So You Won’t Squawk opens with a lot of expository dialogue, only not from Buster Keaton. For the first few minutes, Keaton’s treated like he’s in another silent. Except, of course, his actions are much more restrained. He’s goofing around while decorating… not too exciting.
Of course, once he does start talking, he immediately becomes personable.
Squawk is about a mobster using Keaton as his stand-in and the majority of the short is Keaton escaping these rival mobsters out to kill him. Everyone in the short besides Keaton is absolutely awful. He’s a little old to be playing the well-meaning simpleton and he never manages to sell it as an actual character, but he’s still got the charm.
Lord’s direction of actors and his composition are weak. His frequent reliance on sped-up film for every gag also hinders.
It’s tepid at best, but Keaton never embarrasses himself.
Directed by Del Lord; written by Elwood Ullman; director of photography, Benjamin H. Kline; edited by Art Seid; produced by Lord and Hugh McCollum; released by Columbia Pictures.
Starring Buster Keaton (Eddie), Matt McHugh (Henchman) and Eddie Fetherston (Henchman).