Good Night, Nurse!

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Good Night, Nurse!
Film stills
Directed by Roscoe Arbuckle
Written by Roscoe Arbuckle
Starring Roscoe Arbuckle
Buster Keaton
Cinematography George Peters
Edited by Herbert Warren
Comique Film Company
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date
July 6, 1918[1]
Running time
26 minutes
Country United States
Language Silent (English intertitles)

Good Night, Nurse! is a 1918 American short comedy film written and directed by Fatty Arbuckle, and starring Arbuckle and Buster Keaton. The action centers in a sanitarium Arbuckle's character was brought to by his wife, involuntarily, to be operated on by Keaton's character for his alcoholism.


A drunken Fatty walks the streets on a depressing, rainy night, too drunk to realize that he is being soaked by the rain. He is repeatedly denied entry to drug store due to his drunken state and is forced to remain in the rain. He befriends a fellow drunk whom he attempts to mail home by writing his address on his shirt, covering his face in stamps and placing him on top of a mailbox. He befriends a pair of street performers who play the National Anthem for him despite the pouring rain and as a reward he invites them to take shelter in his home from the rain. As Fatty parties with his newly found friends in the living room his wife is woken up by the couple's pet monkey. Angered, his wife throws the couple out and announces that she is sick of Fatty's drunken behavior. Reading about an operation that is rumored to cure alcoholism, she orders Fatty to undergo the operation or be thrown out of the house.

The "hospital" is revealed to be a sanitarium and Fatty is horrified when the doctor due to perform his operation (Keaton) emerges with his apron stained with blood. He and a female patient (Lake) attempt to escape but are quickly apprehended and the doctors tell Fatty not to go near the girl again, claiming she is crazy. Fatty is taken to the operating room (Number 13) and as the doctors prepare for surgery and after his attempt at postponing the surgery by slipping a clock into his shirt to make the doctors think he has an irregular heartbeat fails, Fatty is given anesthetic and falls unconscious

Fatty awakes some time later and decides to escape from the sanitarium. He bumps into the girl from before who tries to convince him she is not crazy and that she has been committed mistakenly. They are pursued by the doctors into the communal patients ward and a mass pillow fight breaks out between the inmates and the guards, allowing Fatty and the girl to escape. Once in the clear, Fatty asks the girl if there is anything else he can do for her and she asks him to help her get back into the sanitarium. Realizing the girl genuinely is crazy, Fatty ditches her by jumping into a nearby pond and pretending to drown, forcing the girl to go running for help. The doctors give chase and While attempting to flee, Fatty finds himself back at the sanitarium and this time attempts to escape by disguising himself as a nurse. With freedom in sight, Fatty runs into Keaton who believes Fatty to be an actual woman and begins to flirt with him and Fatty goes along with it so as not to blow his cover. However the real nurse whose uniform Fatty is wearing, soon arrives blowing his cover. Fatty makes a break for it, pursued by Keaton across a farm and onto a track where a sponsored race is taking place, with Fatty somehow managing to beat the other runners to the finish line and is declared the winner. He is awarded the prize money which he realizes he can use to buy alcohol but the doctors track him down once again. Fatty attempts to run off one last time before he is wrestled to the ground by the doctors and struggles to get free. However the scene suddenly shifts back to the hospital bed with the doctors shaking Fatty awake after his operation, revealing the whole escape attempt to have been nothing more than a dream.


The cast is listed in credits order.


Like many American films of the time, Good Night, Nurse! was subject to cuts by city and state film censorship boards. For example, the Chicago Board of Censors cut, in Reel 1, Fatty kicking woman, Fatty putting foot on woman's posterior, and Fatty pulling dress off woman and exposing her figure.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Knopf, Robert (August 2, 1999). The theater and cinema of Buster Keaton. Princeton University Press. p. 181. ISBN 978-0-691-00442-6. Retrieved October 21, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Official Cut-Outs by the Chicago Board of Censors". Exhibitors Herald. New York City: Exhibitors Herald Company. 7 (4): 49. July 20, 1918. 

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