The Paleface


Comedy / Western

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 62%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 62% · 250 ratings
IMDb Rating 6.8/10 10 3274 3.3K


Top cast

Buster Keaton as Little Chief Paleface
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
230.92 MB
English 2.0
24 fps
12 hr 25 min
Seeds 2
428.77 MB
English 2.0
24 fps
12 hr 25 min
Seeds 15

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by bkoganbing 7 / 10

Kicking Off The Indians, not on Buster's watch

In the early days of silent films Indians were inevitably the all purpose villains. For those who think that it was not until such post World War II films as Devil's Doorway, Broken Arrow, and Fort Apache that the Indian point of view was filmed, The Paleface, a comic short subject by Buster Keaton was the granddaddy of those other classics.

In fact the villains are really modern ones, would you believe oil company executives interested in the almighty profit at the expense of everything else. But oil was shortly to be cast in infamy with the American public in the form of the Teapot Dome Scandal which would break a couple of years later. Even then there was a stench emanating from Wyoming and people were asking questions.

The oil company has discovered oil on Indian land and has summarily ordered them off. The Indians are naturally upset and the chief Joe Roberts promises to kill the next white man who sets foot on the reservation.

Who should it be, but poor innocent butterfly collector Buster Keaton, as innocent here as his comic rivals Harry Langdon or Stan Laurel. The great stone face leads the Indians on quite the merry chase and with a little help from asbestos, survives a burning at the stake. With what we know now, one also shudders at the mesothelioma Buster acquired from that experience.

Knowing this man is something special, The Paleface becomes a leader of the tribe and they successfully battle oil company encroachment. By the way one of the vignettes in the James Stewart film The FBI Story deals with just this question, Indians being cheated out of their land by oil company speculators. Of course it was dealt with a bit more seriously than in The Paleface.

Not too much similarity between this and the Bob Hope-Jane Russell feature film classic, The Paleface. Hope also nearly got burned at the stake, but his escape was different, one classically different method from another great comedian.

The Paleface is a real good introduction to the comic art of Buster Keaton.

Reviewed by weezeralfalfa 7 / 10

Saved by his magic fireproof underwear!

I generally enjoyed this Buster Keaton comedy short, more than some others. We can think of the screenplay as going through 4 PHASES. PHASE1: The Indians regard butterfly-collecting Keaton with suspicion, and eventually hostility, since they are mad at other oil-mad whites, who stole their land deed, and ordered them to vacate within 24 hr. .After following him around, as he collected butterflies, they decided to burn him at the stake. However, the guard they left with him didn't notice that Keaton had pulled up the stake, and was moving around when the guard wasn't looking. Hence, the guard wasn't making much progress in piling up firewood around Keaton. Eventually, Keaton bent over and knocked his guard out, with a head shot with his pole(funny).. After acquiring some minimal Indian clothing plus a feather in his cap, an Indian eventually recognizes him for what he is, and the chase is on. Eventually, they capture him again, and again tie him to the well -implanted stake. They begin to roast him, and his clothes are partially burned. But, he is not materially burned because he's wearing fire-proof underwear(Yes, very silly!) The Indians conclude he must have supernatural powers, and bow down before him........ PHASE 2:: Keaton is accepted into the tribe, and given the name Little Chief Paleface. Soon, Keaton leads the Indians on a visit to the oil company headquarters. Keaton boldly enters and badgers the executives. He calls the Indians to enter and perform a war dance around the desk. This unnerves the executives, and they begin to crawl to the doors. Keaton takes some hair off one, with his tomahawk, then smacks another with his tomahawk, before the man gives him his toupee. Then, a man in formal dress, including top hat, gets on a horse, and gallops away. Keaton and the Indians chase him. Eventually, Keaton catches him, but he trains a pistol on Keaton, ordering him to swap clothes........PHASE 3: The Indians don't recognize Keaton in his new garb. Hence, they shoot at him and chase him. Cornered on one side of a gorge, Keaton goes across a rope bridge to the other side. This bridge has only a few mobile slats to crawl on . Thus, Keaton keeps moving the last to the front, thereby preventing the Indians from following him. When he gets to the other side, he finds more Indians, so he tries to go back, but the slats fall off, and he falls into the river below. Eventually, he and the Indians make it back to the village....... PHASE 4: Keaton enters a tepee and changes to his usual clothes(What?). In the jacket, he finds the deed to the Indian land, and shows this to the chief(Played by Joe Roberts),who is ecstatic. He kisses Keaton, and asks what he can do for him. Keaton replies that he would like an Indian squab? Usually, unmarried Indian women are referred to as maiden or princess. Squab usually refers to the young of pigeons. Here, it becomes an interesting play on squaw(married woman) . In any case, he immediately finds a willing squab, who looked distressed when he was being roasted.......Of course, there is the much better known 1948 film of the same title, starring Bob Hope, and Jane Russell........See it at YouTube.

Reviewed by ccthemovieman-1 9 / 10

Another Good Keaton Short

This Buster Keaton short didn't have a ton of laughs but it had enough to suit me. The gist of the story is an Indian tribe getting their land taken from them by corrupt oil men and Buster getting it back for them.

Along the way, he proves himself to be a superhuman "god" by surviving being burned at the stake. (A fire-proof asbestos suit did the trick!) Later, he's involved in warring tribes. Through a decent portion of the film, he is being chased by either of the tribes. Chase scenes are always funny and these in this movie are no exception. Some of these sight gags elicit hardy laughs. In the end, Buster not only saves the Indians' land but gets a pretty "squab," too!

This is good slapstick and another example of why some people - me included - think Keaton's short movies, generally speaking, were better than his feature films. Some reviewers here label this one "cute and silly" and I would agree with that.

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