Back Stage (1919 film)

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For the 1917 film starring Oliver Hardy, see Back Stage (1917 film).
Back Stage
Back stage.jpg
Directed by Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle
Produced by Joseph M. Schenck
Written by Jean Havez
Starring Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle
Buster Keaton
Cinematography Elgin Lessley
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release dates
  • September 7, 1919 (1919-09-07)
Running time
26 minutes
Country United States
Language Silent film
English intertitles

Back Stage is a 1919 American comedy film, one of the last films that Buster Keaton would appear with Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle before they went their separate ways, Keaton would get his own studio, and Arbuckle got into feature length films.

In this film, Keaton, Arbuckle, and others, work as stagehands, backstage of course, in a playhouse trying to help and in some cases, stay far away from the eccentric and diva-like performers. When the performers rebel and refuse to do the show, the stagehands, along with Arbuckle's love interest, the assistant of one of the rebelling performers, perform in their place- including Keaton showing his ability to do butterflies, no handed cartwheels, while in drag.

Several Arbuckle shorts use sight gags that other comedians elaborate on for other films. In Back Stage Arbuckle uses the falling wall sequence, a gag that Keaton elaborated on in his later films. A piece of the set falls on Fatty but a window in the set piece saves him from being crushed by it. Keaton used this gag in his first short One Week and much more famously in Steamboat Bill Jr..


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Knopf, Robert (2 August 1999). The theater and cinema of Buster Keaton. Princeton University Press. p. 181. ISBN 978-0-691-00442-6. Retrieved 21 October 2010. 

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