This Film Is More Than 100 Years Old

The Garage (1920)

In The Garage, Fatty Arbuckle and Buster Keaton play car mechanics (who are also firemen). A fairly large proportion of the plot of this film involves everyone getting covered in engine oil.

This starts with Fatty Arbuckle re-doing the window cleaning joke from The Bell Boy (although his version isn’t anywhere near as good as Buster Keaton’s), but after that it’s all new stuff (well, mostly all new stuff). There’s some good scenes on a big turntable, Buster Keaton gets his trousers ripped off by Luke the Dog, and at the end everyone gets in a car and drives away into the sunset.



1. I watched this on blu-ray again. The screenshots are taken from this copy on youtube.

2. The Garage was the very last film Fatty Arbuckle and Buster Keaton made together.

3. So from now on it’s Buster Keaton only for me.

4. I’ll miss you, Fatty.

5. A bit.


Film Information

Title: The Garage
Director: Fatty Arbuckle
Year: 1920
Duration: 21 minutes

This Film Is More Than 100 Years Old

The Bell Boy (1918)

The Bell Boy is the seventh Fatty Arbuckle/Buster Keaton collaboration (or at least the seventh surviving one), and probably the best yet, in which the pair of them play Bell Boys at a dysfunctional hotel.

The plot of this is basically that Fatty Arbuckle is utterly bored at work and decides to piss around. It’s a pretty good plot, to be honest, and beats the usual Fatty Arbuckle storyline, where he’s just relentlessly unpleasant for 20 minutes for reasons I find difficult to discern.

It’s also an almost non-stop cavalcade of jokes (including an incredible window cleaning gag from Buster Keaton), with a nice line in slightly surreal humour, and some good use of pulleys and contraptions too, which I always like (though nothing on the scale of the stuff Buster Keaton contrives in The Scarecrow)

Towards the end, they run out of hotel jokes and stage a bank robbery instead, presumably so Buster Keaton can show off his incredible range of acrobatic skills. There’s a five minute fight, followed by a motorbike chase, and a runaway tram. It’s pretty exciting.




1. I watched this on blu-ray yet again. The stills are captured from this youtube version.

2. I liked this one a lot, although it’s still probably only the third best hotel based silent film I’ve watched this year, after these two wondrous marvels.

3. This one also has a (very short) stop-motion sequence (I think), so keeps up the hotel/animation theme of The Electric Hotel and Hotel Electrique, even if only for about a second.

4. Also there’s a shaving scene, but rather than being pretty delightful, like the one in Hotel Electrique, this one is just utterly interminable.

5. And probably the only part of this I actually disliked.

6. This might also be the first Fatty Arbuckle film I’ve watched where he’s not just an absolute arsehole.

7. Which makes a nice change of pace.

8. And also the scene where he and his girlfriend drive around in a car for a bit reminded me of this bit from the new Twin Peaks for some reason.

9. Which was nice.

10. (This one also had a brief shot of a dog in it but it wasn’t Luke the Dog at all unfortunately it was some other dog entirely)


Film Information

Title: The Bell Boy
Director: Fatty Arbuckle
Year: 1918
Duration: 25 minutes
Watch: youtube