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This is a costume-period piece set in 1830s Kentucky. The Canfields and the McKays are feuding clans (essentially the real life Hatfields and McCoys renamed). In New York Willie boards a train (an exact recreation of the original "Stephenson Rocket"); on board he meets Virginia Canfield (the actress is Buster's real life wife). The dramatic waterfall rescue near the end is performed by Buster himself. Written by
Ed Stephan <email@example.com>
The climactic waterfall rescue scenes were filmed on a set built over the swimming pool on the Keaton lot. Production stills kept secret until decades after the film was released show the entire set, including the miniature valley constructed below the pool for the long overlooking shots. 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 »
"Our Hospitality" displays the skill of Buster Keaton very admirably. After a somewhat slow start in the Prologue and beginning of the Story, the pace picks up and continues to become more and more interesting.
One appreciates the great care Keaton takes in setting up his compositions, noted for their clean lines and balanced geometric planes and forms. Images are nicely stuctured, and one gets a feeling of classically executed set designs, with room to breathe. The lines of the Keaton poems are not extended to the end; rather, room is left for the viewer to fill in phrase endings with personal responses.
This 1923 silent classic holds up quite well, and one notes the remarkable physical stunts Keaton pulls off, in the standard silent era custom of not using a double. The actual comedy comes off best with an audience: the phenemena of group laughter can be infectious, and this film can really take off in a full theater.
The post-added music on the sound track is adequate, while not inspired. To compare Chaplin's supervised score to "Modern Times" with this shows how superior is the Chaplin work.
"Our Hospitality" is a worthy tribute to that enormously creative talent who well earned his legendary status-- Keaton.
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