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T500FC, 425th: Our Hospitality (John G. Blystone, Buster Keaton, 1923)

March.21.2011

A different take on William Shakespeare’s celebrated novel Romeo and Juliet, Buster Keaton’s Our Hospitality projects perfectly well on its approach despite its outdated form of medium and with that, it still proves that it is enjoyable even at its own level. One may wonder how it has survived the times and how Keaton’s films are often overshadowed by Charlie Chaplin’s works.

The movie basically discusses the two families in a town where the never-ending act of revenge befalls from their kin one family member to another. Keaton’s family sends him outside of town, when he was still little, and survives the candid carnage of what is currently happening to their families. Fast forward to the time when Keaton grows up and finds out that he inherits a house from his kin and goes back to that town and eventually finds out that never-ending rivalry between his family and the family of a girl whom he meets and falls in love with.

It is always impressive to see old films that inspire you even if you wouldn’t hear any words from the characters of the movie. And with me being a fan of Buster Keaton, one can really be wowed by the numerous movies and themes that this guy has made. This one in particular, since there were less antics provided by Keaton, the main run of the movie focused more on the story and the colorful characters around the film. One memorable scene was when Keaton was punished by the wife who is getting beat up by the husband.

I particularly liked the difference of Keaton’s films against Chaplin’s. Keaton’s appeal leans more on the loser look, where Keaton has that poker-faced puffy dog eyes and frowning face. And with that he best show his underdog appearance against the big-built men of the rival family.

I definitely enjoyed this film, maybe because Keaton has a place in my heart that his nature of being an underdog where he is a superhero in the film. Even if he is outnumbered and his scared look that eventually changes to a gallant bravery was all worth it, all in the name of love.

Our Hospitality is a definite watch for the black and white non-talkie films out there especially if you are Buster Keaton fan. Hopefully all the movie buffs would be able to catch this film, an absolute fun-filled Keaton starrer as I’m putting this in my top five Keaton films of all time.

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