Pardon My Berth Marks

Length: Two reels
Release date: March 22, 1940
A Columbia Pictures Production
Producer: Jules White
Director: Jules White
Script: Clyde Bruckman
Photography: Benjamin Kline

Buster Keaton: Newspaper Copyboy
Vernon Dent: Newspaper Editor
Dorothy Appleby: Wealthy Society Woman
Richard Fiske: Her Husband
Bud Jamison: Train Conductor
Clarice: The Parrot
With: Dick Curtis, Eva McKenzie, and Billy Gilbert

At the last minute, the editor of The Chronicle hires klutzy office boy Elmer to follow recently divorced celebrity Mary Christman on a train. A drunk throws out a “Just Married” sign and it lands on Elmer’s behind, so the train passengers mistake him and Mary to be, well, married. Meanwhile, Ted Christman, who’s really a gangster (and not a socialite as Mary first thought) manages to get on the train to get his wife back.

Elmer spends one quarter of the film trying to get into an upper-level berth and get undressed. Finally, Ted interrupts the proceedings and chases Elmer around the train. Elmer then knocks Ted out with a curtain pole, ties him up, and takes his picture. THIS is the story he’s going to report on. The work gets into the Chronicle and the editor congratulates Elmer. — Nick Ciccone