Three On A Limb

Length: Two reels
Release date: January 3, 1936
An Educational Pictures Production
Presented by: E.W. Hammons
Distributed by: 20th Century-Fox
Director: Charles Lamont
Story: Vernon Smith
Photography: Gus Peterson

Buster Keaton: Elmer Brown
Lona Andre: The Carhop
Harold Goodwin: Her Patrolman Boyfriend
Grant Withers: Oscar
With: Barbara Bedford, John Ince, Fern Emmett, and Phylis Crane

In this drawing-room comedy, boy-scout (?) Elmer Brown arrives at a burger stand and clumsily causes his license plate to be ripped off and food to be spilled, interfering with a waitress’s work. Her cop boyfriend Homer arrives at the scene to give Elmer a ticket, but she intervenes and asks Elmer to drive her home. As he pulls out, he runs over Homer’s motorcycle. As we get to her apartment, we’re told the girl’s mother wants her to marry “Oscar” and her father “Homer”, but she doesn’t like either one. So she decides to introduce Elmer to mom and dad instead. They are not impressed – his fire-building skills set fire to the rug and his use of a fire-hose douses the hallway.

Homer stops by, and the girl’s father tricks Elmer into getting the justice of the peace, with the goal of marrying Homer to his daughter. Meanwhile, we meet Oscar and see that his girlfriend has just found out that he’s seeing another girl. She fights with him below the apartment complex. Elmer arrives back with the justice of the peace, and Homer locks him in the closet. However, Elmer escapes, slides down the fire-escape (suspending Oscar’s ex a la “Day Dreams”), and makes friends with Oscar. Elmer comes back, only to be thrown down the stairs by Homer. Oscar goes in to help, not realizing who the girl is until he gets there. He punches out Homer and throws Elmer out the window. Elmer sets Oscar’s girlfriend free, and she climbs up to the apartment. A fight ensues. Elmer and the girl manage to escape the fray and get the justice to marry them before he passes out. — Nick Ciccone