“Three Ages” is a silent comedy film released in 1923 and directed by Buster Keaton and Edward F. Cline. The movie is a parody of D.W. Griffith’s “Intolerance” and tells three parallel stories set in different historical eras, each depicting the trials and tribulations of a young man trying to win the heart of his love interest.
The first story takes place in prehistoric times and follows the adventures of a caveman, played by Buster Keaton, who competes for the love of a woman with a rival tribe. The caveman must use all his wit and strength to win the heart of the woman he loves and escape the dangers of the primitive world around him.
The second story takes place in ancient Rome and follows the exploits of a young gladiator, also played by Buster Keaton, who falls in love with a woman of high social status. He must navigate the dangerous world of the Roman aristocracy and fight off a rival suitor in order to win her heart.
The third and final story takes place in the modern era and follows the misadventures of a young man, played by Buster Keaton, who is trying to win the heart of a woman in the city. He must contend with modern technology and the fast pace of city life while trying to win her affections.
In the end, all three stories converge in a final scene that sees the three main characters of each era meet each other and embrace, symbolizing the timeless nature of love and the universality of human experience.
“Three Ages” was Buster Keaton’s first feature-length film as a director, and it showcased his trademark physical comedy and acrobatics. The film was well-received by critics and audiences alike and helped establish Keaton as one of the most talented and innovative filmmakers of his time.
Edward F. Cline, Buster Keaton
Clyde Bruckman, Joseph A. Mitchell, Jean C. Havez
Buster Keaton, Margaret Leahy, Wallace Beery