Buster Keaton, Eddie Cline

Scen.: Buster Keaton, Eddie Cline. F.: Elgin Lessley. Int.: Buster Keaton (giovane laureato in botanica scelto come ingegnere), Virginia Fox (giovane donna), Joe Roberts (preside di facoltà e padre della giovane). Prod.: Joseph M. Schenck per Buster Keaton Productions. DCP. Bn.

T. it.: Italian title. T. int.: International title. T. alt.: Alternative title. Sog.: Story. Scen.: Screenplay. F.: Cinematography. M.: Editing. Scgf.: Set Design. Mus.: Music. Int.: Cast. Prod.: Production Company. L.: Length. D.: Running Time. f/s: Frames per second. Bn.: Black e White. Col.: Color. Da: Print source

Film Notes

Buster Keaton was a great visionary architect. In every corner of the homes he conceived, lurks a limitless imagination as well as a lucid and implacable vision of America and its paradoxes. Whereas One Week ridiculed the mass production of prefabricated houses – extremely popular since the 1910s – available from Sears Modern Homes catalogue and shipped by mail, The Electric House looks like an extension of the machine-house (as Deleuze defined it) of The Scarecrow, a one-room full of gears in which each piece is combined with (and complicated by) another. This time the target of Keaton’s genius is technological progress, the quintessential American home extensively equipped with facilities and amenities: a state-of-the-art plumbing system, electricity in all rooms and an ultra-modern kitchen. But also escalators, electric food conveyors, a pool-emptying device and other appliances. However, the system does not last long, and the apparently benign and super-functional domestic space begins to revolt, transforming the home-owner’s bourgeois dream into a tangle of crazy mechanisms that cannot be controlled by humans.

Cecilia Cenciarelli


For the restoration of The Electric House eight elements –preserved by the Cohen Film Collection – were inspected, digitised and compared. The reconstruction used a fourth generation dupe negative (CO_COLU_DN_RR593) and a third generation dupe positive (CO_COLU_DP_BND40).

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Restored in 2021 by Cineteca di Bologna in collaboration with Cohen Film Collection at L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory