In this one Arbuckle plays the titular Doc, who has both a betting and a lady problem. The most rewarding feature of the film however is Buster Keaton as the doctor’s son, a little dandy who bursts into tears at the drop of a hat. The bit has a feeling of polish to it — one wonders if it was something he brought with him from vaudeville. At any rate, it’s a rare chance to see Buster express any emotion on film.
Arbuckle brings the family to a horse race where Al St. John and his vamp accomplice (Alice Mann) are inspired to fleece him. Later St John will pose as a patient and steal a necklace from the doctor’s home. In the end, Roscoe dresses as a policeman to catch the crook (just because) and ends up making a ton of loot.
To learn more about comedy film history please check out my new book: Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, just released by Bear Manor Media, also available from amazon.com etc etc etc
To learn about the history of vaudeville, consult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.