NORTH, THE (director/writer:
Buster Keaton/Edward F. Cline; cinematographer: Elgin Lessley;
Keaton (The Bad Man), Joe Roberts (The Driver), Sybil
Seely (Wife), Bonnie Hill (The Pretty Neighbor), Freeman
Wood (Her Husband), Edward F. Cline (The Janitor);
Runtime: 17; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Joseph M. Schenck;
"It satirizes William S. Hart Westerns."
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
A weak Buster Keaton short
that uses a dream framework for the narrative. The
concluding scene has Buster awakened in a movie
theater by the usher. It satirizes William S. Hart
Westerns, the most popular of the silent screen cowboy
heroes. The comedian gets to Hart's hammy acting and
penchant for crying on cue in front of the camera. Too
bad it's not universally funny, except in spots.
Noted for the surreal opening scene, where Buster exits the last stop of a subway station to find himself in the middle of a frozen north snowy landscape. It's also noted for the many dark episodic scenes, where Keaton goes against type by being a bad guy: such as, a stickup man (holding up a gambling bar in a novel way with a cut-out cowboy pointing a gun while propped up against the window, as Buster passes the hat around the bar to collect the patrons' loot), a bully, a seducer and a killer (plugging a couple kissing because he mistakenly thinks it's his wife).
REVIEWED ON 10/26/2011 GRADE: C+
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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