An Old Spanish Custom; The Invader

1511. AN OLD SPANISH CUSTOM (The Invader) (1938-ENGLAND). With BUSTER Keaton. Admittedly, this film was shot a decade after Buster Keaton was at his peak as a comic genius. Alcohol and loss of artistic control over his films were the main cause of his decline; nevertheless, his natÂural instinct for physical comedy is clearly still in evidence. The setting is sunny Spain, and Buster is cast as one Leander Proudfoot, a bumbling, fumbling, American yachtsman. The scenario chronicles his plight after he stumbles into a cafe and falls for Lupita Malez, a saucy Senorita who’s forever on the verge of falling out of her skimpy dress. She encourages Lea rider’s interest, but he’s too dimwitted to realize that she’s using him as a pawn in a scheme to shake off an unwanted boyfriend, the jealous cafe owner Gonzalo Gonzales. Lupita’s other Suitor, the pompous, egocentric Latin lover Jose, sports an hilarious mock British-Spanish accent. Among the comic highlights: Buster’s antics on a dance floor and aboard the yacht; the climactic “dueling” sequence; and his hapless attempt to woo Lupita by serenading her under her window. The latter is a sequence that must surely be an unheralded Keaton classic. This is no “Sherlock Jr.” or “The Navigator,” but medium Keaton is better than none! 56 minutes. Keaton