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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
Classic early Keaton short with big Joe Roberts taking on the "Fatty" Arbuckle characterization.
This is a classic early Keaton short, filmed the year Buster took over Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckles' production team - "Fatty" had moved on to feature films for Paramount - with big Joe Roberts taking on the Roscoe characterization. Worth viewing for the opening sequence alone, which shows Buster's fondness for the creation of gadgets that turn into great sight gags. Also noteworthy for the appearance of Buster's father Joe Keaton Jr. as the pugnacious farmer. An excellent introduction to Keaton's work for anyone unfamiliar with his unique style. You will find it all here: they called him the great stone face, but watch how expressive he is with his eyes. And no one could run the way Buster ran.
1999-04-09
"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
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
Fresh as the dawn
The sun bounces into the sky like a rubber ball—an appropriate opening image for a short comedy fairly bursting with youthful energy and high spirits. Buster Keaton was barely twenty-five when he made this film, but he had twenty years of experience in physical comedy, and in the new-found joy of directing and starring in his own films, he bubbled with inspiration. While the freewheeling, episodic structure of The Scarecrow recalls the films Buster was making just a year before with Roscoe Arbuckle, there are many distinctive Keaton touches and an overall atmosphere of innocent freshness. Though not as perfect as his debut, One Week, it's a good introduction to Keaton's early work. If you're already sweet on Buster, I warn you—this may push you over the edge into full-fledged adoration.

Buster works on a farm (at least we assume so—he doesn't do any work in the movie) and shares a one-room house with Big Joe Roberts. Usually cast as a monstrous villain, Big Joe gets a rare chance to show his charm here. He's twice Buster's size, but the two live in harmony, their house rigged with labor-saving gadgets. The bed folds up into a piano, the gramophone becomes a stove, the bathtub empties itself and turns into a settee. Salt and pepper shakers dangle from the ceiling on strings, so Buster and his roommate can pass them back and forth in graceful arcs. To wash the dishes, the men attach them to the table, hoist it onto the wall, and spray it with a hose. This whole opening sequence is played with a smooth, brisk pacing and casual grace. Slapstick comedy is usually based on things going wrong, but this scene shows us everything going beautifully right, and still manages to inspire laughter.

The harmony between the two men is shattered by the arrival of the farmer's pretty daughter, for whose affection they compete. This was the third film Buster made with Sybil Seely, the most charming leading lady he ever had. A former Mack Sennett bathing girl, Sybil was a dark Italian beauty with a natural, fun-loving air. It's a mystery, and shame, that he stopped using her after The Scarecrow. Here she gets some nice moments of her own, as in her impromptu dance in front of a haystack. The film zips along from one sequence to the next, with Buster being chased by a "mad" dog (Roscoe Arbuckle's bull terrier, Luke, in a cameo), then getting sucked into a harvesting machine that rips his clothes off. Running in his underwear from the irate farmer, Buster puts on a scarecrow's suit, and displays his uncanny gift for physical mimicry as he adopts the scarecrow's floppy pose.

One shoe comes off as he runs, and when he kneels down to put it on, Sybil happens to walk up and blushingly accepts his proposal. As they're eloping on a stolen motorbike and sidecar, they accidentally scoop up a passing parson, who winds up sitting in Sybil's lap. Buster looks at the man, glances at the sky to see if it's hailing clergymen, and then asks the parson to marry them. Agreeing matter-of-factly, he takes out his bible and starts the wedding ceremony while they zip along, unflustered even when they tumble into a creek. The only problem with this film is that it's over too soon. The solution is to watch it again.
2006-08-15
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 masterpiece
This ranks #2 on my all-time favorite silent films list. Keaton's parody of one-act "mellers" that he was subjected to during his days on the vaudeville stage is priceless -- the wringing of hands and clutching of breasts, etc. The entire first scene with Big Joe and Buster going through their morning routine is hysterical and at the same time makes you speechless at Keaton's inventivenes. Genius couldn't be more obviously displayed than in this short, only a preview of what was to come in his later feature films.
1999-05-21
One of Buster Keaton's greatest silent shorts...
The Scarecrow is one of Buster Keaton's greatest silent shorts. In twenty minutes it catches us up in rapture, filled with cheer, humor, romance good nature, and a true and innocent sense of small town farm life. The film contains some of Keaton's most incredible acrobatics as he runs around on top of a ten-foot brick wall, handstands his way through a river of mud to avoid getting his clothes dirty (he, of course, falls in some mud once he gets to the end of the muddy river), is chased by a dog (the payoff of the chase scene is one of the funniest gags in any silent comedy, a brilliant satire of the way silent clowns insist on creating trouble for themselves), and on and on and on and on. As the film is almost coming to a close, Keaton is about to be married. But the film is not done with us yet; instead of merely watching the couple ride off into the sunset, Keaton boldly follows them to the sunset as the two get married on a speeding motorbike. For twenty minutes, I forgot about the time I wasted watching Go West.
2004-10-30
So Far, My Favorite Keaton 'Short'
If you love chase scenes, this Buster Keaton short is for you! Before any chases, however, we see Buster and his roommate, Big Joe Roberts, as they get ready for breakfast, eat it with the aid of a very clever pulley system (you have to see this to believe it) and then clean up. The big one-room house is nothing but gadgets and they are all fun to see.

Then Buster thinks a small "mad dog" is chasing him and the two go round and round both outside and inside the house, and even around the tops of a brick wall. It's clever and fast-moving slapstick.

Buster then winds up being chased by the father of the female (Sybil Sealey) that both he and Joe are enamored with. After that short chase, in which Buster disguises himself as a scarecrow, he winds up getting Joe and the father fighting each other. When they discover Buster is the culprit behind that, they both take out after Keaton....and on and on it goes, with Sybil joining in......overall, a tremendous 19 minutes of sight gags, slapstick and general mayhem.

I'd have to rank this as one of the most entertaining, if not THE most entertaining silent movie short subjects I have ever watched....at least to this point. I still have more to see.
2006-10-01
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
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
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