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Moonshine

Length: Two reels
Presented by: Comique Film Corporation
Distribution: Paramount Pictures
Producer: Joseph M. Schenck
Director: Roscoe Arbuckle
Scenario: Roscoe Arbuckle
Editor: Herbert Warren
Photography: George Peters

Cast:
Roscoe Arbuckle: Chief Revenuer
Buster Keaton: Assistant Revenuer
Al St. John: Mountain Man
Alice Lake: Grew’s Daughter
Charles Dudley: Jud Grew
Also: Joe Bordeau

 

On the perilous peaks of the Virginia hills, Arbuckle and Keaton encounter bootleggers. The moonshiners check their lair, which is concealed behind a bush. The chief bootlegger, Jud Grew, shoots a revenuer. Arbuckle, the chief revenuer, shows up in a car with his lieutenant – Keaton – and a troop of assistants. The assistants hide while Arbuckle and Keaton conduct a search, which they begin by falling off of a bluff. To clean the dirt off of Keaton, Arbuckle dunks him in the river and hangs him up to dry on a tree. Meanwhile, Grew’s daughter tussles first with her would-be-suitor St. John, then with her father. Arbuckle saves Grew and tosses Lake into the river. Because this is only a two-reeler, she falls in love with him immediately. St. John breaks up their embrace with his gun.

Dry, Keaton climbs out of the tree. He overhears the bootleggers at their lair. Arbuckle comes along and Keaton shows it to him. They go in and chug the brew, just to make sure it’s moonshine. The bootleggers catch them. Keaton runs out, but Arbuckle is taken prisoner. They march him to the Grew cabin and lock him in the well-appointed cellar. Later, the bootleggers dress for dinner in tuxedos. Lake serves Arbuckle, and warns him he’s in danger. She supplies a gun. Stealing an idea from The Count of Monte Cristo, he plays dead by covering his face in ketchup and shooting the gun. The bootleggers haul him out and dump him into the river. He floats away and gets out on a bank near Keaton. They extras are at lunch, so they decide to do the explosion scene. The bootleggers recapture Arbuckle, take him back to the cabin, tie him up, and put a can of gunpowder with a lit fuse under him. The cabin blows up, then the film reverses and it reassembles itself. Arbuckle comes out and the bootleggers draw their guns. Keaton mows them down. St. John shoots and misses Arbuckle. Arbuckle bends his gun and shoot St. John around the cabin’s corner. Grew presents Lake to Arbuckle for his bravery, but Arbuckle remembers that he’s already married, so he gives her to Keaton. Arbuckle leaves. — Lisle Foote