Directed by Buster Keaton and Eddie Cline
Release Date: November 17, 1920
Total Running Time: 19 minutes
As Buster competes with his roommate/rival for the hand of a beautiful dancing belle, a wild chase takes him across hill and dale.
Buster Keaton: Farm Hand
Joe Roberts: Farm Hand
Sybil Seely: Farmer's Daughter
Joe Keaton: Farmer
Eddie Cline: Truck Driver
Luke the Dog: Himself
The opening sequence, in which Buster and his roommate, Big Joe Roberts, eat a meal using a number of clever contraptions, has been duplicated on stage in at least two theatrical productions.
In My Wonderful World of Slapstick, Keaton mentions that as a child he would have liked to have become a civil engineer when he grew up (p. 24). The Scarecrow is evidence that he would have been an inventive builder.
As the sun rockets into the sky, we see a house in which all rooms are in one. Keaton sits on his bed complaining of a toothache as his roommate (Joe Roberts) adjusts his collar in a mirror. Roberts turns the mirror around, revealing a young woman's photo (Sybil Seely). After an argument, Keaton declares that he'll marry her and takes the photo. His tooth continues to torment him, so Roberts ties a string to the bad tooth and connects it to the door knob. He opens the door - in instead of out, so he succeeds only in knocking Keaton on his behind. An angry Keaton slams the door shut, pulling the tooth.
Breakfast preparation begins. Keaton puts biscuits into the record player/stove, then removes the record to uncover a burner. He plugs in a gas hose and pays the meter with a coin on a string. He heats the coffee and eggs while Roberts sets the table by lowering condiments on strings from the ceiling and fetching butter and tomatoes from the bookcase/icebox. Keaton loads the hot food into a wheeled cart on the table and they commence. Each takes what he wants from the cart, then rolls it to the table's center. They pass the condiments by swinging them on the strings. Keaton pulls the beer bottle string, and it flies out of the ice box to him. They daintily wipe their mouths on the retractable napkin, then they secure the dirty dishes and cutlery to the table top. Keaton dumps the leftovers down a chute to the pigs' trough. They hang the table over the sink/desk and Keaton hoses it down. Roberts hauls up the condiments, Keaton turns over the table's center panel to bring up a vase of flowers, Roberts revolves his bathtub full of water to dump into the duck pond, which converts it to a sofa, Keaton fastens the Murphy bed to the wall, creating a pipe organ, and their chores are nearly complete. They turn the table over, changing it into a wall hanging that reads "What is home without mother?" They depart out the door, spread the picket fence apart to go through it, and head off to work.
Seely greets them from her gate, and the two men run to her. They fight to speak to her until her father (Joe Keaton) breaks it up and sends them off to work. Miffed, Seely snaps her fingers under his nose and he aims to kick her in the behind, but proceeds to fall on his own.
In a plot to ruin her father's digestion, Seely bakes a cream pie and sets it on a ledge to cool. Then she joins her mother on the porch. Spying a picture of a ballerina, she dances - right into Roberts. They dance together. Meanwhile, her dog Luke eats her pie, getting cream all over his face. Keaton thinks he's rabid, and gets chased around the top of the walls of a ruined house, through his own house (getting dunked in the duck pond), and into a grain stack that's about to be threshed. Luke waits for the machine to spit him out; when it does after it removes his outer shell of clothing, they make friends. Observing the chase, Roberts purchases medical supplies that he must use on himself after a car hits him. Seely, still dancing, clips her father with a high kick. She faints at the sight of Keaton in his underwear, and her father and Roberts chases after him.
Keaton races to a cornfield where he steals a scarecrow's ensemble and assumes his position. Keaton Sr. doesn't notice the substitution, and he takes a snort from the bottle he keeps in the dummy's back pocket, then runs off. Keaton has a drink, too. Roberts and Seely stroll over; Roberts declares his love for her but she'll have none of it. The scarecrow springs to life and kisses her. Startled, she runs away.
Keaton Sr. joins Roberts, and the scarecrow kicks then in turn, nearly precipitating a fight. His identity becomes apparent after he falls over and gets back up, so they chase him into the cornfield. The pursuers attack a real scarecrow while Keaton walks on his hands across a creek to avoid getting his shoes wet. One shoe falls off, and while he's on his knee to replace it, Seely comes over and accepts his proposal.
The two men struggle to cross the creek. The lovers mount horses to escape, but Keaton doesn't get very far on his plaster steed. He attempts to join her on her horse. The men follow in a car (which is nearly overbalanced by the hefty Roberts). Keaton and Seely hop on a motorcycle and sidecar, then race off. They take on board a clergyman who was crossing the street, and he performs the marriage ceremony, using a nut for a ring. They crash into a river, and the couple are pronounced husband and wife. — Lisle Foote