Though not of the quality of "The General," an almost perfect movie, "Spite Marriage" is worth watching both for the fun and for the historical value of its being Keaton's last silent. Co-star Dorothy Sebastian deserves a medal both for her performance and for putting up with being knocked about so. So many of Keaton's leading ladies get treated very physically, surely part of the auditions was a test of their good-natured sportsmanship -- and probably their physical conditioning, too. Dorothy Sebastian's character is not very sympathetic at first, but she learns, and when she has to assist in her own rescue, she is adorable, cute as the proverbial button. Keaton, though, is the real reason to watch, this or almost everything else he is in. He ranks among the top of the certifiable geniuses of motion picture making, with an unfailing sense of timing, with uncanny physical control, and with an understanding of what was (and is) funny that the studio bosses of his latter career should have paid attention to. Even with the worst material, with which he was saddled in so many of his talkies, Keaton and his abilities and talents still stand out, are still memorable. Buster Keaton will deserve our awe forever.
An unimpressive but well intending man is given the chance to marry a popular actress, of whom he has been a hopeless fan. But what he doesn't realize is that he is being used to make the actress' old flame jealous.
July 17, 2020