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Free and Easy (1930 film)

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Director  Edward Sedgwick
Country  United States
5.6/10 IMDb

Genre  Comedy, Musical
Language  English
Free and Easy (1930 film) movie poster
Writer  Richard Schayer, Paul Dickey, Al Boasberg
Release date  March 22, 1930 (1930-03-22) (US)
Music director  Fred E. Ahlert, William Axt, Roy Turk
Screenplay  Richard Schayer, Al Boasberg
Cast  Buster Keaton (Elmer), Anita Page (Elvira), Trixie Friganza (Ma), Robert Montgomery (Larry), Fred Niblo (Himself), Edgar Dearing (Officer)
Similar movies  Pitch Perfect 2, Birdman, Frozen, Mulan, Aladdin, Hercules

1930 free and easy buster keaton en marion shilling

Free and Easy is a 1930 American Pre-Code comedy film starring Buster Keaton. It was Keaton's first starring talkie vehicle.


Free and Easy (1930 film) movie scenes

Buster keaton free and easy 1930


Free and Easy (1930 film) wwwgstaticcomtvthumbmovieposters51016p51016

When small-town girl Elvira Plunkett (Anita Page) wins a contest that sends her to Hollywood for a screen test at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), she is accompanied by her overbearing mother (Trixie Friganza) and Elmer J. Butts (Buster Keaton), a gas-station attendant who goes along as Elvira's manager. Elmer is secretly in love with Elvira, but on the train they meet MGM contract actor Larry Mitchell (Robert Montgomery), who falls for her as well, and has the connections to make her a star.

Free and Easy (1930 film) Free and Easy 1930 with Buster Keaton PreCodeCom

In Hollywood, Elmer manages to bungle his way through numerous films being shot on the MGM lot, disrupting production. When given a screen test, he can't manage to say his one line correctly. Despite this, both he and Elvira's mother are given film contracts, and appear in a comic opera together. Elmer want to tell Elvira that he loves her, but hints at it in such a way that she mistakes it for advice on how to tell Larry that she loves him.


Free and Easy (1930 film) Buster KeatonAnnex
  • Buster Keaton as Elmer
  • Anita Page as Elvira
  • Trixie Friganza as Ma Plunkett
  • Robert Montgomery as Larry Mitchell
  • Fred Niblo as Himself
  • Lionel Barrymore as director
  • David Burton as himself
  • William Haines as himself
  • Marion Shilling (uncredited)
  • Cecil B. DeMille as Director Cecil B. DeMille (uncredited)
  • Production

    Free and Easy (1930 film) What Would Buster Keaton Do Free and Easy 1930

    Free and Easy, whose working title was "On the Set", was Buster Keaton's first starring role in a film shot for sound – he had appeared in MGM's talking The Hollywood Revue of 1929, but did not speak. As with his previous film for MGM, Spite Marriage, production on Free and Easy was largely out of Keaton's hands.

    Free and Easy (1930 film) Buster Keaton Free and Easy 1930 YouTube

    The film was used as a way to showcase MGM's many stars and filmmakers and there are many cameos throughout of various actors and directors under contract to MGM at the time, including Cecil B. DeMille and Lionel Barrymore. The film was shot in French-, German- and Spanish-language versions – the Spanish one was called Estrellados – with Keaton speaking his dialogue phonetically, but the 1931 release in France had French-language intertitles replacing the English dialogue.

    Free and Easy (1930 film) Buster Keaton Free Easy 1930 Buster non riesce a parlare

    MGM spent almost $500,000 on producing Free and Easy.


    Contemporary reviews were mixed, with the New York Times reviewer Mordaunt Hall stating that Keaton's "audible performance is just as funny as his antics in mute offerings," while Robert E. Sherwood in Film Daily wrote that, "Buster Keaton, trying to imitate a standard musical comedy clown, is no longer Buster Keaton and no longer funny." Nonetheless, Free and Easy was a bigger hit than the majority of Keaton's silent films.

    Modern reviews are less enthusiastic, with critic John J. Puccio stating that the film "contains far too much talk and far too few visual gags."


    Free and Easy was re-made twice, first in 1937 as Pick a Star, and later as Abbott and Costello in Hollywood in 1945.


    Free and Easy (1930 film) Wikipedia
    Free and Easy (1930 film) IMDb Free and Easy (1930 film)