Watch Our Hospitality
- 1 hr 14 min
Our Hospitality is a classic silent comedy film from 1923, directed by and starring Buster Keaton, alongside Natalie Talmadge and Joe Keaton. The film tells the story of Willie McKay (Keaton), the youthful scion of a family with a long-standing feud against that of the Canfields. When Willie travels from his home in New York City to claim his newly inherited property in rural Kentucky, he falls in love with a local beauty named Virginia (Talmadge), who happens to be a Canfield. The young couple's star-crossed romance takes center stage in a hilarious tale of courtship, family rivalry, and hair-raising adventure.
The film features Keaton's trademark physical comedy, as well as a cleverly woven plot that uses the setting of the Canfield-McKay feud to create a series of comical and dangerous situations. At its core, though, Our Hospitality is a love story with a bittersweet edge, as Willie and Virginia find themselves caught in the middle of a conflict that neither of them has any control over.
One of the highlights of the film is its depiction of life in rural Kentucky during the 19th century, complete with horse-drawn carriages, rickety bridges, and sprawling farms. The scenery is lush and verdant, and the film's matte paintings and clever visual effects give the impression of vast rolling hills and endless countryside. There are several scenes that play up the contrast between the fast-paced, modern world of New York City and the slow, idyllic charm of Kentucky - including a classic chase sequence involving a train, a horse, and a canoe.
The film's outstanding set pieces include the sequence where Willie and Virginia try to cross a rickety bridge during a violent storm, as well as the climactic scene where the two families engage in an action-packed shootout. Keaton's engineering skills were put to the test in these sequences, which required elaborate coordination and timing to pull off successfully.
Despite the film's comedic moments, there are also elements of tragedy and pathos, particularly in the way that the theme of family loyalty is explored. Willie is torn between his affection for Virginia and his duty to avenge his father's death at the hands of the Canfields, and this conflict is heightened by the fact that he is an outsider in a tight-knit community. The film shows how both families are trapped in a cycle of violence and suspicion that has lasted for generations, and how Willie's attempts to break free from it are met with resistance and hostility.
Keaton's portrayal of Willie is charming and endearing, and his comic timing and physical dexterity are on full display throughout the film. Talmadge is equally impressive as Virginia, radiating a kind of grace and sweetness that perfectly complements Keaton's more manic energy. The film's supporting cast, which includes Keaton's real-life father, Joe, and his frequent collaborator, Buster Keaton, add to the film's light-hearted tone.
Overall, Our Hospitality is a delightful and cleverly crafted film that showcases Keaton's extraordinary talent for physical comedy and storytelling. The film is still regarded as one of the greatest silent comedies ever made, and it remains a testament to the timelessness and enduring appeal of Keaton's unique brand of humor. Whether you're a fan of classic film, comedy, or romance, this charming film is sure to delight and entertain you.
Our Hospitality is a 1923 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 14 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.8.