in about 100 words or less
US 71m, B&W, Silent
Director: Buster Keaton; Cast: Buster Keaton, Sally O’Neil, Walter James, Budd Fine, Francis McDonald, Mary O’Brien, Tom Wilson, Eddie Borden, Snitz Edwards
Based on a stage play of the same name, The Battling Butler is unique film for Keaton, insofar as it has very few physical gags beyond the boxing scenes. As the story of a rich dandy, who is compelled to impersonate a prizefighter to impress his fiancée, Keaton laces up a pair of boxing gloves and plays the clown in the ring in preparation for a lightweight championship fight. Though Battling Butler may not be one of Buster’s funniest films, it is a well scripted movie that relies less on gags to get a laugh than many of his earlier films (Klaus Ming March 2017).