Follow TV Tropes


Film / One Week

Go To
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 a 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.

"One Week" provides examples of:

  • 6 Is 9:
    • 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.
    • The malicious character Handy Hank repaints the numbers on the crates (3 becomes 8, 1 becomes 4) so the home building would result in an Epic Fail.
  • 13 Is Unlucky: The housewarming party is on Friday the 13th.
  • Agony of the Feet: Sybil stamps her foot ... onto her other foot, and makes the classic one-foot hopping exit.
  • The Alleged House: What the do-it-yourself home becomes thanks to Handy Hank's sabotage and the newlyweds' bumbling.
  • Angry Fist-Shake: Handy Hank performs one after Buster's chair pulling prank.
  • Amusing Injuries: As one would expect from slapstick comedy involving hand tools.
  • Anvil on Head: Buster is repeatedly flattened by a piano.
  • Artistic License – Physics:
  • 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 exchange 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).
  • Car Meets House: The final scene... or rather Train Meets House.
  • Chase Scene: Unusually brief for a Keaton film. Handy Hank is chasing Buster through the house after the chair pulling prank. It culminates in Buster pulling a Door Judo prank.
  • Doom It Yourself: Any halfway competent architect or construction foreman would have realized there was a problem.
  • Door Judo: Applied by Buster to get rid of Handy Hank.
  • Exploding Calendar: Counting the days in the single week that Buster spends building the house.
  • Foreshadowing
    • "I'll be right down!"
    • The date of the housewarming party (see 13 Is Unlucky, above).
  • 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.
  • Iris Out: Each chapter starts and ends with an Iris In/Out.
  • 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: The train hitting the house was coming from the other direction.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Shout-Out: Keaton claimed the title was a reference to the 1907 novel Three Weeks, by Elinor Glyn.
  • Trash the Set: The house is demolished by a train in the last scene.