(Review originally written at 24 March 2007)

Comedy movies from the '10's and '20's aren't known for their originality or overall brilliantness. Basically all the movie were the same and had predictable and simple laughs in it. In those days comedies were made for mostly one reason; to make good quick money, as cheap as possible. Studio's produced literally hundreds of movies like that per year. "Our Hospitality" is different. It's most definitely not a simple or cheap made movie and also its running time of over an hour is quite unique for its time. Comedies from the '20's really don't get any better than this one!

What surprised me the most is how perfectly watchable the movie still is by todays standards. Normally movies from the time period feel outdated and perhaps also clumsy in parts. "Our Hospitality" is really professionally made and is top-quality entertainment. It's pace and style and of course also the greatness of the movie makes sure that the movie is still perfectly watchable, even by todays standards.

It's not a movie that constantly tries to be funny, with many slapstick humor in it. It instead is a movie that dose its humor and uses at the right times and spots. It makes the comical moments work out all the more hilarious at times. It's also not a movie that just relies on its comical moments, like for instance in Laurel & Hardy movies often was the case but it also relies on its written story and at times even on its comical dialog. Surprising, considering that this is a silent movie.

"Our Hospitality" is really greatly written and has a great comical premise. Comedies from that time period more mostly set at purely one location but in "Our Hospitality" many different locations pass by. It's also the reason why the movie isn't as cheap and simple feeling as most other genre movies from the same period. The story is really solid, though it of course is also kept as simple as possible. It is perfect for the movie and its comedy.

There are really some great comical moments in the movie, such as the train travel. How much funny moments can you think of, purely set on a train, that looks like a stagecoach with a steam-engine put in front of it? Watch the movie if you want to know the answer. The sequences goes on for a long time but it just never weakens or seizes to amuse. Also the waterfall ending sequences is one to remember. There are many other much smaller and more subtle sequences in that that are also just as hilarious.

The movie has 3 generations of Keaton's in it; Father Joe Keaton, Buster Keaton himself and his son Buster Keaton Jr. Of course it's Buster Keaton that plays the main part of the movie. Besides acting he also directed the movie and he did all of his own stunts. And some of those stunts are really dangerous and extremely daring. doesn't it also make Buster Keaton one of the earliest action hero? He also plays some of the silliest moments of the movie with a straight-face, which makes those moments all the more hilarious to watch. This is a true Buster Keaton classic!

In my opinion a really great and fun absolute must-see!


About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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