The Play House (1921)

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“The Play House” is a silent short film released in 1921 and directed by Buster Keaton and Edward F. Cline. The film follows Buster Keaton’s character, who works as a stagehand in a theater.

One day, he’s given the opportunity to audition for a role in a play. Buster’s character plays multiple roles, including the conductor, a member of the audience, and all the actors in the play.

As the play progresses, chaos ensues, and the lines between reality and the performance start to blur. Buster’s character finds himself facing multiple challenges, including dealing with the backstage antics of his fellow performers, a fight between the orchestra and the audience, and the collapse of the entire theater.

Despite the challenges, Buster manages to complete the play and win over the audience. The film ends with Buster receiving a standing ovation from the audience and being congratulated by the theater manager.

“The Play House” is known for its inventive visual effects, including a sequence where Buster’s character plays all the parts in the play. The film showcases Buster’s physical comedy and his ability to create comedic situations out of everyday objects and situations. It’s considered one of his early classics and helped establish him as a major star in the silent film era.

Edward F. Cline, Buster Keaton

Edward F. Cline, Buster Keaton

Buster Keaton, Edward F. Cline, Monte Collins

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