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Film / Hard Luck

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Goodbye, cruel world.

Fired from his job, jilted by his girl, down on his luck...
opening title

In this 1921 short, a despondent Buster Keaton decides to end it all, but then he gets a job, meets a girl (Virginia Fox) and his luck changes — or does it? Hilarity ensues.

"Hard Luck" can be seen at Google Video.

"Hard Luck" contains examples of

  • Alliterative Name: Lizard Lip Luke.
  • Anvil on Head: Averted. Buster tries to set this up with a safe being hoisted with a rope and pulley, but fails.
  • Beach Episode: Much of the action is set at a country club with a pool.
  • Black Comedy: Did I mention that Buster spends much of the film trying to die?
  • Born Unlucky: Luck just hates Buster in this entire short.
  • Bungled Suicide: In a bit of Black Comedy, Buster attempts to kill himself several times, only for it to fail spectacularly.
  • Digging to China: Or in this case, diving to China.
  • Dragged by the Collar: Literally, and by the seat of his pants.
  • Advertisement:
  • Drinking on Duty: A crafty waiter who conceals his whiskey by labeling it as poison.
  • Fanservice: The country club's pool is an excuse to put several actresses in bathing suits; later, Buster takes a dip and dresses accordingly.
  • Improvised Weapon: Fishing rod versus handgun.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: Some time after Buster tries to hang himself from a tree.
    Safari sponsor: "Are you attached to a scientific organization?"
    Buster: "I was attached to a branch of the zoo."
  • Interrupted Suicide: The first fourth of the film is a series of unsuccessful suicide attempts.
  • Large and in Charge: Joe Roberts as Lizard Lip Luke.
  • Walk on Water: Subverted. Buster tries to mimic a man walking on the surface of a swimming pool — he turns out to be wearing stilts.