small house gone awry, in hollywood

Back in the 1920s, Buster Keaton was known for making and starring in many silent movies. His classic called One Week pays homage to small kit houses and shows what happens when you are unprepared to build one.

Newlyweds receive a house kit with building directions, and don’t look too thrilled at the work ahead. (Sales on Film)

Newlyweds receive a house kit with building directions, and don’t look too thrilled at the work ahead. (Sales on Film)

Buster Keaton and Sybil Seely gamely get to work, creating a house that’s a beautiful mess. Look at the ill-fitting roof, windows and porch construction. On the side of the house, notice the second-floor door leading to open air.

Wonder where we went wrong? the newlyweds take a look at their their topsy-turvy house construction. (Sales on Film)

Wonder where we went wrong? The newlyweds take a look at their topsy-turvy house construction. (Sales on Film)

In another twist, the couple discovers they built on the wrong property. Now the home must be relocated to their own land. Unfortunately, this relocation ends in disaster and the home is reduced to rubble.

Newlyweds start moving their home, which avoids one train but gets plowed down by a second one. (Sales on Film)

Newlyweds start moving their home, which avoids one train but gets plowed down by a second one. (Sales on Film)

Some house lessons learned:  Understand your limits. Get good plans. Know the materials used. Build on land you own. Find a builder. Beware of hurricanes. Same for trains.

Tiny and small houses make great comic fodder in the silent film era, and you must check out this classic.  See One Week on Fandor (paid stream) or Amazon (DVD set) — and prepare to laugh a lot.

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