In his first independently produced feature film Buster tells of love and romance through three historical ages: the Stone Age, the Roman Age, and the Modern Age. 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.'