The Electric House

1922

Comedy

6
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 85%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 85% · 500 ratings
IMDb Rating 7.1/10 10 3144 3.1K

Director

Top cast

Buster Keaton as Buster
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
209.55 MB
1280*960
English 2.0
NR
24 fps
12 hr 22 min
Seeds 5
388.94 MB
1440*1080
English 2.0
NR
24 fps
12 hr 22 min
Seeds 17

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Polaris_DiB 8 / 10

"And as it turns out, electrical engineering happened to be quite a talent of his."

A wonderfully inventive companion piece to The Scarecrow, this mechanical comedy by Keaton often makes me wonder if it isn't possible to go back in time and hire Keaton to design a house for me.

Due to a mix-up of diplomas, the young hair-stylist character of Keaton is asked to wire a mansion with electricity. Spending a moment with a book on "Wiring Made Easy" and the mansion owner's vacation time, Keaton devises escalators, train-propelled dishwashers, and all the neat little gadgets and tricks that "surprise" them (whether or not any of these flourishes are needed, of course, adds its own amount of humor to the equation).

Of course it's not like we can have everything just go well like that, so the rejected and jealous actual electrical engineer decides one fateful day to wreak vengeance upon the circuitry. It's then a trip of mayhap and mayhem as the hosting family tries to entertain guests, Keaton tries to figure out what's wrong, and bodies, dishes, and pool balls go flying amiss.

The appealing result is a good chuckle. It's definitely not as amazingly inventive as The Scarecrow (which is absolutely mind-boggling in its mechanical genius), but it does the job and does it well. It also doesn't really end the way you come to expect of Keaton. All in all, however, it's a pretty good time.

--PolarisDiB

Reviewed by motta80-2 8 / 10

Not his funniest, but technically astounding

What makes The Electric House such a must-see Keaton short is curiously not the showcasing of the great man himself but that of the technical prowess of his technical director Fred Gabourie. Gabourie had built The Boat and worked with Keaton since 1920's One Week, which was the one with the ingenious portable house, and he would progress with Keaton from the shorts to the features. But never were the technical gadgets Keaton used and Gabourie had to make work practically better displayed than in The Electric House. Keaton really lets Gabourie's gadgets take centre stage here and it is a chance to marvel at a master at work.

In a strange way it's almost too brilliant because the laughs don't really play as well. Whereas in One Week or The Boat the gadgets and physical comedy worked in perfect harmony in The Electric House Keaton lets the film get a bit bogged down in watching the gadgets at work.

Nevertheless in these days of CGI and visual cheats it is stunning to see these practical effects in full flow. Gabourie was clearly a genius, one whose name deserves to be held in the same light as practical effects masters like Willis O'Brien, Ray Harryhausen and Stan Winston.

Reviewed by ccthemovieman-1 7 / 10

Wow, A 'Shock' To See All The Electric Gadgets

It's funny; the other day I watched Buster Keaton's "College," which starts off with a high school graduation. My next Keaton movie, this one, begins with a college ceremony. Yes, once again, the graduates look more like their fathers than 22- year-old people.

The degrees get mixed up somehow and the Dean thinks Buster has graduated with an Electrical Engineering degree and hires him to wire his house while he and the family go on vacation. Buster knows nothing about that sort of thing but reads a quick how-to-do-it book. The next thing we know, we see the house with all the gadgets.

This was pretty amazing stuff. I didn't think they even had the technology in the early '20s to do this sort of thing. Shows you what I know. Anyway, we see all kinds of James Bond-type tricks from swimming pools that drain and refill within seconds to mechanical billiard tables to train tracks feeding the family. There too many of these crazy things (a bathroom on tracks going right to the bed was one of my favorites!) to list them all.

Suffice to say they are fun to watch. Unfortunately, the real engineer gets wind of what happened, sneaks into the house and sabotages the gadgets while the family is showing them off to guests. Unfortunately (again), justice is not served in this film....or is it? There's a strange ending to this film, too, and makes me wonder if Buster wasn't a bit suicidal. I guess not, since he lived a fairly long time.

There is no real plot in here; just gags....which is fine for a short film, except I found this was so fast-paced in the first half that by the 15-minute mark it seemed almost too long, if that's possible. It seemed like a long 22 minutes.

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