This dazzling comedy showcases Buster Keaton’s genius for super-sized slapstick as it tells the story of an eligible young bachelor who must marry by 7:00pm in order to receive a $7 million inheritance. After bungling a proposal to his longtime sweetheart (Ruth Dwyer), Jimmie (Keaton) embarks on a desperate quest for a bride. He experiences a hilarious series of rejections until a newspaper announcement of Jimmie’s predicament provides him with more fiancées than he can handle, setting in motion the most epic and surreal chase sequence of Keaton’s career. This film features actors performing in blackface. Fandor does not condone racist stereotyping, but blackface is nonetheless a significant aspect of American history in general and film history specifically. Early cinema was deeply rooted in vaudeville, where blackface was a popular staple. As film critic Ty Burr wrote in a recent assessment of Al Jolson’s THE JAZZ SINGER, “Minstrelsy was the then-accepted cultural mechanism by which the governing white culture could appropriate and tame various representations of black people.” The history of blackface is complex (even African American performers donned burnt cork to appear onstage in the early 1900s), and its legacy is far from being resolved. While blackface iconography appears offensive today, it remains deeply telling of the culture from which it emerged.
Cast & Crew
- Awards & Accolades
- Sutherland Trophy British Film Institute 1966