Battling Butler ★★★★½

I gather from the reviews I've read, here and elsewhere online, that this is not very highly regarded, the main reason usually given being 'it's based on a play'. Well, let me send all those people a giant "E STICAZZI...?" because frankly I don't get the objection.
It's a great story, well told and paced with three acts. I love how character-based it is. It has the usual gentle build up and then the mad pay off. The gags are brilliant and the flailing around the boxing ring nearly made me inhale my lunch I was laughing so hard. Snitz Edwards is FANTASTIC. The romance is lovely too.
Two other things set it apart, I think. One is that the entire film is peppered throughout with small, wonderful details - the mountain girl's face framed by the back window of the car as Buster leaves, the little kid peering into the camera when the man is trying to get a photo, the valet getting pinned to the hedge as the trainer flings his arms out in despair. And the other is the final fight. I was actually a little shocked and found myself wincing - it is vicious and brutal and it really shows on Buster's face.
One of my favourites so far.

(And Buster shows off his muscles 😍).

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