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Pest from the West (1939)

 |  Comedy, Short  |  16 June 1939 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 102 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 1 critic

A millionaire vacationing in Mexico falls for a local girl and sets out to win her.



(original screen play)
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Cast overview:
Richard Fiske ...
Ferdinand the Bullfighter


A rich Yank docks his yacht in Mexico and steps ashore for adventure. Meanwhile, Conchita, the local beauty, accepts an engagement ring from the hot-headed Martino, who promises to kill any man who gains her favors. Conchita already has another boyfriend, Ferdinand the bull fighter. They conspire to find a gull, she'll pretend he is her new boyfriend, Martino will kill him and be arrested, and she'll be free to be with Ferdinand. Their mark is none other than our rich gringo who's already fallen for Conchita. He's an innocent abroad; what chance does he have? Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

mexico | yacht | millionaire | remake | See All (4) »


Comedy | Short





Release Date:

16 June 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La peste del West  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This was Buster Keaton's first two-reeler for Columbia Pictures. See more »


In the opening sequence with Keaton on his yacht, the reflection of the boom mic is visible on the glass window on the cabin door. See more »


Featured in Buster Keaton: A Hard Act to Follow (1987) See more »

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User Reviews

Almost as bad as you can get!
8 February 2009 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

In the late 1930s and early 1940s, the great Buster Keaton was out of work and in desperate need for money so he made a string of forgettable short films for Columbia Pictures. Although he was a comic genius during the silent era, his career in sound movies was mostly horrible due to the industry's unwillingness to simply let him do what he did best and they insisted in trying to force him into uncomfortable molds that just didn't work. Sadly, because Keaton was lousy with money, he was so hard up for cash and unwilling to balk with the studios that he made some dreadful film and TV appearances that probably made him ashamed to look in the mirror. This is a stark contrast to Chaplin and Lloyd who made far fewer sound films but chose them much better. Plus, they knew when to walk away and retain much of their dignity. This is particularly true of Harold Lloyd, who never would have appeared in American-International movies such as BEACH BLANKET BINGO or a particularly wretched episode of "The Twilight Zone" like Keaton did.

As for the Columbia shorts, they were mostly directed and produced by Jules White who was also responsible for the Three Stooges shorts--though this is one of the two made by Del Lord--another Stooge director. This is very, very obvious when you watch the Keaton shorts as the plots look indiscernible from the Stooges' films--with the same gags, sound effects and style. In fact, in some cases, Keaton does the same plots the Stooges had first done and this isn't surprising. That's because Columbia OFTEN repeated plots and many of the Stooges' later shorts for the studio are remakes of their earlier films! While Stooges die-hards might excuse this and think ALL of their films are gems, this is definitely NOT true--the remakes are definite duds. As for Keaton fans (and I am definitely one--having seen more of his silent films than practically anyone on the planet), they will also usually admit that his sound films were pretty poor and the Columbia films were at best passable entertainment. Plus, the Stooges' style is a horrible thing to try to fit the great Keaton into. It's akin to putting Greta Garbo in a Marx Brothers film!!!

One reviewer described this as being "one of Keaton's worst" and I am in total agreement, though the film had one thing doing for it. The awful and untalented Elsie Ames (who co-starred with Keaton in most of these films for Columbia) is not in this one! This first film for Columbia Pictures was still a dud from start to finish and mostly looked like Keaton and the writers just didn't care. Why else would they repeat the exact same gags again and again--especially when it wasn't funny the first time? After the third time Keaton falls into the water, if you look at the pretty lady who plays lead you'll see she has a very bored look on her face--this says it all! In addition, in one scene there is clearly a reflection in the glass of the boom microphone that they didn't even bother re-shooting. So if they didn't care, why should we?! Despite the jealous boyfriend who vows to kill anyone looking at his woman, despite the duel at the end and despite the great Keaton appearing in this film, it's about as bad as you can get and I don't recommend you waste your time with it.

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