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The Scarecrow
Year:
1920
Country:
USA
Genre:
Comedy, Family, Short
IMDB rating:
8.0
Director:
Buster Keaton, Edward F. Cline
Storyline: Farmhands Keaton and Roberts share a cottage full of mechanical devices for making life easy. They are rivals for the farmer's daughter. Keaton , disguised as a scarecrow, causes troubles for his rival and the farmer. When Keaton stoops to tie his shoe, the girl accepts what she thinks is his kneeling proposal.
Type Resolution File Size Codec Bitrate Format
DVD-rip 320x240 px 50 Mb mpeg4 343 Kbps mp4 Download
Reviews
Buster and Sybil on the farm
One of Buster Keaton's early short films, The Scarecrow (1920) is brimming with youthful energy and silly fun. Keaton shares the screen with Big Joe Roberts and Sybil Seely.

Seely was nothing less than Keaton's finest leading lady, charming and spunky. She was a comic partner, not a "breathing prop" as Keaton's female co-stars are often stereotyped as being. It's a shame she and Keaton never starred in a feature film together, but at least we've got four shorts of them, so I won't complain. (Not too much anyway, ha!) But yeah, lots of cute stuff, like the rigged hut Buster and Joe share, or the wedding held on the motorcycle. For those who encounter pseudo-intellectuals who think Buster Keaton was all solemn and bleak and Kafka-esque, the sunshine of The Scarecrow should shut them up quickly. The man was plain funny.
2016-03-22
This Scarecrow has a brain, a heart, and a toothache to boot
Although the figure of a scarecrow may currently be more associated with a scythe-wielding nightmare, Batman villain, or lovable goofball lamenting his lack of brain, in the hands of comedy legend Buster Keaton, it proved a shortcut to pure comedic delight. One of Keaton's earliest outings as director/star (co-directed by Eddie Cline), The Scarecrow, while simpler than many of Keaton's more iconic works, still proves of the most compact, punchy, and heartfelt early silent comedy shorts available.

Running a lean 20 minutes, The Scarecrow wastes no time, careening from gag to setpiece with tight, efficient pacing, and an infectiously plucky energy. Despite its quite evident three- act structure (I: the house; II: the dog chase; III: the proposal), the film feels impressively cohesive, rather than the episodic series of gags evidenced by many of its predecessors, anchoring the madcap antics around Keaton's race to woo the woman of his dreams (Sybil Seely) before his cheery oaf of a roommate (Keaton's recurring antagonist Joe Roberts, distinctly more sympathetic here). Although noticeably sweeter than most future works by the notoriously sarcastic Keaton, there are still a few tell-tale moments of cunning snark connoting his budding authorial voice (the sly political jab "I don't care how she votes – I'm going to marry her!" being the best).

The real joy, however, is in the setpieces. The film's first act is a dazzling feat of choreography, demonstrating Keaton and Roberts orchestrating a rather unusual breakfast time in a house full of convoluted Rube Goldman muti-use items flipping, sliding, or dangling from an ingenious system of strings (an amusing satire of modernism and 'household conveniences' foreshadowing Chaplin's incisive critique of Modern Times). It isn't long before Keaton's quest for romance inevitably leads to his trademark stuntwork and tumbling, though, leaping back and forth through windows a-la Scooby Doo, precariously sprinting on top of a rickety, demolished building, and walking on his hands across a river to avoid his outfit – pilfered from a scarecrow after his previous clothes were destroyed in a thresher – from getting wet, only to inevitably fall back into the river on his dismount. The sight of Keaton slumping to impersonate a scarecrow is a pristine feat of physical comedy by itself, and the film's climax – an almost accidental motorcycle marriage – recalls the madcap conclusion of Some Like It Hot in terms of the most perfectly hilarious wrap-up imaginable.

Keaton would continue to push the envelope in juxtaposing budding romance with disastrous physical mayhem throughout his oeuvre, but for a quick, compact dose of Buster Keaton at his sweetest and most imaginatively zany, it's hard to imagine a more satisfactory viewing experience than The Scarecrow.

-9/10
2015-07-19
"Where's the ring?"
The sheer inventiveness of the early breakfast scene with Buster Keaton and Joe Roberts is worth the entire twenty minutes or so this film runs for. You have to wonder how much time and coordination it took to set up the scene because it's executed flawlessly with more than a handful of opportunities for a goof-up.

You know, I used to try that gimmick with the string tied to a door to pull a tooth when I was a kid, largely influenced by a whole host of these early comics. I'm betting almost every one put that into at least one of their shorts. For the record, I could never get it to work; either my tooth was too slippery or I chickened out.

