Speak Easily by Edward Sedgwick |Buster Keaton, Jimmy Durante, Ruth Selwyn | 89218443397 | DVD | Barnes & Noble
Speak Easily

Speak Easily

Director: Edward Sedgwick

Cast: Buster Keaton, Jimmy Durante, Ruth Selwyn

     
 

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Buster Keaton's best sound feature casts the Great Stone Face as Professor Post, a naïve college pedant who mistakenly believes he has inherited $750,000. Hoping to use this windfall to bring the Fine Arts to the waiting world, Post gets mixed up with a two-bit theatrical troupe, headed by Jimmy the piano player (Jimmy Durante). Enchanted by the troupe's libertine

Overview

Buster Keaton's best sound feature casts the Great Stone Face as Professor Post, a naïve college pedant who mistakenly believes he has inherited $750,000. Hoping to use this windfall to bring the Fine Arts to the waiting world, Post gets mixed up with a two-bit theatrical troupe, headed by Jimmy the piano player (Jimmy Durante). Enchanted by the troupe's libertine leading lady Eleanor Espere (Thelma Todd), the professor agrees to finance their Broadway-bound musical, assuming it will be presented in tasteful, classical tradition. When he realizes that he's bought into just another girlie show, Post walks onstage to apologize to the opening-night audience, only to become the hit of the show himself as he becomes enmeshed in the production's special stage effects. Post's unconscious silliness saves the musical from becoming a disaster and also somehow wins him the love of Pansy Peets (Ruth Selwyn), the hometown girl he left behind. Based on a novel by Clarence Buddington Kelland, Speak Easily boasts some terrific sight gags, an abundance of hilarious repartee between the usually ill-matched Buster Keaton and Jimmy Durante, and a hilarious performance by future "Charlie Chan" Sidney Toler as an apoplectic stage manager.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Speak Easily is noted today primarily because of the presence of Buster Keaton and fans of the incredible silent era clown will want to seek it out; however, they should be warned that, as with all of the talkies he made in which he starred, Easily is a big disappointment. That's not to say that it is bad or totally without merit. Granted, its plot is entirely too typical, the kind of misunderstanding-as-set-up-for-comedy that was ground out frequently but which, when not given an inspired treatment, usually came across as ridiculous; nevertheless, it does provide Keaton with a few opportunities to demonstrate his unique talent, most notably in a delectable drunk scene in which Thelma Todd also gets to show that she too knew her way around physical comedy. But most of Easily doesn't take advantage of the qualities that made Keaton a silent star; for the most part, it's the kind of role that any number of performers could have played. Easily is one of three pairings of Keaton and Jimmy Durante, and while it should be a match made in heaven -- Keaton's stoniness and Durante's exuberance being theoretically perfect foils for each other -- the two don't create sparks here. As an average comedy of the period, Easily is quite watchable; as a Keaton vehicle, however, it's a letdown.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/22/2004
UPC:
0089218443397
Original Release:
1932
Rating:
NR
Source:
Alpha Video
Region Code:
0
Presentation:
[B&W]
Time:
1:22:00
Sales rank:
59,936

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Buster Keaton Prof. Timolean Zanders Post
Jimmy Durante James
Ruth Selwyn Pansy Peets
Thelma Todd Eleanor Espere
Hedda Hopper Mrs. Peets
William Pawley Griffo
Sidney Toler Stage Manager
Lawrence Grant Dr. Bolton
Henry Armetta Tony
Edward S. Brophy Reno

Technical Credits
Edward Sedgwick Director
Arthur Appell Costumes/Costume Designer
Cedric Gibbons Art Director
Laurence E. Johnson Screenwriter
Ralph Spence Screenwriter
William Le Vanway Editor
Lawrence Weingarten Producer
Harold Wenstrom Cinematographer

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Chapter 1 [11:48]
2. Chapter 2 [12:22]
3. Chapter 3 [12:11]
4. Chapter 4 [17:32]
5. Chapter 5 [13:54]
6. Chapter 6 [12:57]

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