Posted on: 31st January, 2014
19th January, 2020
One AM (US 1916 Dir Charlie Chaplin)
One Week (US 1921 Dir Buster Keaton, Edward Cline)
Big Business (US 1929 Dir James W Horne, Leo McCarey)
Carlos Lopez-Real composer and musical director
This programme presents a trio of superlative American slapstick comedies of the 1910s and 20s all revolving around the home, with live accompaniment from Guildhall jazz musicians.
In One AM (1916), Charlie Chaplin returns a little ‘merry’ from a night out and finds his home transformed into a kind of obstacle course, with a foldaway bed providing the most formidable challenge. In One Week (1921), Buster Keaton and his new bride are presented with their new home in flatpack, to be assembled – which they do, with the inevitable wonky results.
The home as a site of destruction reaches its apogee with Big Business (1929), in which Laurel and Hardy start a row with a suburban homeowner, a fight which escalates to breath-taking heights of gleeful trashing of valuable furniture, priceless objects, even the fabric of the house itself.