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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

Three Ages (1923)



Reviews and Comments

The rituals of love are timeless, this movie claims, and then proves so by taking three historical ages -- the Stone Age, the Roman Age, and the Modern Age -- and telling the stories of three men (all played by Keaton), one of each age, who try to win the objects of their affection. In each case, Keaton plays the underling, of course, and there is always a stronger, more confident rival, and well-meaning parents who prefer him.

Spoofing D. W. Griffith's Intolerance, this Buster Keaton comedy is remarkably inventive, even by Keaton standards. Half the humor is derived from its main theme -- the timelessness of courtship -- and the other half lampoons the nuances of life in each age. And it's a riot.