Parlor, Bedroom and Bath


Parlor, Bedroom and Bath

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Audience Score

User Ratings: 136
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Movie Info

Based on the stage comedy by Charles W. Bell and Mark Swan (previously filmed in 1920), Parlor, Bedroom and Bath is a curious mixture of all that was good and everything that was bad in Buster Keaton's talkie features. Keaton plays Reginald Irving, a dimwitted bill-poster who finds himself the pawn in a scheme cooked up by wealthy Jeffrey Haywood (Reginald Denny). It seems that Jeffrey will not be permitted to marry Virginia Embrey (Sally Eilers) until a suitable husband is found for Virginia's older sister Angelica (Dorothy Christy). Since Angelica has rejected all the available suitors, Jeffrey schemes to offer Reginald as an eligible mate. First, however, he has to transform our dopey hero into a gentleman -- and a great lover. Somehow or other, poor Reginald innocently ends up in a compromising situation involving vampish Polly Hathaway (Charlotte Greenwood) and the very married Nita Leslie (Joan Peers) at a posh no-tell hotel. Keaton is permitted a few choice pantomimic moments in Parlor Bedroom and Bath, notably his scenes with the aggressive Charlotte Greenwood and a spectacular sight gag "borrowed" from his 1920 silent classic One Week. On the whole, however, Keaton is lost in a sea of unfunny dialogue and tired farcical situations -- a not untypical pitfall of his MGM talkies. Long unavailable due to legal complications, Parlor, Bedroom and Bath can be purchased from any of the public-domain video companies proliferating in the U.S. (Incidentally, that baronial "upstate New York" mansion in the film's early scenes was actually Buster Keaton's Beverly Hills home)

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Critic Reviews for Parlor, Bedroom and Bath

All Critics (2) | Rotten (2)

Audience Reviews for Parlor, Bedroom and Bath

  • Feb 26, 2018
    Watching Buster Keaton's movies after 1929, where when he no longer had creative control, is a bit like seeing a magnificent animal in a zoo. He's a stunning creature that captivates us, I mean this is Buster Keaton after all, but we cannot help but feel sad for him. In this case, we do get enough glimpses of him running free, both literally and figuratively, that the film is at least worth watching. The scene I liked best was the one on the train tracks, which he actually recycled from 'One Week' (1920), but it's still fantastic. I also liked him climbing down a wall from a second story balcony, sprinting about the grounds, and diving into a pool along the way. He does some nice physical comedy with Charlotte Greenwood, making an interesting pair with her because of their heights (she was 5'9" vs. Keaton 5'5"). In one shot they're behind a telephone pole, with him standing on her shoulders. In another she lifts him off the ground during a passionate embrace, and his legs are up in the air. The film has a silly plot, as he also gets amorous with a couple other women (Joan Peers and Natalie Moorhead) to prove he's virile enough for a third (Dorothy Christy), so that she can get married, so that her younger sister in turn can get married (yes yes, sheesh). However, there are some other cute moments to help offset that, such as him slipping all over the wet hotel floor with several others, even if that bit was probably taken too far. I also thought some of the pre-Code bawdiness was amusing, such as Christy telling a suitor early on that she's dropping him because he "doesn't come up to specifications" after seeing him in a bathing suit. "You can't judge a husband in a bathing suit," he says. "No, but you can get a rough idea," she answers before walking off. Later, after Buster checks in to a hotel with Peers as Mr. and Mrs. Smith, she's all wet, so Buster looks into his suitcase to see if he has anything dry she can wear. She pulls out lingerie, and asks Buster why he has it. "Oh, I always carry those things,' he says. "Reggie, you wicked, wicked man," she responds. It's Greenwood that has some real fun though, trying to arouse the shy Keaton. After striking a pose only to have him stand there dumbfounded, she quips "Well come and get this, are you anchored?" As he tentatively puts his arms around her, she sarcastically says "I am here for a quite evening. You know, you're dead and you won't lay down." Later she notes "You have all the passion of an infuriated clam." Another that brought a smile was her saying "I'm not supposed to be your maiden Aunt, I'm supposed to be party of the second part in a regular orgy. In a regular orgy! In a kiss! Let me show you a kiss!" ... but humorously pronouncing the 'g' in orgy hard, as in goat. Of course, as Buster goes from shy and awkward, to a riled up sex maniac, this extended sequence in the hotel where he makes out with four different women isn't exactly politically correct. If you're a Keaton fan, there's enough here to make it watchable, just guard your expectations and enjoy seeing him. If you're not a Keaton fan (yet), skip this one and start with his earlier work.
    Antonius B Super Reviewer
  • Sep 03, 2010
    Keaton's last great movie. It' brilliant and funny.
    Aj V Super Reviewer

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