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Film / Convict 13

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In this 1920 short, Buster Keaton's golf game coincides with the hunt for an escaped prisoner. The convict just happens to find Buster right after he's knocked himself out, and takes the opportunity to exchange clothes with our hero. Hilarity Ensues.

This film provides examples of:

  • All Just a Dream: It turns out the whole prison story was a dream of Buster's after he knocked himself out with a golf ball.
  • Bavarian Fire Drill: Buster gets the guards marching in formation, pulls an about face, and takes off.
  • Bizarre and Improbable Golf Game: Trying to hit the ball out of a lake while standing on a raft...and then diving in for fish to find out which fish swallowed the golf ball.
  • Black Comedy
    The Warden: [to the watching prisoners after Buster survives hanging] "Sorry, boys. We'll fix it and tomorrow we'll hang two of you to make up for this."
  • Chase Scene: A horde of Lemming Cops chase Buster all over town after he finds himself in the prisoner's clothes.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: Buster switches clothes with a guard after accidentally knocking the guard out.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Buster, repeatedly.
    • Not to mention the police since they easily mistake Buster for the real escaped convict who doesn't even look like him.
  • Fainting: Buster does this when he's brought to the scaffold.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: Stands out most when the guards go through a doorway one at a time, all headed straight for the giant prisoner who knocks each one of them out.
  • Great Escape: Presumed motive for the prison riot
  • Heart Beats out of Chest: This happens to Buster out of panic when he's facing a scary giant of a prisoner.
  • Human Ladder: Buster knocks out the guy forming the bottom rung, foiling an escape.
  • Improvised Weapon
  • Institutional Apparel: An escaped convict finds an unconscious Buster and switches out his striped prison uniform for Buster's clothes.
  • Lemming Cops: Rather, lemming guards.
  • Literal Ass-Kicking
  • Look Behind You
  • Loves Me Not: Buster, impractically, stops to do this while he is on the run from police.
  • Mistaken Identity: Buster is mistaken for a convicted criminal after waking in the criminal's clothes.
  • Moment Killer: Buster's declaration of love and/or marriage proposal is interrupted by a squad of guards marching him to the gallows.
  • Nameless Narrative: Not that this wasn't uncommon in the silent era.
  • Police Are Useless: Easily fall for the prisoner switching clothes with Buster, who by the way doesn't even look like him.
  • Please Spare Him, My Liege!: Possibly. It's unclear if the girl is pleading for Buster's life or telling the warden that they have the wrong man.
  • Prison: After escaping all the guards, Buster winds up accidentally running into the prison.
  • Punched Across the Room: The giant prisoner does this to poor Buster.
  • Tap on the Head: Dozens.
  • 13 Is Unlucky: Maybe Convict 12 wouldn't have been scheduled to hang.