While working as the assistant of small-town blacksmith Joe Roberts, Buster Keaton wreaks havoc and woos Virginia Fox.
"The Blacksmith" contains examples of:
- Affectionate Parody: Each Longfellow quote (see epigraph, below) is followed by shots that contradict or satirize the poem.
- Agony of the Feet: Buster steps on a red-hot horseshoe, twice.
- Amplified Animal Aptitude: The horse shopping for shoes.
- Covered in Gunge: Buster has an unfortunate accident with a grease gun, which not only leaves him filthy, but means he leaves black handprints on everything he touches.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: Shoeing a horse looks remarkably like selling lady's footwear.
- No Peripheral Vision: It takes a long time for anyone to spot the giant magnet over the smithy's doors.
- The Precious, Precious Car: One customer leaves his car at the smithy for some minor repairs. Between Buster and Joe Roberts, it gets smashed to pieces.
- The Sheriff: A blustery but well meaning example.
- Slobs vs. Snobs: Buster and the equestrienne, especially when he's covered in gunge.
- Stout Strength: Joe Roberts' blacksmith is tall, fat and a bruiser.
- Two-Faced: One side of a white horse is splashed and smeared with grease.