The Blacksmith

The Blacksmith (1922) -- Newly discovered Peña-Bromberg version!

The film begins by illustrating some lines from Longfellow's "Village Blacksmith," except the spreading chestnut tree is a palm and Keaton's brawny muscle is a balloon. While Keaton pounds horseshoes and makes his breakfast, his boss (Joe Roberts) prepares for work. Roberts catches him, and Keaton smashes his eggs on his anvil. He burns both feet on a hot horseshoe and sticks them in the cooling tub. Roberts asks for a hammer and Keaton brings it, but a large magnet over the door picks it up. Another hammer, a wagon wheel, and the sheriff's gun and badge (he comes over to investigate) go up, and Roberts becomes increasingly angry. Keaton pushes it all off on top of the now fighting men, and Roberts gets hauled off to jail.

Customers arrive. First Virginia Fox brings in a white horse for shoes and Keaton acts like a salesman for human. Leaving the horse, Buster goes for a ride outside in his car. Meanwhile, Joe is released from jail, only to be run over by Buster in his car! Getting up, Joe chases Buster to various places, only to be trapped in a locked building. Meanwhile, Buster sees Fox and proposes, but is turned down.

Returning to the Blacksmith's garage, a saddlesore woman describes her problem; Keaton sells her a saddle shock absorber. After the car he's fixing crashes through the floor, a man with a beloved white auto drives in. It emerges almost entirely totaled. All of Keaton's newly acquired enemies -- including Roberts -- come after him, so he runs away on a train with the now accepting Fox. A train goes off its tracks, but it's only a model train that Keaton set up for his baby son.

— Lisle Foote & David B. Pearson