The Blacksmith (1922)

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“The Blacksmith” is a silent comedy short film released in 1922, directed by and starring Buster Keaton. The film follows the story of a blacksmith, played by Keaton, who works in a small town with his assistant, played by Joe Roberts.

The film begins with the blacksmith attempting to fix a car, but he only ends up damaging it further. A wealthy man then arrives with his fancy car, which breaks down right in front of the blacksmith’s shop. The blacksmith attempts to repair the car, but chaos ensues as he accidentally destroys various parts of the car in the process.

As the wealthy man becomes increasingly frustrated with the blacksmith’s antics, the blacksmith and his assistant come up with various hilarious schemes to fix the car, including using a horse to pull it and trying to glue it back together.

Despite their best efforts, the car ends up completely destroyed, and the blacksmith and his assistant are left to deal with the angry owner. However, in a twist ending, the blacksmith discovers that the car was actually stolen, and he and his assistant are hailed as heroes for their unwitting role in its destruction.

“The Blacksmith” is a classic example of Keaton’s talent for physical comedy and his use of sight gags. The film’s setting allowed Keaton to play with the contrast between the rural, rough-and-tumble world of the blacksmith and the sophistication of the wealthy car owner. The film remains a beloved and influential comedy short today.

Buster Keaton, Malcolm St. Clair

Buster Keaton, Malcolm St. Clair

Buster Keaton, Virginia Fox, Joe Roberts

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