|Directed by||Edward Sedgwick|
|Running time||80 minutes|
Speak Easily is a 1932 American comedy film starring Buster Keaton, Jimmy Durante, and Thelma Todd, and directed by Edward Sedgwick. The studio also paired Keaton and Durante as a comedy team during this period in The Passionate Plumber and What! No Beer? Keaton later used many of the physical gags he created for this film later when he wrote (uncredited) gags for the Marx Brothers A Night At The Opera.
A myth persists that the Keaton talkies were critical and popular failures that virtually finished Keaton's career. While it is considered true that these later Keaton efforts were artistically inferior to his best work, many of them were solid moneymakers. In reality, it was Keaton's increasingly vocal discontent, with the exhausting workload, and growing drinking problem that led to the studio letting him go.
MGM supposedly never copyrighted this film, hence its long existence in the Public Domain.
Cast (in credits order)
- Buster Keaton as Professor Post
- Jimmy Durante as James
- Ruth Selwyn as Pansy Peets
- Thelma Todd as Eleanor Espere
- Hedda Hopper as Mrs Peets
- William Pawley as Griffo
- Sidney Toler as Stage Director
- Lawrence Grant as Dr Bolton
- Henry Armetta as Tony
- Edward Brophy as Reno
While much silent film is finding its way on to the DVD format via labels such as Kino in Germany, and Eureka and BFI in the U.K., early talkies have a spottier track record in the home video market. "Speak Easily" exists in several versions on US DVD: from Alpha Video in 2004, from Synergy Ent. in 2007, from Reel Classics in 2007 and 2008, and in a double-bill with "Steamboat Bill Jr." from East West Entertainment. The first ever DVD release in the UK is from Powis Square Pictures in January 2009.