The Quick Change Artist

Where can you see Buster Keaton, Douglas Fairbanks and Harold Lloyd in the same movie? And throw in Roscoe Arbuckle, Jackie Coogan and Rudolph Valentino as well.

CHARACTER STUDIES is basically a home movie by Carter de Haven, rich bloke and future John Huston producer. Aa lot of care has gone into it, and it has a very nice central conceit, which unfortunately means that none of the actors interact or even share screen time. If he’d just filmed everybody hitting each other with sausages he’d have had a terrible pointless film, instead of this witty and elegant one, but we’d have gotten to see Fatty Arbuckle smacking Valentino with a salami. Sometimes you can overthink things.

A thousand thanks to Steven McNicoll for alerting me to this one.

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4 Responses to “The Quick Change Artist”

  1. Oh but that’s perfect. Knocks the extraordinary awkwardness of Stolen Jools into a cocked hat.

  2. Oh, but Stolen Jools is still kind of a fascinating oddity.

  3. Basically the Comic Relief of its day, or have I already said that? And yes, it’s not a competition. “Boom” is on tonight at the BFI. Is it a date movie?

  4. Fiona asserts loudly that it is not. She’s tried to watch it three times.

    It might be a good date movie if you were Divine.

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