19 user 9 critic

The Love Nest (1923)

Unrated | | Short, Comedy | March 1923 (USA)
In an attempt to forget his lost sweetheart, Buster takes a long trip at sea where he boards a whaling ship with a strict captain.


Buster Keaton, Edward F. Cline (uncredited)


Buster Keaton, Jeffrey Vance (titles)
1 nomination. See more awards »




Complete credited cast:
Buster Keaton ... Buster Keaton
Joe Roberts ... Captain of the Whaler
Virginia Fox Virginia Fox ... The Girl


Buster bids goodbye to Virginia and all women, sailing away in his "Cupid." Later, without food or water, he is taken on board "The Love Nest" which has a very mean captain. A crewman who spills coffee on the captain's hand is thrown overboard. So is anyone else who bothers the captain. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Short | Comedy


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


All of the names listed on the clipboard as the ship's crew were contemporary comedians/actors. See more »


Himself: (to the pirates) Men, I am now your captain. I will raise your pay and get you an insurance policy!
See more »


Referenced in The Great Buster (2018) See more »

User Reviews

Hilarious philosophical comedy.
4 October 1999 | by alice liddellSee all my reviews

Remarkable, typically inventive Keaton short, laced with a horrifying comic disregard of death and an emasculating admission of inadequacy. Buster is a heartbroken swain who decides to cure his loss by forswearing women and manfully taking to the sea. Here he meets a mad brute of a captain who throws overboard any of his crew that displeases him. Buster's entirely spurious skill endears him to the captain.

Besides being a wonderful parody of macho Ahab-like naval nonsense, this is another Keaton fantasy as metaphysical nightmare. Buster is cast adrift on a metaphorical sea, boarding the ship of death, with the Grim Reaper as his master. Prowess, ingenuity and sheer accidental good fortune keep him afloat until a climactic, heavily resonant, chase through a labyrinthine ship.

I don't mean to weigh the film down with pseudo-meaningfulness, but the humour of Keaton's films has an eerie, lingering, resonant effect on the soul, similar to the Alice books. Supposedly comic froth, visual metaphors from his films haunt the mind for years after as unerringly accurate encapsulations of the human condition. No wonder Beckett adored him, although I know whose comfort I'd rather have.

And the film is very, very funny, ridiculous, clever, awe-inspiring. The gorgeous clarity of the film's imagery, and the eerie composition of space combine to create a convincing landscape of the mind. Keaton's physical grace may seem less showy than Chaplin's, but its very suppleness in modesty astonishes, as does his graceful negotiation of obstacles and forbidding spaces. Indeed, it is Buster's very freedom of movement that is finally redemptive - although he is a mere automaton going through his creator's paces, his inevitable imperturbility and melancholy dignity achieves an aesthetic, transcendence of beauty and grace. The typical Keaton revelation that the movie is a dream is not bathetic - our dreams of adventure are never a joke; but more importantly, the anxieties and desires of these dreams are both recognisable and deeply , painfully disturbing.

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None | English

Release Date:

March 1923 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Das Liebesnest See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (reconstructed)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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