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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

Buster Keaton: The Electric House (1922)



Reviews and Comments

Buster Keaton loved exploiting mechanical devices for comedy, and usually it works with irrefutable success. But here, the humor is just a little too much falling down and not enough innovation.

The premise is intriguing. Keaton is mistaken for an electrical engineer, and someone hires him to "electrify" his house. The employer and family leave for a few days, and when they come back, Keaton has installed every wacky contraption imaginable. The first half of the short derives its humor just from the proper working of the gadgets. The second half has a real and very jealous electrical engineer sabotaging in the house, making them all malfunction. There's a lot of running around, much of which is funny, but the bottom line is that there should have been more gadgets and less tomfoolery.