Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle | Coney Island
| The Garage
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Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle
Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle is a Hollywood director and comedy actor, who worked in silent films
and early talkies.
Coney Island (1917) is a hilarious short comedy, shot on location at the amusement park
at New York's Coney Island. The film opens with some spectacle scenes, which have nothing to do with the plot.
Coney Island has a great gag, where Arbuckle gets the camera man to raise the camera in the bath house.
This anticipates Keaton's gag in the bathroom in One Week (1920).
Links to The Red Mill
Arbuckle's comedy feature The Red Mill (1927) has approaches in common with Coney Island:
- Both feature romantic rivalries between men, for a woman's affections.
- Both have bridges over small canal-like waterways, with boats.
- The race on ice-skates in The Red Mill recalls the carts sliding down "The Witching Waves" in Coney Island.
Both are areas full of sliding: something that will return in The Garage.
- Buster Keaton climbing a pole in Coney Island and the brief gag of cops and ladders outside the jail cell,
are extended to elaborate scenes with ladders and the mill vanes in The Red Mill.
- The cow and mice in The Red Mill recall the dog in Coney Island.
- There are gags that take advantage of superstition: the fortune telling machine about a "Happy Home" in Coney Island,
the legend of the haunted mill in The Red Mill.
- Characters steal food belonging to other people: the ice cream cones in Coney Island, the breakfast in The Red Mill.
- Both films have comic men in uniform: the cops and life guards in Coney Island,
the sea captain and the Governor in The Red Mill.
- The characters change clothes in the bath house in Coney Island,
take off their wooden shoes outside the church in The Red Mill.
- Both films have characters wearing other people's clothes.
The Garage (1920) is a short comedy set in a combination car-repair garage and fire-fighting station.
The fire poles recall Buster Keaton climbing a pole in Coney Island. Buster actually climbs a fire pole here.
The comedy of heights Arbuckle loves returns at the end, with second story windows, fire-fighters' nets, and telephone wires.
Mechanically moving floors, such as "The Witching Waves" in Coney Island, return with the circular turntable
in The Garage.