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The Passionate Plumber

(1932 b 74')

En: 5 Ed: 4

Adapted from a play by Frederick Lonsdale, a plumber plays a lover for a woman who wants to discourage a married man, but she can't make up her mind.

In Paris McCracken meets plumber Elmer Tuttle (Buster Keaton), who invented a spot-shot pistol. Patricia (Irene Purcell) tells her maid Albine (Molly Moran) that Tony (Gilbert Roland) is following her. McCracken brings Elmer to fix the shower. Tony barges in and finds Patricia, who blames him for not telling her he is married. Tony suspects naked Elmer is her lover and challenges him to a duel. Elmer chooses pistols but fires too soon. He walks behind Tony. When a hunter shoots, everyone runs. Elmer hits his head. Patricia runs to Tony and then to Elmer. Tony calls on Nina (Mona Maris), who kisses him. When Tony says that Patricia will not divorce him, Nina throws a tantrum.

At a casino Elmer offers his pistol to General Bouschay. Elmer can't get in without evening dress and pretends to shoot himself so they will put money in his pocket to avoid bad publicity. Patricia tells Tony she changed and has a lover. Elmer returns in tails. He unties a woman's dress strap and drops moth balls on the roulette wheel. Patricia pretends to love Elmer while Tony watches. Elmer sees General Bouschay and fires his pistol. He is chased out and steals a car, wrecking it. Elmer learns it was Patricia's car; but he can't pay for it. She asks him to act as her lover to get rid of Tony, who says he will kill Elmer. Patricia tells Tony she will go with him. Elmer comes in and kisses Patricia. Elmer and Tony slap each other, and Tony walks out.

Elmer brings Patricia breakfast, but she wants to get rid of him and gives him her dog to walk. Elmer gets in her car. Patricia goes to a beauty parlor and calls Tony to meet her at home; but Elmer is in the bathroom in her pajamas. Tony gets jealous and leaves. Elmer won't let Patricia leave, and she slaps him, feeling sorry about it. Aunt Charlotte (Maude Eburne) arrives. Patricia tries to undress, but Elmer stops her. Aunt Charlotte comes in and sees Elmer acting as Patricia's doctor. He uses his plumbing tools. Patricia escapes in Aunt Charlotte's dress. Elmer calls Tony to come over. Nina comes in, and Elmer suggests he make Tony jealous; but Patricia comes in. Patricia and Nina realize Tony is not married to the other. They hide as Tony comes in and tells Elmer he loves Patricia, not Nina. They come out and throw things at Tony. Nina asks
Tony if he loves her; Patricia asks Elmer; and McCracken asks Albine.

This bedroom farce satirizes the lover who tries to avoid marriage by lying he is married and a shy plumber wanting a pretty woman, who is not sure what she wants.

Copyright © 2002 by Sanderson Beck

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