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Author Topic: The Scarecrow (1920) - Buster Keaton  (Read 381 times)

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Offline Paul Pain

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The Scarecrow (1920) - Buster Keaton
« on: June 03, 2017, 05:53:55 AM »
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  • http://www.busterkeaton.com/Films/B03_The_Scarecrow.html
    https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=File%3AThe_Scarecrow_(1920).webm

    Watch THE SCARECROW in the link above.

    THE SCARECROW is a fantastic short, even if not as comedic as most of Keaton's.  The opening scenes with the bizarre contraptions are Keaton brilliance, even if not funny.  The planning and creating of such devices requires genius.  My favorite, though, is the pay-to-use gas line above the front door.  The pipe organ and bathtub are nice touches.

    I get a big kick out of Joe Roberts running to the drug store upon noticing Luke chasing Buster only to get hit by a car (driver Eddie Cline) and have to bandage himself.  Luke the dog, simply put, is an adorable use of a dog in the short.  Sybil Seeley adds some graceful acting plus comedic effect.

    The chases in this short again show early Buster genius: the old stone building, the motorcycle hitting the parson, the thresher, etc.  As I said, it's not all comedic, but it is all excellent.  For putting on such a good show, Buster is awarded yet another...

    10/10 [poke] [poke] [poke] [poke] [poke] [poke] [poke] [poke] [poke] [poke]
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    Offline Big Chief Apumtagribonitz

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    Re: The Scarecrow (1920) - Buster Keaton
    « Reply #1 on: June 03, 2017, 02:54:21 PM »
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  • The breakfast scene is a hoot, and what I find interesting is all that throwing stuff around is done in big, long takes.  You're seeing as it happens, no quick cuts, no cheating.

    Offline Umbrella Sam

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    Re: The Scarecrow (1920) - Buster Keaton
    « Reply #2 on: June 03, 2017, 11:13:25 PM »
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  • Keaton's fascination with mechanical devices and effects was another thing that he had over Chaplin and Lloyd. Even if they weren't always necessarily funny, I still do have to appreciate how much thought and effort went into these kinds of details, while at the same time being impressed with how effortless they make it appear on screen, almost as though they were actually using these kinds of things daily. Even the idea of splitting the picket fence rather than using a door is an idea that makes me wonder how exactly Keaton even thought of that in the first place.

    After this, we get some nice fast-paced Keaton gags and chases. Keaton makes good use of Luke the dog once again and I do find it funny when he's actually dressed as the scarecrow and causing confusion between Joe Roberts and Joe Keaton. Another gag I really like in this is when Keaton at first appears as though he is getting on a real horse only for it to be revealed that he is actually attempting to ride on a fake. All this combined with a motorcycle chase that also serves as a wedding makes for a truly wonderful short that only Buster Keaton could pull off.

    10 out of 10

    Offline metaldams

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    Re: The Scarecrow (1920) - Buster Keaton
    « Reply #3 on: June 10, 2017, 10:12:03 AM »
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  •       Another absolutely brilliant short.  A lot of people think Keaton had the mind to be an engineer, and shorts like THE SCARECROW are great for making this argument.  The appliances in the house are mechanically brilliant, fascinating to watch, and most of the time, completely unnecessary.  The latter point to me is where the humor lies.  Think about it - how much thought does it take to make those devices for salt passing on strings attached to ceilings, or pulley trains to pass rolls?  Probably more thought and time justified to make such a simple task as passing the salt easier.  The topper at the end of that scene is the fence that folds over.  Again, brilliant, fascinating, yet is it any easier than a door, which we see Sybil Seely use a moment later?  Not really.  There's the humor.  Also love the sign, "What is home without a mother?"  Funny because there is no mother in this Keaton/Roberts home.

          The chase is awesome athletically and pacing wise.  Love the way Keaton deceives everyone as he becomes the scarecrow and the accidental marriage proposal to Sybil Seely while fixing his shoe is classic.  Love the mad dog stuffand frankly everything about this short.  Ho hum, another ten.

    10/10

    Offline Paul Pain

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    Re: The Scarecrow (1920) - Buster Keaton
    « Reply #4 on: June 12, 2017, 10:31:17 AM »
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  • Wow... 120-something views on this thread :'(
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    Offline metaldams

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    Re: The Scarecrow (1920) - Buster Keaton
    « Reply #5 on: June 13, 2017, 09:55:17 PM »
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  • Wow... 120-something views on this thread :'(

    Views aside, the Keaton films are getting more discussion than I thought.  My next review is coming Thursday.  Took a PTO day and am going to the Red Sox/Phillies game that night.  ;D