Three Ages, The

1046. THE THREE AGES (1923-USA). WITH BUSTER KEATON, WALLACE BEERY, MARGARET LEAHY, OLIVER
HARDY. DIRECTED BY KEATON AND EDDIE CLINE. BUSTER KEATON’S FIRST FEATURE IS A SIDE-SPLITTING PARODY Of D.W. GRIFFITH’S INTOLERANCE. PROVING THAT “THE ONLY THING UNCHANGED SINCE THE WORLD BEGAN IS LOVE ” THE FILM CUTS BACK AND FORTH AMONG THREE PERIODS Ñ THE STONE AGE, ANCIENT ROME, AND MODERN TIMES Ñ PROVIDING PARALLEL STORIES, CHARACTER* AND GAGS. IN ALL THREE. BUSTER WOOS A PRETTY WOMAN, BUT HER PARENTS CHOOSE THE STRONGER OR RICHER WALLACE BEERY AS HER FUTURE HUSBAND. BUSTER MUST DEVISE ELABORATE METHODS AND OVERCOME IMMENSE OBSTACLES TO DEFEAT HIS VILLAINOUS RIVAL AND WIN THE LADY. FOR SHEER IMAGINATION AND COMIC TIMING, KEATON HAD NO RIVALS. ITS GREAT FUN TO SEE HOW HE WORKED OUT VARIATIONS ON THE SAME SITUATIONS FOR EACH ERA, SUCH AS CONTESTS BETWEEN THE SUITORS (STONE AGE DUEL WITH CLUBS; ROMAN CHARIOT RACE; MODEM FOOTBALL GAME). HILARIOUS ANACHRONISMS ABOUND: CAVEMAN GOLF PLAYED WITH STONES AND REAL CLUBS; ROMAN WRIST WATCHES AND DICE WITH Ñ WHAT ELSE Ñ ROMAN NUMERALS. KEATON ENTERS THE MOVIE RIDING A DINOSAUR IN THE CHARIOT RACE, HE USES A DOG TEAM, CHASING AFTER A CAT SUSPENDED ON A POLE; IN THE PRESENT, HIS AUTOMOBILE COLLAPSES AROUND HIM! AS USUAL, KEATON DISPLAYS MARVELOUS ACROBATIC SKILLS, WHETHER RIDING A HORSE STANDING UP, POLE VAULTING THROUGH A WINDOW, MAKING A TOUCHDOWN RUN, OR Ñ IN THE SPECTACULAR CLIMAX, AS HE’S BEING CHASED BY COPS Ñ RUNNING AROUND FIRE-ESCAPE STAIRS, LEAPING ACROSS ROOfTOPS, AND SWINGING ON A FLAGPOLE HIGH ABOVE THE GROUND! AN ENDLESSLY INVENTIVE SHOWCASE FOR ONE Of THE CINEMA’S GREATEST COMIC GENIUSES. THROUGH IT ALL, HE NEVER SMILED Ñ BUT YOU WON’T STOP LAUGHING! SILENT FILM WITH MUSIC SCORE, CORRECT PROJECTION SPEED. 85 MINUTES. KEATON