This lesser Buster Keaton film casts him as a college professor whose bookish life is jump started by an inheritance. Hopping a train to find adventure, he falls in with a traveling show filled with pretty girls of dubious talent and offers up his inheritance to finance their Broadway opening.
Jimmy Durante co-stars as a member of the troupe. His appeal has always escaped me and pairing him with Keaton is a version of comic oil and water. Though Durante’s brashness is toned down a bit here, his mugging to the audience style is the polar opposite of Keaton’s style. Past his prime by 1932, Keaton was relegated once again to pratfalls, playing the bumbling stumbling dupe, a far cry from the charm of his trademark clever sight gags. Filled with forgettable performances and musical numbers, there are far better classic backstage musicals than Speak Easily, so I’d really only recommend this for Keaton fans. [** out of 5]