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Buster Keaton - Star of the Month
Remind Me

Neighbors (1920)

Filmed in November and December 1920, Neighbors was originally entitled Mailbox. Keaton's love interest in the film, the diminutive Virginia Fox (1902-1982), started out as one of Mack Sennett's Bathing Beauties. After the success of Neighbors, Keaton cast Fox in several more of his shorts, including his personal favorite Hard Luck (1921). In 1924 she married Darryl F. Zanuck and retired from the screen shortly afterwards.

Joe Roberts (1871-1923), who plays the girl's hulking father, was a longtime Keaton family friend and appeared in a number of Keaton's shorts, as well as the features Three Ages (1923) and Our Hospitality (1923). Joe Keaton plays his father in the film. Although the real-life father and son had strained relations due to Joe Keaton's alcoholism and abusive behavior, Keaton cast him in several of his shorts and features over the years.

When Neighbors was released, one critic noted that the film "is so laugh provoking that the Board of Reviews and other 'professionals' in the Metro projection room voiced their appreciation in one long continuous yell."

Producer: Joseph M. Schenck
Director: Edward F. Cline, Buster Keaton
Screenplay: Edward F. Cline (writer); Buster Keaton (screenplay and story)
Cinematography: Elgin Lessley
Music: Robert Israel (1995)
Cast: Buster Keaton (The Boy), Virginia Fox (The Girl), Joe Roberts (Her Father), Joe Keaton (His Father), Edward F. Cline (The Cop), James Duffy (The Judge), The Flying Escalantes (Themselves).

by James Steffen


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