Pardon My Berth Marks (1940)

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Whether in the newsroom or on board a speeding train, aspiring reporter Buster Keaton creates havoc in this funny short. To get Keaton out of his hair, the city editor (Vernon Dent) assigns him to shadow a wealthy woman (Dorothy Appleby) who is taking the train to Reno to divorce her mobster husband (Richard Fiske). Keaton travels with his parrot Clarice, and because its cooing sounds like the wife, the jealous gangster attacks Keaton in his berth. A wild chase ensues which ends with Keaton trussing up the gangster in the train's emergency chord, thus winning himself a spot on the newspaper as a star reporter. Note that producer/director Jules White remade this script (written by longtime Keaton collaborator Clyde Bruckman) as the 1947 Columbia two-reeler Rolling Down to Reno starring Harry Von Zell.

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