Moonshine (1918 film)

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Moonshine (Paramount, 1918). One Sheet (28 X 41).jpg
Directed by Fatty Arbuckle
Written by Fatty Arbuckle
Starring Fatty Arbuckle
Buster Keaton
Cinematography George Peters
Edited by Herbert Warren
Buster Keaton
Comique Film Company
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date
  • May 13, 1918 (1918-05-13)
Running time
23 minutes
Country United States
Language Silent (English intertitles)

Moonshine is a 1918 American short comedy film directed by and starring Fatty Arbuckle.[2]

While the film is considered incomplete, there are different surviving prints of varying quality. The Kino The Genius of Buster Keaton DVD release presents about 6 minutes and thirty seconds, sourced from the Cineteca Nazionale of Rome.


Set in the Virginia Hills, Fatty and Buster play revenue agents tasked with hunting down bootleggers and bringing them to justice. The duo, aided by dozens of volunteers (all of whom somehow manage to fit inside Buster's small car) set off to track down the bootlegers. Fatty and Buster get separated from the group and take a tumble down a hill which leave Fatty's pants dirty. After Fatty washes his pants in a river (while Buster is wearing them) and leaves them to dry in a tree, he meets Alice (Alice Lake), the daughter of Jud Grew (Dudley) the head bootlegger with whom he develops a romance.

After fighting another bootlegger who is madly in love with Alice (St John) Fatty reunites with Buster and the two stumble across the bootlegger's storage space where they find a stash of illegal moonshine. Fatty is ambushed and taken away by the bootlegger but Buster gets away and dispatches of the love rival bootlegger by pushing him off a cliff.

Fatty is taken back to the bootlegger's hideout where, taking inspiration from The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas, he escapes by pretending to be dead so that the bootleggers will throw him into the river, after being thrown into the water he floats downstream before swimming to shore where he reunites with Buster. The two make a plan to rescue Alice and to take down the bootlegger but realize that their band of volunteers is nowhere to be found. The love rival bootlegger from earlier sneaks up on them, knocks out Keaton and with help from his fellow bootleggers takes Arbuckle to a cabin and lights the fuse to a bomb inside. The cabin explodes but Arbuckle breaks the fourth wall by having the camera wound backwards so that the cabin reassembles itself and he emerges totally unharmed. Arbuckle takes out the love rival bootlegger by using a gun that he has modified so that it can shoot around corners and Buster dispatches of the remaining bootleggers except for the leader.

The leader proclaims that Fatty has proven himself worthy and gives him his blessing to marry Alice but Fatty immediately refuses, revealing that he already has a wife. Buster agrees to marry Alice instead and Fatty sets off down the hills towards his next adventure.


Title card

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 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. 
  2. ^ "Progressive Silent Film List: Moonshine". Retrieved February 26, 2008. 

External links[edit]