Our Hospitality 1923

Film 45 in the “1001 Films to see before you die” challenge is 1923’s “Our Hospitality”. This is the second in this challenge that I have had to switch off because it annoyed me. This is listed as a comedy. At no point did I laugh. I was bored. None of it made any sense. The 5-minute trailer on YouTube summed up the film in a nutshell. This was a complete mess. I don’t recommend it at all. I spent most of the film asking more and more questions that didn’t get answered. Even after switching it off halfway through, I don’t remember anything. Nothing stood out. Now I think of it, one thing did stand out! Black Face!!! Yes, they used that! I’m guessing it was funny back then but in modern times… not anymore! I refuse to watch the rest of it and I now have not looking forward to watching “Sherlock Jr”. If you have seen this film, then let me know what you thought of it in the comments. Here is what I had to say while watching 1923’s “Our Hospitality

Film – Our Hospitality
Year – 1923
Director – John G. Blystone & Buster Keaton
Staring – Buster Keaton, Natalie Talmadge, Joe Keaton
IMDb Rating – 7.9/10
This music reminds me of a carnival
“The Prologue”
I’m a happy baby… with evil intentions!!!
That weather looks bad – Snow and rain!!!
Jim’s here! This means trouble
Jim’s found them and wants to kill him
How to blow out a candle without going anywhere near a candle – wave a hat near it
Both men are dead
Wait!!! That wasn’t Jim
I can’t tell – This film is made entirely in the dark
Honey I brought home some dinner in the form of my bitter enemy
Jim is upset by the death and will teach his sons not to kill
Mother decides to take the baby to New York
In New York 20 years later
More reading
“The Aunt”
“Willie McKay”
I shall hide my notes in my top hat 
That bike has no peddles!!!!
Stop there while I back this ass up…. this horse’s ass
Worst… Bike… Ever!!!
Does anyone still use doors that split in half?
More reading
I love that manor so much I dream of it in my sleep
Aunt tells him about the feud
Outside a Post Office
Here comes the mail train
“Be careful of Indians” – Why?
Trains in the 1800’s were fueled by wood?
This train only has two carriages!
One passenger arrives late and Buster Keaton throws her in the carriage
He then stares at her cleavage – Sly devil!
Is that train really being pushed by a dog?
Everyone stop what you’re doing
Where’s the “I Like Trains” song when I need it
POLICE!!! A Hobo just borded the train
Don’t you throw stones at me, mister, I’ll throw my wood at you
The man then takes the wood home
Back with Buster Keaton
Buster’s got his head stuck in his top hat
That railroad doesn’t look sturdy
Railroads should not be sagging like that!!!
How puts a speed bump on a railroad track?
Well… Let’s just move the track
This is meant to be a comedy – I haven’t laughed yet
“Now we’re moving smoothly” – YOU’RE NOT ON THE TRACKS ANYMORE!!!
Excuse me, you’ve derailed!!!
Lets meet Joseph Canfield at his house
Bark bark
None of this makes any sense?
Where’s a plot when I need it?
The train has a recliner carriage!!!
Nope!!! Just a train with a broken axel
Back with Joseph
Back with Buster
Must… Not… Sleep… On Strangers…. Head
Nice to know they fixed the wheel problem without any issues
The trains gone on one track but the carriages have gone on another
This is the worst train crew I’ve ever seen – And I’ve been on Northern Rail
Now the carriages are at the front and the train is at the back
Why is everyone now “blackface”?
Back with Joseph who’s made it into town
The carriages arrive and crash at the stop
The train then crashes into all of them
That policeman just judo kicked that man’s top hat off
Buster then finds a dog and makes friends with it
Buster is looking for the McKay estate – Why?
Buster says he wants to claim the estate as his
John McKay – OMG!!!!
This film is making me tired
I can’t anymore – This is terrible

3 thoughts on “Our Hospitality 1923

  1. I’m currently watching Our Hospitality for the umpteeth time and found your post. I think you may have not quite understood the film much. The plot is simple, family feud, Buster as a child moves away to grow up, returns to claim his inheritance and falls for the girl of the opposing feuding family. The character Buster plays is pretty much unaware of the feud and is the sort of person that wouldn’t hurt a fly.
    Some of the film plays jokes on over how advanced we are in the 1920’s from the 1830 date setting of the film. The joke about one of the first trains is maybe a little over long, but we do that now with modern motor cars over cars made 100 years ago.
    You missed the joke about the dog. It’s Busters dog from New York that’s followed Buster on the train proving how slow the train is.
    Bare in mind that this film was made in 1923 only 9 years since the first feature film was made in Hollywood (Tillies Punctured Romance). Film makers were still unsure of how to keep movie goers entertained over the course of an hour+ in a film. By contrast to today the film makers then moved in leaps and bounds the cinema medium and where still learning. You have to remember that they were pioneers with very little to go on of a film history.
    Why make feature films then, if the film makers are unsure? Well, it was the new thing to actually go to the cinema to see a particular film rather than just going and watching whatever was put on. And a feature film meant that cinemas charged more, which in turn the film distributors did when hiring the print.
    Keaton made his first feature film Three Ages just before Our Hospiality. It was a parody of DW Griffiths Intolerance. It was made to see if Keaton could do a feature film but he played it safe by having 3 sections to his film, if it was a commercial flop then the film could be released as 3 short films which he was famous for making at the time and therefore regin his loses. But Three Ages was an instant success and with that Keaton stopped making short films and just made features for the rest of the 1920’s beginning with Our Hospitality.
    A big part of this film is the stunts and thrills at the end in the rapids and the waterfall sequence. Buster Keaton nearly drowned in this when his safety harness broke (you can see this happen in the movie as he instructed his filmcrew to keep filming regardless of what happens to him.) The idea of putting a thrill sequence into a comedy was born with Harold Lloyd who had released his masterpiece Safety Last before production began on Our Hospitlity and Buster Keaton decided to write the thrill sequence after seeing Safety Last become the big hit movie for it’s thrill mixed with comedy. (Safety Last also influenced Charlie Chaplin with his thrill sequence in the Gold Rush another masterpiece).
    I hope these comments help you. I’ve been a silent movie film buff since I was a kid (I’m in my mid 30’s now, so not quite a fuddy duddy yet LOL) I find that people who haven’t watched a lot of films from pre 1940’s sometimes don’t understand how and why these films were made. OK they were made to make money but if that was soley the case then they would have just churned out the same kind of film time after time (and many did) but the pioneers of Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd, Charlie Chaplin, DW Griffith, Mach Sennett, Douglas Fairbanks, William Hart, Mabel Normand, Roscoe Arbuckle, Harry Langdon, Charlie Chase and many more al tried to make the medium fun, adventerous and exciting, constantly pushing the boundries in a way that we really haven’t seen in film for many many decades.


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