Thursday, June 15, 2006

Go West (1925)

Oh don't fret the underdog always wins when it's Buster!

Genre: Silent Comedy

Starring: Buster Keaton (Our Hospitality; Neighbors), Brown Eyes

Directed By: Buster Keaton

Overview: A down and out city slicker decides that he would have a better chance at being a cowboy. When he ends up being the only person left on the train with 1000 cattle, he singlehandedly must save the rancher's business by delivering the herd in time.

Acting: When you've got plans to see everything Buster Keaton's ever made, it cause you love him. I'm partial. I'm partial because he is a frikken genius. There's a frikken cow in in that plays the love interest! What a concept!!! No, wait, I said that wrong...
Rating: 9

Cinematography: As far as stunts go, playing toreador with a couple of bulls is some of the tamer that he's done, but imagine taking a herd of cattle through busy L.A. streets, or literally taking bulls out of china shops (groan I know!). That my friend is a sight to see. As always it's great fun watching Buster's physical comedy and this is no exception.
Rating: 9

Script: Nothing outrageously hilarious or deeply poetic to be found here. Mostly just people talking to order the new cowhand around. If you want a good script in a silent slapstick film, I think you're missing the idea. It's nice that it's mostly pure physical comedy, because sometimes silent kitsch can be a little lame. Not so here though!
Rating: 8

Plot: We have a lovely subplot where Buster grows fond of one of the cows. He protects her, nurtures her, takes her wherever he goes, including in the house. Oh and he shaves her to save her from the pain of branding too. Some great light humour, with a nice happy ending, just as expected.
Rating: 8

Mood: Classic Keaton fun with a wild west twist. We have the Great Stoneface doing the standard standing toe-to-toe, face-to-chest of all the bigger, taller, more experienced cowboys and doing what he can to be accepted as one of the boys, but with only a puny little derringer pistol and no idea what he's doing? It's cute and fun for the whole family, unless of course you don't like your kids learning about slaughterhouses and guns...
Rating: 8

This is quite the moooving scene

Overall Rating: 84% (Go Anywhere, As Long As You Stop Here)

Aftertaste: After so many posts about Buster Keaton I guess I'll just add that without him we'd have no Jackie Chan (it's true). I'm sure his films also played a huge part in making sure that stuntmen get some good union representation, and a nice worker's comp package. I wonder whatever happened to old Brown Eyes...