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Parlor, Bedroom and Bath

Release date: February 28, 1931
Length: 73 minutes
A Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Production
Distributed by: M-G-M
Producer/Director: Edward Sedgwick
Adaptation: Richard Schayer and Robert E. Hopkins, from the play by Charles W. Bell and Mark Swan
Dialogue Continuity: Richard Schayer
Additional Dialogue: Robert E. Hopkins
Photography: Leonard Smith
Editor: William LeVanway
Art Director: Cedric Gibbons
Recording Engineer: Karl Zint
Costumes: Rene Hubert

Cast:
Buster Keaton: Reginald Irving
Charlotte Greenwood: Polly Hathaway
Reginald Denny: Jeffery “Jeff” Haywood
Dorothy Christy: Angelica “Angie” Embry
Joan Peers: Nita Leslie
Sally Eilers: Virginia “Ginny” Embry
Cliff Edwards: Bellhop
Natalie Moorhead: Leila Crofton
Edward Brophy: Detective
Walter Merrill: Frederick Leslie
Sidney Bracy: Butler

 

Poolside, Jeff once again asks Ginny to marry him. She won’t until her older sister Angie weds — she wouldn’t want people calling her an old maid. Angie is waiting for a man who can make her jealous. Meanwhile, Fred tells his wife Nita that he must leave on business. She protests and threatens to take up with someone else. He gets angry. On the sidewalk by the house, Reggie tries to tack a sign on a pole, but the sight of Angie’s beauty distracts him and he wanders into the road, where Jeff hits him with his car. He takes the unconscious Reggie home.

A doctor examines Reggie and orders quiet and rest. Angie volunteers to be his nurse because he has such soulful eyes. Jeff gets an idea: Reggie can marry Angie. He tells Angie that the injured man is the worst boudoir snake in captivity, and she becomes intrigued. Later, while Angie feeds Reggie porridge, a series of women come in to coo over and remonstrate with him. Angie kicks them out and Jeff pays them for their time as they leave. Reggie escapes through the French doors and Jeff offers $50 to the man who catches him. He’s soon tackled, and after a second escape attempt he’s re-installed into bed.

A few days later, Leila talks outside with Jeff, Ginny, and Nita. She denies the report in Social Gossip that she had a midnight dinner with Reggie, who is now engaged to Angie. Jeff goes inside to Reggie, who wants to tell Angie that he’s not the man she thinks he is. When she comes in, he does (despite Jeff’s kicks); she doesn’t believe him. Back outside, Fred comes to tell Nita that he’s leaving on business, and she gets angry. Inside, Leila confronts Reggie with the Social Gossip, and he admits that he really isn’t wicked. Angie overhears and dumps him. To salvage the situation, Jeff plans for Reggie to have a rendezvous with a woman at the Seaside Hotel. He sends Reggie up to pack, and convinces his friend Polly to be the woman. Meanwhile, Nita and Fred argue once again, and as he leaves she threatens to go off with another man. Reggie happens by, and she takes him to her car. Angie sees them go, and she tells Fred, who says he’ll murder him.

As Reggie and Nita drive, the back wheel falls off. The car comes to rest on train tracks. A train approaches. He pulls her out, but while the first train misses it, the second one doesn’t. On a muddy road, they hitch a ride on a hay wagon.

Bedraggled, they arrive in the rain at the Seaside Hotel. After they register as John Smith and wife, and slide around the lobby on the water they dripped, they go upstairs and change their wet clothes for the sleepwear they find in the suitcase. The bellhop brings lobster and wine, and Reggie proceeds to follow Jeff’s instructions: he puts Nita on his knee and kisses her. She runs away to the bedroom.

Polly arrives and tells him she was his intended. She teaches him what lovers do: pull and push their partner while saying “Oh my darling! I love you madly! I cannot live without you! You must never leave me!” followed by a kiss/wrestling match. He performs with the passion of an infuriated clam, and the bellhop catches them. She leaves to change into her pajamas.

Thunder drives Nita into the parlor, and Reggie does the lover’s routine with her. The bellhop catches them. Jeff comes in and tells him he has the wrong girl – Fred will kill him. Nita goes to the bedroom. Leila comes in, and tells Nita to get dressed and leave. Reggie does the routine with her, and the bellhop catches him again. Reggie jumps on her, and Angie and Ginny walk in. Then Polly comes in, and does a jilted lover’s spiel. Fred arrives and finds Nita in the bedroom, still in her negligee. He shoots at Reggie and Polly falls down melodramatically. Everyone runs out, but Fred stops Reggie, pushes him back, tosses the gun into the room and locks the door. Polly opens her eyes. Reggie throws the gun out the window, and it hits the police below, who go in to investigate. They stop the others from leaving, and they all go into the room. Fred takes the policeman’s gun and chases Reggie and Polly throughout the hotel, with the police following him. Reggie and Polly lose them by hiding behind a pole, and they go back up to the hotel room. She tells him that she taught him how to treat a woman, and he should go in. He enters the sitting room, just as Angie says she wouldn’t marry him if her were the last man on Earth. Determinedly, he pushes Jeff and Ginny into the bedroom, and closes the door. He does the lover’s routine with Angie, and as they roll around the floor in a kiss, the bellhop catches them. — Lisle Foote