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Sidewalks of New York

(1931 b 74')

En: 5 Ed: 4

A landlord falls in love with a tenant and tries to keep her brother out of trouble by providing a gym and putting on a play.

Poggie (Cliff Edwards) tries to collect rent for Harmon, but kids throw bricks into windows. The boys' baseball game turns into a brawl. Harmon (Buster Keaton) can't stop it, and Margie (Anita Page) hits him. Harmon falls in love with her at first sight. Butch (Frank Rowan) gives Clipper (Norman Phillips Jr.) $5. Harmon and Poggie go to court in an armored truck. After much slapstick Harmon testifies he was attacked by Clipper until he learns that Clipper is Margie's brother. The judge fines Harmon $100 for disturbing the court. Margie reprimands Clipper and blames Butch. Clipper slaps her, and Harmon intervenes. He offers to give Clipper a place to play. Harmon buys her a flower, and she apologizes.

Harmon dedicates his new gym for boys; but Clipper warns kids not to go there. Harmon takes the baseball and leads boys to the gym. Margie tells them he is their friend, and Harmon kisses her as kids play. To keep them from leaving, Margie has Harmon wrestle Poggie. Harmon wrestles an Asian boy, who keeps throwing him down. Poggie gets Mulvaney (Sid Saylor) so that Harmon can knock him out in a boxing match; but Butch gives Mulvaney $50 to knock out Harmon. After several gags Harmon knocks out Mulvaney.

Butch puts a dress on Clipper for stick-ups. Harmon and Margie prepare a birthday cake for Clipper, who takes a watch and slips out. Margie cries, and Harmon tries to carve the duck. A policeman brings in Clipper with the watch; but Harmon says he gave it to him. Harmon is shy about proposing; so Poggie records him reading song titles. Harmon shows Margie his mansion and plays the record. Butch and Clipper dressed as a blonde woman commit robberies. Poggie offers to get Clipper away from Butch so Harmon can marry Margie. Harmon thinks Clipper was undressing a blonde in a car. Clipper tells Butch he shoots Harmon with blanks in the show. Butch threatens Clipper to make him shoot Harmon. In the play Harmon plays Sonia and gives Duke Poggie an elixir of love, and the Duke pulls her dress off. Clipper refuses to shoot Harmon and misses. Butch tells Clipper to get ready for a job, but Clipper explains to Margie and runs out. Butch takes Harmon in Clipper's disguise to kill Harmon. Butch sees it is Harmon, but Harmon removed the bullets. Butch's gang arrives. Clipper escapes and gets his friends to save Harmon, who is besieged in his room and chased. The kids rush in and capture the gangsters. Harmon uses judo on Butch and Margie.

Keaton's sight gags highlight this comedy whose theme suggests that love might stimulate the rich to help poor youth so they won't commit crimes.

Copyright © 2000 by Sanderson Beck

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