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Author Topic: The Electric House (1922) - Buster Keaton  (Read 232 times)

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Offline Paul Pain

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The Electric House (1922) - Buster Keaton
« on: August 26, 2017, 07:36:08 AM »
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  • https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/aa/The_Electric_House.ogv

    Watch THE ELECTRIC HOUSE in the link above and get the Damfino's note here:
    http://www.busterkeaton.com/Films/B16_The_Electric_House.html

    We come one Keaton short of having the entire family in this one!  We have Ma, Pa, and Sis Keaton, but not Bro Keaton.  Beyond that, this is just an exercise in Keaton mechanical genius.  Unfortunately, it's just 15 minutes of devices and jokes surrounding these devices.  As such, the short gets very tedious, and the plot stretches in this one are such that I have to say this is by far the worst of the Keaton silent shorts and definitely not one I will be in a hurry to watch any time soon.  This short is an absolute... dud.

    4/10 [poke] [poke] [poke] [poke]
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    Offline Umbrella Sam

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    Re: The Electric House (1922) - Buster Keaton
    « Reply #1 on: August 26, 2017, 06:35:37 PM »
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  • I do like this short, though I'll admit that it's not perfect. Personally, I think that they should have cut the opening altogether, considering that it is completely ignorant to how hard electrical engineering really is. Keaton being able to build a house like that simply by reading one book seems way too unrealistic. I get that the short in general is supposed to be unrealistic, but I think that this is going too far, especially since the short features another person who has been studying this for years. I think it would have worked much better had Keaton simply been an electrical engineer from the beginning. Similarly, the cook not reporting the other engineer seems odd as well.

    Still, a lot of the short's appeal is just how the house itself works. Most of the first half is showing off the various devices throughout the short, which I do find very impressive even though I'm not into electrical engineering myself. It's just one of those things that is appealing simply due to how futuristic it is, and this is from 1922.
    The second half is mainly different ways to show off how this can go wrong and, once again, I do think that it works for the most part. The escalator bits do get a little repetitive, although otherwise I think there is a lot of variation between the different contraptions and what goes wrong with them. A lot of the comedy comes from the reactions to how these go wrong, such as the guys who get hit by the book delivery system, and I think that they do a good job at that.

    It could be better, but I do find that the comedy along with the sheer wonder factor of it still makes it a worthy short to watch despite having plot problems. I can understand why people don't like it, but I personally think that it is an entertaining enough short.

    8 out of 10

    Offline Big Chief Apumtagribonitz

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    Re: The Electric House (1922) - Buster Keaton
    « Reply #2 on: August 27, 2017, 02:57:54 PM »
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  • Which ones are Ma, Pa, and Sis Keaton?

    Offline metaldams

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    Re: The Electric House (1922) - Buster Keaton
    « Reply #3 on: September 01, 2017, 07:39:12 PM »
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  •       Not one of the better Keaton shorts, but far from a turkey.  Paul is correct in that this is mostly a display of Keaton's mechanical genius, and if every short were like this, yes, his filmography would be tedious.  However, it's just one short and it is a cool side of Keaton.  There is a lesser known comedian who is kind of Keaton like named Charley Bowers who made mechanically inclined animated gags in his shorts, and he was a genius in that sense, but he lacked Keaton's character and story telling.  THE ELECTRIC HOUSE is closest to that, but as a one time thing, I enjoy.

           Still some good physical comedy, as Keaton takes a few good falls.  The stuff on the escalator is fantastic and the big fall Keaton takes a couple of stories into the swimming pool, a wonderful and dangerous fall.  Keaton's dark side shows through with the suicide gag at the end, something we shall be seeing again next short.

          The rest of the short is basically mechanical, a visual feast.  The pool table, dishwasher, train that delivers food, all fun stuff. Yes, fairly one note compared to other Keaton films, but it's a note well played.

    8/10