not available in others, but silent film, unlike talkies (24 frames per second), can run at varying speeds, hence different times.