NEIGHBORS (aka: MAILBOX) (aka: BACKYARD)
(director/writer: Edward F. Cline/Buster Keaton; screenwriter: story by Buster Keaton; cinematographer: Elgin Lessley; cast: Buster Keaton (The Boy), Virginia Fox (The Girl), Joe Roberts (Her Father), Joe Keaton (His Father), Edward F. Cline (The Cop), James Duffy (The Judge), The Flying Escalantes (Themselves); Runtime: 18; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Joseph M. Schenck; Kino Video; 1920-silent)
“It’s a spirited Buster Keaton classic short of the period.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Set in a crowded urban working-class neighborhood, where Buster Keaton falls in love with his neighbor, Virginia Fox (one of Mack Sennett’s Bathing Beauties), residing in the adjoining tenement building separated by a yard filled with clothes lines. When her burly father (Joe Roberts) objects to the romance, thus begins a series of misunderstandings and misfortune that has the two families at each other’s throats. Buster fights back and the two families do battle, until Buster prevails and marries the woman he loves.
Buster’s real-life abusive alcoholic father, Joe Keaton, plays his father in the film. Buster not only stars, but co-wrote and and co-directed with Edward F. Cline.
It’s a spirited Buster Keaton classic short of the period.
REVIEWED ON 10/18/2011 GRADE: B