After her husband John McKay is killed in an ongoing feud with the Canfield family, a woman takes her baby boy Willie to her sister's house in New York hoping he will never know of the feud with the Canfields. Twenty years later Willie is a grown man and he receives a letter saying he has inherited his father's estate and must travel to his family home to take possession. On the train there he meets a beautiful young woman and falls in love only to learn that she's a Canfield. He accepts her invitation to dinner and quickly realizes that the Canfield men won't kill him while he's in their home. His plan to stay there as a permanent guest is short-lived and the Canfields are soon after him. Written by
During the filming of the scene in which Buster Keaton is being swept downstream towards the waterfall, he was attached to a 'holdback' cable, concealed in the river. During the filming of the scene, the cable broke, and he was hurled down the rapids, battered by rocks and limbs, and was only barely able to grab an overhanging branch, which held him just long enough for the crew to reach and rescue him. This scene remains in the final print, and is fairly easy to spot. Just look for the point at which Keaton is being pulled downriver and 1) he suddenly looks back towards the camera, and 2) his speed in the water doubles, almost causing him to fly out of frame. See more »
When the donkey refuses to move from the rail tracks, the engineer and others curve the tracks around him. The long shot that shows the train moving past the donkey, however, shows the tracks back in a straight line. See more »
With a good dose of everything that one expects from Keaton - slapstick, stunts, chases, rich visual detail, and much more - "Our Hospitality" is enjoyable to watch, and it has some especially good sequences. The plot idea, with Keaton as an innocent outsider becoming entangled in an old-fashioned family feud, works pretty well, although it relies on comic details to overcome some rather routine characters.
A short prologue explains the feud in which Buster will soon be involved, and then we see New Yorker Willie McKay (Keaton) called south to claim a family inheritance, which will plunge him into the middle of the feud. One of the movie's highlights is the train ride south, a wonderful sequence that almost upstages the rest of the film. It's a long, leisurely series of comic snippets that works beautifully both as a period piece and as terrifically inventive comedy. There aren't any spectacular gags, but an impressive collection of amusing incidents and carefully done detail, and it's well worth watching over again to catch it all.
The main part of the film features Buster romancing the pretty young woman he met on the train, while trying to avoid her brothers and father, who are trying to kill him. It's pretty good, but except for a few clever shots most of it is not up to the standard of the first part of the movie. It picks up near the end with a very good chase sequence that has some memorable moments and that brings everything to a climax.
Overall, this is a fine film, enjoyable and well worth watching.
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