February 28 is the anniversary of the release date of the Buster Keaton talkie Parlor, Bedroom and Bath (1931). Directed by Eddie Sedgwick, the film was adapted from a sophisticated Broadway farce that had earlier been made as a silent with Eugene Pallette. This one puts Keaton alongside Cliff Edwards, Reginald Denny, and Charlotte Greenwood, with a lot of claptrap about Keaton’s bumbling character masquerading as the world’s greatest lover. As John Lennon said about The Beatles movie Help!, “It’s like having clams in a movie about frogs.” We regret to say that it belongs in the “deservedly forgotten” pile; its interest is more historical than pleasurable. One saving grace, though: it was filmed at Buster’s house!
For more on silent and slapstick comedy don’t miss 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 more about show biz history, consult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.