One Week

Year: 1920
Country: USA
Running time: 20 mins
Censor Rating: G

Production co: Buster Keaton Productions
Producer: Joseph M. Schenck
Screenplay: Buster Keaton, Eddie Cline
Photography: Elgin Lessley

Buster Keaton
Sybil Sealey
Joe Roberts

1993 New Zealand Film Festival Live Cinema. Print courtesy of the Motion Picture, Broadcasting & Recorded Sound Division of the Library of Congress, Washington and the Rohauer Collection. Piano accompaniment by James Allington.
“This beautifully composed little film, an accelerating merry-go-round of catastrophes, may be reckoned Keaton’s first masterpiece. He is now clearly in his element, working out the sort of gags in which he delighted: an ingenious sequence in which he transfers from car to car in mid-traffic; an encounter with a disintegrating car; the most spectacular gag to this date with an express train. The whirlwind home, as well as providing some memorable Alice-in-Wonderland images, looks forward to Steamboat Bill, Jr.; and the great gag of the house-side which falls down about the hero, framing him in the window opening… later to be perfected in Steamboat Bill, Jr. is tried out here.” — David Robinson, Keaton

“The very first film Keaton released as a star, once his association with Arbuckle had ended, was, breath-takingly, an explosion of style. To sit through dozens and dozens of short comedies of the period and then to come upon One Week is to see the thing no man ever sees: a garden at the moment of blooming. There has been all that desperate effort at becoming: now self-possessed life has arrived, matter of fact about its beauty.” — Walter Kerr, The Silent Clowns