06/04/2010

The Butcher Boy (1917)

Here's a little more Buster, Fatty and Al St John for your delectation. Two grocery store clerks fight for the affections of a pretty girl (Josephine Stevens), throw knives and flour around, pour molasses in one customer's hat, scald another with boiling water and then disguise themselves in drag to take the battle to Miss Teachem's School for Girls. That's basically it, bar the welcome return of Luke the Dog, a bull terrier who was one of the great unsung talents of the silent era. This was Buster's first appearance on screen after an early career in vaudeville performing with his parents as the Three Keatons (an act that played domestic violence for laughs in which the child Buster was billed as "the Living Mop" and claimed to be an adult midget to get around pesky child-labour laws) and he nailed his opening scene in one take. Step right up and watch it here folks.

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