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The Sidewalks of New York

Overview

Buster Keaton once described his 1931 vehicle Sidewalks of New York as "God-awful"; it's hardly that bad, though admittedly it pales in comparison with his silent classics. Keaton plays Harmon, a wealthy young Park Avenue socialite who falls in love with Lower East Side denizen Margie Anita Page. For her sake, he tries to reform a tough gang of kids including Margie's brother by building a gym to keep them off the streets. A bunch of gangsters, mistakenly believing that Harmon intends to turn them over to the ...
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DVD (Remastered / Pan & Scan)
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Overview

Buster Keaton once described his 1931 vehicle Sidewalks of New York as "God-awful"; it's hardly that bad, though admittedly it pales in comparison with his silent classics. Keaton plays Harmon, a wealthy young Park Avenue socialite who falls in love with Lower East Side denizen Margie Anita Page. For her sake, he tries to reform a tough gang of kids including Margie's brother by building a gym to keep them off the streets. A bunch of gangsters, mistakenly believing that Harmon intends to turn them over to the authorities, try to bump him off, but he's oblivious to their homicidal overtures, believing them to be his best pals. Ultimately, Margie's brother and his gang are obliged to come to Harmon's rescue. The film's highlight is a boxing match, pitting puny Harmon against the toughest lug in all New York. Though Buster Keaton was unable to get along with his director Jules White, it was ironically White who helped Keaton stage a comeback in the late 1930s by casting the comedian in a series of mediocre but profitable Columbia two-reelers.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Janiss Garza
Buster Keaton had reason to dislike this comedy -- his character, Homer Van Dine Harmon, was clearly a rip-off of the rich milksops he played in his excellent silent films The Navigator and Battling Butler. In fact, he gets in the ring and dukes it out, repeating some of the jokes from Battling Butler. But the truth is that Sidewalks of New York isn't anywhere near as bad as he later insisted. The story -- Homer attempts to reform a young tough (Norman Phillips) in order to win the boy's sister (Anita Page) -- isn't worth much, but Keaton's comic abilities are still in top form. His timing is as sharp as it was during his silent heyday and he's always amusing to watch, even if he does lay on the pratfalls a bit too much. Cliff Edwards, on the other hand, is pretty much wasted -- as Homer's sidekick, he has very little to do. It is Keaton, and Keaton alone, who carries this film, and, while it is disappointing compared to his silent films, it nevertheless has its moments. In spite of its less-than-stellar quality, Sidewalks of New York made a pile of money for MGM -- mainly because of a knowledgeable distribution staff, who shipped it off to markets where Keaton was strong. The studio was able to use the film's profits as proof that they knew how to handle the comedian. Keaton knew better, and his already rocky relationship with MGM continued its downslide.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/8/2011
  • UPC: 883316399668
  • Original Release: 1931
  • Source: Warner Archives
  • Region Code: 0
  • Presentation: Remastered / Pan & Scan
  • Time: 1:14:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 39,525

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Buster Keaton Homer Van Dine Harmon
Anita Page Margie
Cliff Edwards Poggie
Norman Phillips Clipper
Frank Rowan Butch
Frank LaRue A Policeman
Oscar Apfel The Judge
Sid Saylor Mulvaney
Clark Marshall Lefty
Zion Myers
Technical Credits
Zion Myers Director
Jules White Director
Charles Hochberg Editor
George Landy Screenwriter
Leonard Smith Cinematographer
Paul Gerard Smith Screenwriter
Lawrence Weingarten Producer
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