November 28, 2016
Review #877: Three Ages.
Buster Keaton (The Boy), Margaret Leahy (The Girl), Wallace Beery (The Villain), Lillian Lawrence (The Girl's Mother), Joe Roberts (The Girl's Father), and Kewpie Morgan (The Emperor / Cave Man / Roman Thug) Directed by Buster Keaton (#757 - Seven Chances, #762 - College, and #805 - The Navigator) and Edward F. Cline.
This was the second starring role for Keaton, made three years after The Saphead and his first feature that he directed. The film was structured and shot as three separate shorts, as a form of insurance in case it did not work well as a feature, with the three films representing a different Age, from the Stone Age to Rome to the modern-day. The main prevailing theme in all three parts is the prevalence of love in society all-throughout time, with Keaton getting the girl in each story. In that regard, it is somewhat interesting (if not slightly repetitive), though the end result is a film that is moderately entertaining, but not really all that funny. In other words, you'll get some chuckles, but nothing is really that memorable (although Keaton escaping a prison due to his phone booth being towed out of the prison). Neither period really stands out entirely from the others, but they are fine for the course. Leahy is a decent lead, and Beery is a fair enough villain. It has good moments, but nothing that you could really say is rip-roaring hilarious, though Keaton is good as it gets. In a sea of Keaton films, this likely wouldn't be one I would recommend immediately, but it is adequate enough to see at least once.
Overall, I give it 7 out of 10 stars.