The Timid Young Man

Length: Two reels
Release date: October 25, 1935
An Educational Pictures Production
Presented by: E.W. Hammons
Distributed by: 20th Century-Fox
Producer: Mack Sennett
Director: Mack Sennett
Photography: Dwight Warren
Sound: Karl Zint

Buster Keaton: Milton
Lona Andre: A Pretty Hitchhiker
Stanley J. Sandford: A Motorist
Kitty McHugh: Milton's Former Girlfriend
With: Harry Bowen

In the only Keaton film directed by Mack Sennett, we see Keaton in a slight remake of “Sugar Daddies.” A girl named Helen who’s been forced to marry a rich count flees the wedding. Meanwhile, rich playboy Milton had proposed to a sharp floozy the previous night while completely drunk. When he realizes what he did, he flees to the mountains, running into Helen. They have one thing in common: They both hate members of the opposite sex.

Along the way, they accidentally bump into tough driver Mortimer and push his car off the road. He swears to get them. Later, Milton and Helen set up a small campsite. To avoid bungling things up, Milton goes fishing. Meanwhile, the floozy from before arrives in the area looking for Milton, and Mortimer has found Helen’s campsite. When Milton comes back with fish (that he caught with Mexican jumping beans), the two make Mortimer a meal, but Mortimer keeps making moves on Helen. Buster gives Mortimer a salad coated with gasoline, but Mortimer eats it anyway.

They trick Mortimer into removing his clothes for a lake-swim in order to get the key, but this backfires. Milton runs into the floozy, who goes to get the key to Mortimer’s car from him, but Milton realizes Mortimer put it in Milton’s own suit. He gets the car, sees that the tight-suit-sporting Helen is being accosted by other drivers, pushes them out of the way, picks her up, and drives off. They both conclude that they still hate members of the opposite sex before giving each other a hug. — Nick Ciccone