Other fast paced gags here include the terrier's merry chase of Buster around the top of the foundation (how'd they manage that?) and the motorcycle and sidecar getaway with the hijacked preacher. Lots of stuff going on here and it's all fun, check it out if you can.
2016-05-03
David Jeffers - A PUP AND A CUTIE
The Scarecrow belongs among Buster Keaton's best two-reelers with others like The Boat and One Week. Buster gets chased through half the picture by a very clever dog. The rest is with Sybil Seely, Keaton's cutest girl co-star. The dog runs Buster through the ruins of an old adobe house, up a ladder and into a mountain of hay. Seely dances amid the bales then coyly misinterprets Buster's bended knee as a proposal. In the scarecrow scene he quickly kisses her, she runs into the middle of the river astonished, and delivers a double-take in close-up, it's priceless! They somehow end up on a speeding motorcycle with a minister who marries them just before they plunge into a river. The dog is wonderful, Buster's rival is suitably oafish and there's even a great part for 'Big Joe'. The Scarecrow has less of the impossible stunts Keaton was known for but it flies along at break-neck speed from beginning to end and has enough material in two reels for six or seven
2005-09-03
a wonderful and very clever short
I loved this short Buster Keaton film. It was so amazingly timed and full of unusual sight gags. By far the best part is the breakfast Buster and his roommate share--complete with LOTS of amazing conveniences that only guys would think of. You really have to see it to believe it and I don't think I could adequately design the house! But the amazing this isn't really all the gadgets but how artfully the two use these time-saving devices. As I said, you've just gotta see it to believe it.

After the meal, the two go in search of the same girl--and that's when problems develop. But, smack in the middle of their argument, a seemingly mad dog emerges and provides some cute and fast-paced entertainment.

A little later, Buster proposes to the girl and they run away to elope--all the while being chased. The conclusion, though predictable, is amazingly timed once again. The film is constant, fast-paced fun--about the best thing I've seen from Keaton.

I saw this on KINO Video and I was far from being impressed by the company because the film alternated from running too fast to running too slow---and the soundtrack, as a result, was really annoying. Perhaps it was a defective tape. If you can, find another brand.
2006-04-24
This Scarecrow had the smarts.
Story of two farmhand roommates, living in a flat that only Rube Goldberg could have come up with, who are vying for the attention of the farmer's daughter, while Buster's character has to fend off his roommate (Joe Roberts looking very much like Fatty Arbuckle), the girl's father, and father's dog (which actually belonged to Arbuckle). That's pretty much the plot, but the sightgags are what make the short really work. The breakfast scene, with the aforementioned Goldberg setting, is pure genius. A very good production all around and ranks as one of Keaton's best. Rating, based on shorts, 10.
2003-05-07
Pulley Breakfast scene a classic five minute opener
Although this is a very funny short, it mainly consists of a series of chases (first Buster by what he thinks is a mad dog and second by his rival in love and the girl's father). It is the first five minutes however that make this film a stand-out. Two roommates inhabit a one-room house and nothing is as it seems, almost every item doubling or tripling in use. A series of pulleys allows household items to come down from the ceiling, everything twists to reveal an upper and a lower identity and the breakfast this is all put to the use of is flawlessly timed and perfectly executed by Keaton and Joe Roberts.

There is another good joke when in the final chase sequence, Keaton jumps on a horse next to his girlfriend's. She takes off and we learn he is sitting on a wooden horse.

KINO's print is quite sharp and bright and there is a violin/piano score.
2005-04-05
Nothing shabby about this scarecrow!
This is probably my favourite Keaton short. From the opening shot to the very end it is full of humour and imagination. The breakfast scene in particular stands out, demonstrating immaculate timing between Keaton and Joe Roberts. The film runs at a fast and funny pace, never seeming to falter at any point. I could watch this over and over again and still find it funny. 10 out of 10
2002-07-14
Very Funny & Inventive
This very funny short comedy is an excellent example of Keaton's amazing inventiveness, and it deserves to be one of his best-remembered short features. The first part is especially good, and has to be seen to be appreciated - it's just Buster and a roommate going about their daily routine in a house filled with wacky gadgets and all kinds of unexpected features. There's a lot of great material, much more than you can catch all at once. It would be hard for the rest of it to live up to the first part, but it is pretty good, too - lots of slapstick and chases, plus the actual "Scarecrow" scene. This one is a bit more piecemeal than most of his comedies, but all of the material is very good. Most fans of silent comedies will really enjoy this movie.
2001-07-30
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