Spite Marriage (1929)

Directed by Edward Sedgwick and Buster Keaton

An unimpressive but well-intentioned man is given the chance to marry a popular actress, of whom he has been a hopeless fan. But what he doesn't realize is that he is being used to make the actress' old flame jealous.

Keaton had wanted to make this film with sound. The older Buster would talk about how he would have created comedy that minimized dialogue to just the essentials and supported it with the right sound effects. It’s easy to imagine Keaton developing the kind of silent-with-sound comedy that, years later, would be associated with Jacques Tati and Pierre Etaix in France and Jerry Lewis in America.

Stephen Winer (Criterion)