Three Ages

Buster Keaton backed into feature filmmaking with this 1923 effort, which essentially consists of three two-reelers (Keaton's accustomed format) edited together. The structure is a vague parody of D.W. Griffith's Intolerance, with Buster fighting to win his woman from a stronger rival in the Stone Age, the Roman Empire, and modern times. It's good but not great Keaton: the gags are chiefly basic slapstick, with little of the surrealistic refinement and visual sophistication he brought to his later features. Eddie Cline codirected; with Margaret Leahy, Wallace Beery, and Joe Roberts. 63 min.

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