Coney Island (1917 film)
French theatrical poster to Coney Island
|Directed by||Roscoe Arbuckle|
|Produced by||Joseph M. Schenck|
|Written by||Roscoe Arbuckle|
Al St. John
|Edited by||Herbert Warren|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|Language||Silent (English intertitles)|
The twenty-four-minute film follows Arbuckle's antics at Coney Island, the New York City amusement park and beach resort, where he sneaks away from his wife to enjoy the attractions, gets a rival for another woman arrested, and disguises himself as a woman. The Keystone Kops are also featured.
Coney Island was filmed before Keaton had fully established his screen persona. Because of this, he employs a wide range of facial expressions, including mugging and laughing, differing drastically from his subsequent unsmiling, but still eloquent, expression.
Arbuckle breaks the fourth wall in one scene where, about to change his clothes, he directly looks at the camera and gestures for it to raise its view above his waist; the camera obligingly does so.
- Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle - Fatty
- Agnes Neilson - Fatty's wife
- Al St. John - Old friend of Fatty's wife
- Buster Keaton - Rival / cop with mustache
- Alice Mann - Pretty girl
- Joe Bordeaux - Sledgehammer Man / Cop (as Joe Bordeau)
- Jimmy Bryant
- Alice Lake
The film was shot on location at Coney Island, and prominently features many contemporary rides and attractions as venues for the slapstick action. These include The Witching Waves and Shoot-the-Chutes.
Like many American films of the time, Coney Island was subject to cuts by city and state film censorship boards. The Chicago Board of Censors required a cut of a scene with a girl raising her dress above her knee.
- Knopf, Robert (August 2, 1999). The theater and cinema of Buster Keaton. Princeton University Press. p. 180. ISBN 978-0-691-00442-6. Retrieved 21 October 2010.
- "Official Cut-Outs by the Chicago Board of Censors". Exhibitors Herald. New York City: Exhibitors Herald Company. 5 (20): 33. November 10, 1917.
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