Sunday, February 1, 2015

Silent Sundays: The Electric House (1922)

The story of The Electric House has Buster Keaton as a recent college graduate. At graduation he and his rival get into a scuffle. Their diplomas get mixed up along with a girl’s diploma. A millionaire comes to the graduation and he asks to see their diplomas because he is looking for someone to come and make his house electric. Buster has a degree in Botany but when he goes up to the millionaire his diploma is that of his rivals who is an electrician. Naturally Buster is chosen to come to make the millionaire’s house electric.
            Buster has until the millionaire and his family return from Europe. When they come home their house is certainly electrified. The stairs have been turned into an escalator which is way too fast and shoots the millionaire right out of the top floor window into the pool in the backyard. Buster also shoots out of the window and into the pool. After the two men get out of the pool Buster shows the millionaire that the pool can drain completely and then refill itself with a lever. The bathtub in one room comes out of the bathroom right next to the bed with the touch of a button. With another button the bed folds up. In the kitchen the dishes wash and dry themselves when placed on a conveyor belt.
            The millionaire has some investors come by his house to see what has been done with it. At the same time the school rival is outside plotting his revenge. He finds the room where all the switches are. He turns the dial up on the speed of the stairs. Soon he has the whole house in a chaotic mess. Buster finds his rival and sends him out of the control room by making the sprinkler system go off. They both go on the stairs and fly out the window. The millionaire gets caught in their scuffle and flies into the pool with them.
            The millionaire is thoroughly upset with Buster for what has happened and tells him he is through. Buster decides he cannot go on with life so he ties a rope around a rock that he then ties around his neck. The millionaire’s daughter immediately drains the pool and then he fills it back up. When she drains the pool again Buster is nowhere to be seen. Turns out he flowed down the drain the pool was connected to and came out the end of the drain and landed right next to his rival.
            The Electric House was interesting because it had technology I can imagine people today would want in their house especially the dishwasher on the conveyor belt. It was not one of the best Buster Keaton films I have watched but as with almost all his films it was entertaining. The Electric House is only twenty-two minutes (which was good for my ADHD riddled brain) most likely due to some missing scenes. You can watch The Electric House on YouTube