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* TheDitz: Elmer is a bumbling dimwit, ruining multiple film shoots, unable to understand instructions to recite a single line of dialogue.

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* TheDitz: Elmer is a bumbling dimwit, ruining multiple film shoots, unable to understand instructions to recite a single line of dialogue. One of the reasons this film is unpopular among latter-day Keaton fans is his dumb character here contrasting poorly with the can-do problem solvers of his silent film days.

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There was a Spanish-language remake, ''Estrellados'', that was shot immediately after this one, as was common practice for a little while in the early talkie days. Keaton learned his part phonetically.


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* RemakeCameo: Page and Montgomery have cameos as themselves in ''Estrellados''.

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* LadykillerInLove: Larry. After his attempt at sex with Elvira goes awry, he's embarrassed, and he pursues her more sincerely.

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[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/23hoberman_master1050.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:The "sad clown" makeup is only too appropriate.]]

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''Free and Easy'' is a 1930 Creator/MetroGoldwynMayer comedy directed by Edward Sedgwick, starring Creator/BusterKeaton, Anita Page, and Creator/RobertMontgomery.

Elvira Plunkett (Page), beauty queen and the pride of Gopher City, Kansas, wins a contest and goes off to Hollywood to become an actress. With her is her overbearing stage mom (Trixie Friganza) and her bumbling friend and manager, Elmer J. Butts (Keaton). On the train to Hollywood, they meet a Hollywood movie star, Larry Mitchell (Montgomery) who is enchanted with the lovely Elvira. This is greatly upsetting to Elmer, who loves Elvira, although she doesn't know it.

Elvira actually isn't all that interested in being a movie actress, but Larry gets her into MGM. More surprisingly, he eventually gets Elmer a movie contract, despite Elmer horribly botching his lines in his first screen test. Eventualy, Elmer becomes a movie star of his own--but will he win Elvira's hand?

''Free and Easy'' was Keaton's talking film debut. It actually did well at the box office, even though MGM had little idea of how to translate Keaton's talent to talking pictures. However, in hindsight it's seen as the beginning of Keaton's disastrous career slide that saw him eventually fired from MGM in 1933, with his starring film career over for good.

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!!Tropes:

* AsHimself: Fred Niblo, a real MGM director, has a supporting part as Fred Niblo, an MGM director who is driven to distraction by Elmer's bumbling incompetence as a performer.
* BadBadActing: Keaton, as Elmer, being hopelessly incompetent as a dramatic actor. Eventually he gets hired as a comedy star.
* BedlahBabe: Elmer's film seems to have some vaguely Arab setting, so Mimi, the girl he's paired up with, is dressed this way.
* TheCameo: Several MGM stars and directors make cameos--Jackie Coogan, William Haines, Creator/CecilBDeMille, Dorothy Sebastian, Karl Dane, and Creator/LionelBarrymore. Part of the HarsherInHindsight nature of this film is how many careers went south right after this movie. William Haines, who was gay, was soon canned by MGM after he refused to marry TheBeard; he spent the rest of his life as an interior decorator. Karl Dane was fired by MGM not long after this due to his thick Danish accent; he was unemployed and completely broke by the time he killed himself in 1934.
* CannotSpitItOut: Elmer never can bring himself to say that he loves Elvira, despite having multiple chances to do so. This eventually ends with him losing her.
* DidNotGetTheGirl: Elmer, as Elvira accepts Larry's proposal. This is a first in the Buster Keaton filmography, as he always got the girl in his silent days, even if he didn't seem particularly interested in the girl.
* TheDitz: Elmer is a bumbling dimwit, ruining multiple film shoots, unable to understand instructions to recite a single line of dialogue.
* DownerEnding: Elmer doesn't get the girl, and is left AloneInACrowd on the film set.
* EmbarrassingLastName: Elmer Butts.
* GrievousBottleyHarm: Ma Plunkett crashes a vase over Larry's head after being brought to Larry's attempted seduction of Elvira.
* HaveAGayOldTime: "I suppose you make violent love to every girl you meet."
* JustFriends: Elmer and Elvira, much to his displeasure.
* LoveInterest: Anita Page has little to do in this movie as Elvira has hardly any detail to her character other than being the attractive Love Interest for both Larry and Elmer. She doesn't even get to do any performing, as her experience on the MGM set amounts to watching Larry and Elmer performing.
* LoveTriangle: Elmer and Larry, rivals for Elvira.
* ObliviousToLove: Elvira never does catch on that Elmer is in love with her.
* OneDialogueTwoConversations: After getting hired as a comedy star, Elmer tries to confess his feelings to Elvira. But since he CannotSpitItOut he resorts to awkward circumlocutions--"What would you say if a certain movie star proposed to you?"--and Elvira thinks that Elmer is being TheMatchmaker on Larry's behalf.
* PlungerDetonator: In use on Karl Dane and Dorothy Sebastian's film set; Elmer puts his foot on it and blows up the charge, ruining the shot.
* RepeatAfterMe: A long sequence between Elmer and Fred Niblo, in which Niblo's instructions--"Listen, say it after me, ''The queen has swooned''"--result in this trope.
* StageMom: Domineering Ma Plunkett, determined to make her daughter a movie star when Elvira isn't that interested.
* TitleDrop: "Free and Easy" is a musical number Elmer performs in towards the end.

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