The Haunted House (1921)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Haunted House Film, Slapstick  |   Countries - USA  |  
  • AllMovie Rating
    6
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

Share on

While this isn't one of Buster Keaton's best two-reelers, it has some undeniably classic moments. Keaton plays a young bank teller who isn't immune to a pretty girl begging him for an early withdrawal. Sighing, he goes to the safe's clock and turns the hand an hour ahead so the door will spring open. Behind the scenes, there is scheming afoot; the cashier (big Joe Roberts) is part of a ring of counterfeiters who have fixed up a mansion to appear haunted in order to throw off the police. Their finest trick among the trap doors and secret passageways is a staircase that becomes a flat ramp when a cord is pulled, causing anyone climbing it to slide to the bottom. Back at the bank, Keaton has some trouble with a bottle of glue that causes all the money he touches to stick to him. This is also trouble for a group of bank robbers who try to hold him up. To throw the cops off his scent once again, the cashier makes it appear that Buster is the robber, and he has to run away. Keaton eventually makes his way over to the mansion, where the staircase proves to be his nemesis. Nevertheless, he manages to capture the counterfeiters, although he is knocked cold in the process. While he is unconscious and being held tenderly by the bank president's daughter (the small but always aristocratic Virginia Fox), he has a dream: He is climbing the long steps to heaven where he faces Saint Peter. Keaton is refused admission, and the saint pulls a cord. The steps flatten out and Buster slides down until he reaches hell. Fortunately, he wakes up to find himself face to face with the girl, not the devil.

Characteristics

Keywords

bank-personnel, bank-robbery, counterfeit, frame-up, mansion, daughter, dream