Mixed Magic

Length: Two reels
Release date: November 20, 1936
An Educational Pictures Production
Presented by: E.W. Hammons
Distributed by: 20th Century-Fox
Producer: E.H. Allen
Director: Raymond Kane
Story: Arthur Jarrett and Marcy Klauber
Photography: George Webber

Buster Keaton: Magician's Assistant
Marlyn Stuart: Magician's Other Assistant
Eddie Lambert: The Great Spumoni
With: Eddie Hall, Jimmie Fox, Walter Fenner, Pass Le Noir, and Harry Myers

At a local circus/fair, we see hungry, down-on-his-luck Elmer “Happy” Butterworth admiring posters of the female assistant the great Spumoni, a local magician. At a cafeteria, he hides steak, hard-boiled eggs, and other goodies under a pile of plain-looking spaghetti, fooling the cashier into charging him a dime. He sees Spumoni and his assistant at a nearby table. Spumoni has just fired his other assistant Hector, who vows revenge. Elmer goes over, produces the steak and eggs by “magic”, and gets himself a job as Spumoni’s other assistant – he’ll be near the girl, who doesn’t love Spumoni, at last.

Spumoni’s first show with Elmer doesn’t go well, because not only does Elmer not know a lick about stage magic, but also is Hector trying to sabotage the act. The fair manager gets upset, and tells Spumoni to do a finale. During this, Hector tries kidnapping the girl by hoisting her up to the upper tiers of the stage. Elmer knocks Hector (and Spumoni) out with sandbags, gets the girl, and swings on the rope with her across the stage and into a poster. She tells him she loves him and asks him to kiss her. Elmer, close to passing out, kisses the poster he saw at the beginning of the film instead. — Nick Ciccone