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Free and Easy

Released Mar 22, 1930 1h 32m Comedy List
Reviews 17% Audience Score 250+ Ratings When Elvira (Anita Page) wins a beauty contest in her home state of Kansas, her clumsy manager, Elmer Butts (Buster Keaton), must take her to Hollywood for a chance at movie stardom. Forbidden to access the studios, Elvira and Elmer attend a film premiere and ogle at the many stars. In desperation, Elmer breaks onto a movie set -- and despite bumbling onto various active sets, wins a part as an extra. Meanwhile, Elvira attracts the attention of handsome film star Larry (Robert Montgomery). Read More Read Less Watch on Fandango at Home Buy Now

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Critics Reviews

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Dennis Schwartz Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews Buster Keaton bombs in his talkie debut. Rated: C Sep 23, 2007 Full Review John J. Puccio Movie Metropolis ...the studio wanted him to say funny things rather than do funny things, and they were eager to show off their new sound equipment with numerous song-and-dance routines. Rated: 5/10 Nov 24, 2004 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

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Audience Member Free and Easy is probably one of the most depressing movies I've ever watched, and not because of the film itself, but because of all the missed opportunity. In Buster Keaton's first talkie there's little to no slapstick. Yeah, one of the best slapstick artists in history has a movie with none of the craft. Even with some great scenarios, like a train and several movie sets, no one gives him any good gags. Buster wasn't just slapstick though, he also had a lot of other good qualities too, so maybe those will rise here. Nope, each attempted joke falls flat, and sometimes it seems like it's not even a comedy. The lack of Buster's energetic tone doesn't help either, the whole thing's just boring. As you might have noticed, Buster Keaton's talents are very underused here, along with the man himself. Most the time it seems like they're trying to keep him out of his own movie, then we're left with some truly boring and annoying characters. Our female protagonist is wishy washy and honestly doesn't do anything in the plot, and her mother is loud and irritating, not the cast you'd want to stay with for about 90 minutes. The other male protagonist is just as bad, and pretty darn generic, I honestly can't think of anything to say about him except he's the typical jerk in these films. Overall Free and Easy is a dreadful experience, and is made even worse by a terrible misuse of Buster Keaton. The only good thing I can say about it is the title musical number isn't that bad, but it's at the end and is rather short. Just go watch a good Keaton picture like The General, Steamboat Bill Jr., or The Navigator, and avoid this one at all costs. Rated 1 out of 5 stars 01/14/23 Full Review Audience Member keaton talks! this is his first talkie Rated 3 out of 5 stars 01/21/23 Full Review Audience Member It's kind of a shame, because it's the most heartbreaking Keaton film I've seen and the end shot is brilliant and perfect but what kills this film for me is the obscene amount of dance and musical numbers that don't do anything for the film except increase it's overly long running time. It's definitely my least favorite of Keatons and was probably his first big flop. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 02/27/23 Full Review Audience Member Keaton's first talking feature has some funny moments, offset with some odd musical interludes. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 02/27/23 Full Review Audience Member I believe that Buster Keaton tried his best to give a good performance in this movie. He talked, he danced, he even sang- and I think it was a good effort- but the film is weak (not because of Buster). I didn't think the writing was very good in the first place; it was not a very good concept/script/story. You can tell that Buster Keaton is out of his element. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 02/10/23 Full Review Audience Member I liked this movie for most of it, but the ending is disappointing. It starts out very funny, but slowly looses steam and doesn't end well. I only recommend this to big fans of Keaton who, like me, just want to see all his movies. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 01/22/23 Full Review Read all reviews
Free and Easy

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Cast & Crew

Movie Info

Synopsis When Elvira (Anita Page) wins a beauty contest in her home state of Kansas, her clumsy manager, Elmer Butts (Buster Keaton), must take her to Hollywood for a chance at movie stardom. Forbidden to access the studios, Elvira and Elmer attend a film premiere and ogle at the many stars. In desperation, Elmer breaks onto a movie set -- and despite bumbling onto various active sets, wins a part as an extra. Meanwhile, Elvira attracts the attention of handsome film star Larry (Robert Montgomery).
Director
Edward Sedgwick
Production Co
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Genre
Comedy
Original Language
English
Release Date (Theaters)
Mar 22, 1930, Limited
Release Date (Streaming)
Jan 1, 2009
Runtime
1h 32m
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