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Three Ages

(silent 1923 b 63')

En: 6 Ed: 5

Slight and heavy suitors compete for a young woman during the stone age, in an ancient Rome, and in a modern city.

Prehistoric boy (Buster Keaton) is on a dinosaur while the villain (Wallace Beery) rides an elephant. They pull the girl (Margaret Leahy) in opposite directions. Her father (Joe Roberts) hits the boy with a club, and he consults a fortune teller.

In Rome the soldiers boy and villain ride chariots. Boy comes between the girl and the villain, but her father says that the villain outranks the boy, who goes to a soothsayer.

In the present age of speed, need, and greed the boy and the villain drive cars. Boy calls the villain to a phone and talks with the girl. Her father yields to her mother (Lillian Lawrence), who looks at their bank books and chooses the villain.

The boy plays golf with a club and tries to make the caveman villain jealous.

In Rome the boy plays the lyre and wrestles another girl.

In the city the villain takes the girl to a nightclub. The boy sits alone and moves by the girl, who applies eye makeup. He shaves, but the villain makes him move. The boy sends a note to the girl, but the villain reads it and hits him.

The stone-age boy has to fight the villain with clubs. He puts a rock in his club and knocks down the villain, who has the boy dragged by an elephant.

It snows in Rome, and the villain challenges the boy to a chariot race. The boy makes his chariot into a dog sled, and he replaces a dog with another from the trunk. He dangles a cat in front of the dogs and wins. The boy is dropped into a cell with a lion.

In a football game the boy is knocked out and plays cowardly, but he catches a pass and runs for a touchdown to win. In the locker room the villain puts a flask in his coat, and a cop arrests the boy.

Prehistoric boy returns with the elephant and takes the girl. The men throw rocks at each other. The boy uses a club on them and drags off the girl.

In Rome the villain has the girl taken to his domicile. The boy gives the lion a manicure. Her father pulls him out of the cell. The boy runs to rescue the girl from the villain.

At the police station the boy learns that the villain is a bigamist and a forger. The boy escapes, and the police chase him. At the wedding the boy leaves with the girl in a car and shows her the wanted poster. She kisses him, and he takes her back to the church.

The boy and girl come out of a cave with ten children. In Rome they have five children. In the city they walk their dog.

This farce spoofs D. W. Griffith's Intolerance by shifting back and forth from three stories in different eras, showing that love is similar in all cultures.

Copyright © 2006 by Sanderson Beck

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