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24 July 2022

Festival du Cinéma muet dÁnères: Le Dernier Round (Battling Butler)
Chamber Orchestra - Scène nationale Tarbes Pyrénées

Program Info:
Piano : Roch Havet
Trumpets : Xavier Bornens and Guillaume Dutrieux
Electric bass : Guillaume Farley
Battery : Aidje Tafial

The Last Round
(Battling Butler)
the Buster Keaton
with Buster Keaton, Sally O'Neil, Walter James
1926 / United States / 1h17 / DCP / vostf

Son of a good family, the young Butler is sent camping in the mountains by his father, who thinks to toughen him up. Butler falls in love with a young mountain girl, but the family does not appreciate the young man's frail and idle appearance. His butler having discovered from reading a newspaper article that Butler had a famous boxer for his namesake, he offers his master to pass himself off as the champion, in order to be accepted by the rustic mountaineers...

The story lends itself well to portraying a character found in most of Keaton's films: a shy and unhappy young man who, driven by love, finds unsuspected resources in terms of ingenuity and courage. And so poor Alfred Butler finds himself in the ring, training for a big fight. He's supposed to look puny and helpless, but once in his shorts, you can see how fit and muscular Keaton was. Despite his athletic body, he acts out the early training scenes so realistically that they are sometimes more painful than funny to watch. Keaton's physical courage and stoicism are legendary and almost pathological, but it's this ability to reveal pain and exhaustion that allows him to transcend the usual rules of comedy.

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Last edited: 21 March 2022 - 13:46 hours