The GOAT (1921)
“The Goat” is a silent short film directed by and starring comedy legend Buster Keaton, released in 1921.
Known for its slapstick humor and inventive gags, the film exemplifies Keaton’s comedic genius during the silent film era.
The story follows Buster Keaton, who portrays a young man down on his luck and unable to find employment. As he walks the streets in search of a job, he encounters a man who believes he is offering a $1,000 reward for the capture of a notorious criminal known as “The Goat.” Keaton’s character is unaware of the misunderstanding and accepts the man’s money, thinking it’s a gift.
Soon, Keaton’s character’s life takes an unexpected turn as he becomes a fugitive mistakenly believed to be “The Goat.” This leads to a series of hilarious misadventures and encounters with the police. Keaton’s physical comedy shines as he tries to evade the authorities, leading to numerous comedic situations.
As the plot unfolds, Keaton finds himself in increasingly absurd predicaments, from being pursued by the police to becoming entangled in a dangerous construction site accident. The film’s humor relies on visual gags and Keaton’s exceptional timing and agility.
“The Goat” is celebrated for its innovative use of practical effects and stunt work, as Keaton’s character navigates these perilous situations with deadpan humor. The film’s climax takes place on a skyscraper under construction, showcasing Keaton’s fearlessness in performing daring stunts.
The film also features Keaton’s signature deadpan expression, which became one of his defining comedic attributes. Throughout “The Goat,” Keaton’s character maintains a stoic demeanor, even in the face of chaotic and absurd situations, creating a stark contrast that enhances the comedic impact of the film.
“The Goat” is a classic example of Buster Keaton’s contribution to the silent film era. It demonstrates his unmatched talent for physical comedy, clever storytelling, and creative filmmaking techniques. The film’s enduring popularity lies in Keaton’s ability to generate laughter without the need for dialogue, making it accessible and entertaining to audiences of all backgrounds and languages.
Release Date: May 15th, 1921
Main Cast Members
Buster Keaton (The Goat)
Virginia Fox (The Police Chief’s Daughter)
Joe Roberts (Police Chief)
Malcolm St. Clair (Dead Shot Dan)
Edward F. Cline (Cop by Telephone Pole)