“Back Stage” is a 1919 silent film directed by Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle and starring Arbuckle and Buster Keaton. The film is a comedy that takes place in a theater, with Arbuckle playing the role of a stagehand named Merton who dreams of becoming a performer.
Merton is in love with the leading lady of the theater troupe, but she is already engaged to the villainous head of the theater. When the leading lady’s father dies and leaves her his fortune, Merton sees an opportunity to win her over by producing a lavish show that will showcase her talents.
Merton convinces the other stagehands to help him put on the show, but chaos ensues as they struggle with various mishaps and obstacles, including a misbehaving mechanical set and an escaped monkey. Despite the setbacks, the show is a success, and Merton wins the leading lady’s heart.
The film is notable for its slapstick humor and physical comedy, as well as for its use of visual gags and inventive stunts. It also features the comedic talents of Arbuckle and Keaton, two of the most popular comedians of the silent era.
Roscoe ‘Fatty’ Arbuckle
Jean C. Havez
Roscoe ‘Fatty’ Arbuckle, Buster Keaton, Al St. John