The Play House

The Play House ★★★½

A prime example of Buster Keaton’s formal inventiveness, playing every person at a theatre, from the fussy old woman in the audience, to the hapless musicians, to the performers themselves. It’s clever and well realised, but after a while risks turning The Playhouse into a one-joke film. But then Buster wakes up from his dream and his reality as a lowly stagehand is revealed, only to be brilliantly inverted when a performing monkey escapes and he has to step up into its place. From this point on the gags come thick and fast. A terrific two-reeler.

Buster Keaton Ranked

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