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Film: One Week
Where's Extreme Makeover Home Edition when you need them?

The wedding bells have such a sweet sound but such a sour echo.
opening intertitle

One Week is an 1920 short film starring Buster Keaton and Sybil Seely as newlyweds who receive a DIY portable house as a wedding gift. They spend a week assembling it with disastrous results thanks to sabotage by a rejected suitor, as well as their own hilarious ineptness.

This film is in the public domain and can be viewed in its entirety at Google Video.

"One Week" provides examples of:

  • Agony of the Feet: Sybil stamps her foot ... onto her other foot, and makes the classic one-foot hopping exit.
  • Amusing Injuries
  • Anvil On Head: Buster is repeatedly flattened by a piano.
  • Bizarrchitecture: The weird, twisted house that Buster builds after the numbers are changed.
  • Bookcase Passage
    • An entire wall of the house pivots around a horizontal beam, causing Buster, who'd been perched above a second-story window, and Sybil, who was seated on the sill of a first-story window, to change places.
    • The kitchen sink is on a rotating wall.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall / Film the Hand: Buster's wife is taking a bath when she drops the soap out of the bathtub. A hand then covers the camera while she retrieves the soap. After she's back in the tub, the hand goes away, and she grins at the camera.
  • By Wall That Is Holey: Preceded by a vertical bookcase passage (see above).
  • Chase Scene: Unusually brief for a Keaton film.
  • Doom It Yourself: I'm pretty sure any halfway competent architect or construction foreman would have realized there was a problem.
  • Exploding Calendar: Counting the days in the single week that Buster spends building the house.
  • Foreshadowing
  • From Bad to Worse: On top of everything else, they built the house on the wrong lot.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Hank, who changes the numbers on their crates and thus sabotages the house, because he wanted Buster's girl.
  • Irony: The title on the sheet music placed on the piano, which has just made a crater in the floor? "The End of a Perfect Day."
  • Look Both Ways: Buster and Sybil sigh with relief when the oncoming train takes parallel tracks and narrowly misses their house. Then a train coming from the other way smashes the house to kindling.
  • Love Triangle: Buster, Sybil, and "Handy Hank."
  • Moment Killer: The newlyweds' attempts to kiss in the backseat of a car are thwarted because the driver, Hank, keeps leering at them.
  • Outside Ride: To get away from moment killer Hank, the newlyweds switch cars — in mid-drive. Buster has a little trouble.
  • Artistic License - Physics
  • Railroad Tracks of Doom: At the end, Buster finds out that he built the house on the wrong lot and has to move it. It ends up getting stuck on railroad tracks while a train is coming.
  • Read the Freaking Manual: Averted. The newlyweds did read the directions, but the parts had been renumbered.
  • Shout-Out: Keaton claimed the title was a reference to the 1907 novel Three Weeks, by Elinor Glyn.
  • Six Is Nine: After all their labor building the house, they find out that the Lot 99 sign actually meant Lot 66, so they have to move the house.
  • Thirteen Is Unlucky: The housewarming party is on Friday the 13th.
  • Trash the Set: In the last scene, the house is demolished by a train.

Neighbors (1920)Films of the 1920sThe Paleface
White Fawns DevotionNational Film RegistryThe Invisible Man

alternative title(s): One Week
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