Buster Keaton’s ONE WEEK (1920) – Rain, rain, go away

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The following is the first of my two entries in The April Showers Blogathon, being hosted at this blog from March 31 through April 2, 2017. Click on the above banner, and read bloggers’ takes on a wide variety of rain-soaked movie scenes!

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Until my dying day, I will continue to tout Buster Keaton’s silent short subject One Week as one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen in my life. Like all of the best comedy, its premise is rooted in reality, so that when the craziness comes, it’s nevertheless plausible and relatable to audiences.

(WARNING: Spoilers abound!)

The plot is that Buster and his newlywed wife (utterly charming Sybil Seeley) have received, as a wedding gift from Buster’s uncle, a do-it-yourself house to put together. (This kind of house was all the rage at the time of this movie.) Unbeknownst to the newlyweds, Sybil’s seething ex-boyfriend Hank has sabotaged the numbers on the kit, making the finished house quite the structural deformity.

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Move-in ready?

Buster and Sybil go through more than a few misadventures in trying to furnish the fiinished house. But the highlight is surely the couple’s housewarming party.

As Buster leads his guests through the house and tries to enumerate the house’s (few) virtues, he suddenly feels moisture on his neck. Buster looks up and sees that the roof is smattered with holes. Always one to make the best of a bad situation, Buster opens up an umbrella and continues his spiel to his guests.

When the guests begin getting rained on, Buster decides to step outside to check the severity of the weather. It’s severe, all right — huge wind gusts send the house twirling around and around, making it almost impossible for Buster to re-enter the house, try as he might. The gusts don’t do Buster’s guests any favors, either, giving them dizzy spells as they try to keep their balance.

For all of the wonderful film history we have of the silent era, it’s our loss that nobody ever documented how Keaton & Co. managed to create that never-ending sight gag of a house. Thankfully, we still have the movie itself to stare at wide-eyed in awe when it’s not making us laugh ourselves silly.

One Week is embedded below. The housewarming scene begins at the 13:53 mark, but don’t deprive yourself of the rest of this delightful movie as well.

(If you enjoyed this blogathon entry, click here to read my second one.)

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2 responses to “Buster Keaton’s ONE WEEK (1920) – Rain, rain, go away

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