The Electric House (1922)
Article 5807 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Edward F. Cline and Buster Keaton
Featuring Buster Keaton, Virginia Fox, Joe Keaton
What it is: Buster Keaton short
Due to a mix-up of diplomas, a botanist is mistaken for an electrical engineer and hired to electrify a rich man’s house.
Most of the shorts and features I’ve covered by the classic silent comedians have been ones where the fantastic content was pretty marginal. Not so this one. Not only is it packed to the gills with bizarre modern-house gadgetry, but the gadgetry is front and center in terms of the comic content; you’re laughing at all the strange technical marvels in the place. Things get a little wilder when the man who should have gotten the job in the first place seeks revenge, but that just adds to the fun. Keaton is in prime form this time, especially when he has to contend with a staircase that turns into an escalator. And there’s even a little bit of horror content as well, when one of the staff of the house is mistaken for a ghost at one point. This one was a lot of fun.