22 July 2014 | redryan64
Life At The Auto-mat
AFTER HAVING ENTERED the world of movie making rather casually in 1917, Buster Keaton's ascent to the top of the heap of Silent Clowns was put on hold thanks to World War I. Returning to the cameras after cessation of hostilities, he remained a supporting player for now good friend, Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle. This is his last short in supporting role.
SEEMING MUCH MORE complex and developed than previous outings, THE GARAGE offers us plenty of action, sight gags and a more substantial storyline than those that preceded it.
UINDER THE DIRECTION of star, Mr. Arbuckle, the action and situations flow freely through the commercial garage; what we would nowadays call a "service station." The characters and their accompanying situational humor situations are ushered to front stage in a smooth, well paced fashion. Time is taken in the prep, as well as the ultimate execution of each vignette and its gag potentiality. Arbuckle and Keaton had both evolved high above the break neck speed of Sennett, Larry Semon and others.
OCCUPATIONS ARE DEFINITELY on the front burner of this outing, as the story mixes in Police and Fire services. The boys are apparently in some volunteer fire department; as they both sleep on the upper floor, use a firemen's pole to descend to main level and do answer a false fire alarm.
THE PREVELANCE OF mechanical gadgets in the story. such as a giant turn table and fan system indicate that Buster Keaton might well have had a good deal of influence in shaping this last Arbuckle silent short into what it was. It is not hard to imagine that Buster could have readily fit the bill of hero without sidekick/assistant.
FOLLOWING THIS MOVIE, Keaton did move into his own series; superseding Roscoe at the Comique Studios. Roscoe had moved on to his own company, Paramount, Feature Films, and the scandalous accusations which ruined a ruined career and a shortened life.