|Director:||Buster Keaton |
Edward F. Cline (uncredited)
|Producer:||Joseph M. Schenck |
|Starring:||Buster Keaton |
|Cinematography:||Elgin Lessley |
William C. McGann
|Released:||September 24, 1923|
Three Ages is a 1923 black and white American feature-length silent comedy film starring comedian Buster Keaton and Wallace Beery. The first feature Keaton wrote, directed, produced, and starred in (unlike The Saphead (1920), in which he only acted), Keaton structured the film like three inter-cut short films. The structure also worked as a satire of D. W. Griffith's 1916 film Intolerance. The film was shot in this manner as a kind of insurance for the Studio. While Keaton was a proven success in the short film medium, he had yet to prove himself as a feature-length star. Had the project flopped, the film would have been broken into three short films, each covering one of the 'Ages.'
Three plots in three different historical periods—prehistoric times, ancient Rome, and modern times (the Roaring Twenties)—are intercut to prove the point that men's love for woman have not significantly changed throughout history. In all three plots, characters played by Buster Keaton and Wallace Beery compete for the attention of the same woman, played by Margaret Leahy.