Speak Easily [DVD] [1932]

Buster Keaton's best sound feature casts the Great Stone Face as Professor Post, a naïve college pedant who mistakenly believes he has inherited $750,000. Hoping to use this windfall to bring the Fine Arts to the waiting world, Post gets mixed up with a two-bit theatrical troupe, headed by Jimmy the piano player (Jimmy Durante). Enchanted by the troupe's libertine leading lady Eleanor Espere (Thelma Todd), the professor agrees to finance their Broadway-bound musical, assuming it will be presented in tasteful, classical tradition. When he realizes that he's bought into just another girlie show, Post walks onstage to apologize to the opening-night audience, only to become the hit of the show himself as he becomes enmeshed in the production's special stage effects. Post's unconscious silliness saves the musical from becoming a disaster and also somehow wins him the love of Pansy Peets (Ruth Selwyn), the hometown girl he left behind. Based on a novel by Clarence Buddington Kelland, Speak Easily boasts some terrific sight gags, an abundance of hilarious repartee between the usually ill-matched Buster Keaton and Jimmy Durante, and a hilarious performance by future "Charlie Chan" Sidney Toler as an apoplectic stage manager.
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Overview

Synopsis

Speak Easily
Buster Keaton's best sound feature casts the Great Stone Face as Professor Post, a naïve college pedant who mistakenly believes he has inherited $750,000. Hoping to use this windfall to bring the Fine Arts to the waiting world, Post gets mixed up with a two-bit theatrical troupe, headed by Jimmy the piano player (Jimmy Durante). Enchanted by the troupe's libertine leading lady Eleanor Espere (Thelma Todd), the professor agrees to finance their Broadway-bound musical, assuming it will be presented in tasteful, classical tradition. When he realizes that he's bought into just another girlie show, Post walks onstage to apologize to the opening-night audience, only to become the hit of the show himself as he becomes enmeshed in the production's special stage effects. Post's unconscious silliness saves the musical from becoming a disaster and also somehow wins him the love of Pansy Peets (Ruth Selwyn), the hometown girl he left behind. Based on a novel by Clarence Buddington Kelland, Speak Easily boasts some terrific sight gags, an abundance of hilarious repartee between the usually ill-matched Buster Keaton and Jimmy Durante, and a hilarious performance by future "Charlie Chan" Sidney Toler as an apoplectic stage manager. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Buster Keaton
    Buster Keaton - Prof. Timolean Zanders Post
  • Jimmy Durante
    Jimmy Durante - James
  • Ruth Selwyn
    Ruth Selwyn - Pansy Peets
  • Thelma Todd
    Thelma Todd - Eleanor Espere
  • Hedda Hopper
    Hedda Hopper - Mrs. Peets
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