WEST (director/writer: Buster
Keaton/Edward F. Cline; screenwriters: Raymond
Cannon/Lex Neal; cinematographer: Elgin Lessley;
Haines; music: Konrad Elfers; cast: Howard Truesdale (Owner of
the Diamond Bar Ranch), Kathleen Myers (His Daughter),
Ray Thompson (The Foreman), Tom Jackson (Rival ranch
owner), Brown Eyes (Cow), Buster Keaton (Friendless Homer Holiday), Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle
(Woman in Department Store, uncredited), Joe Keaton (Man
in Barber Shop, uncredited), Gus Leonard (General Store
Owner, uncredited), Babe London (Woman in Department
Store, uncredited); Runtime: 69; MPAA Rating:
NR; producer: Joseph
M. Schenck; Kino; 1925-silent)
"Buster's warmest film and his personal favorite."
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
The only Buster Keaton movie shooting for Chaplin pathos rather than his usual physical comedy and sight gags. It results in a mixed offering of some splendid and some slow moments. It's codirected by Keaton and Edward F. Cline, as was the case throughout Buster's starring career in the silents.
Friendless (Buster Keaton)
is a bumbling penniless Indiana resident who hops a
freight train to NYC to make his fortune, but gets
trampled in the big city rat race. He then follows
Horace Greeley's advice to "Go West, young man!," as
he hops a freight train west and the tenderfoot, after
falling out of the train while in a barrel, winds up
in the Arizona desert and gets a cowboy job at the
Diamond Bar Ranch. The
his daughter (Kathleen
Myers) need to get their large herd to the stockyards
of LA by train or lose everything. Meanwhile
Friendless finds it pleasant being with a cow named
Brown Eyes, whom he sits by her head waiting for her
to milk herself in the pail he positioned in the right
place. Western cinema trouble arises when a rival
outfit asks the Diamond Bar to wait for a higher bid
before selling, and when not heeded attacks the Diamond Bar Ranch's cattle train. Only
Friendless is left on the train to save the day.
Friendless is in the cattle car because he wishes to
save Brown Eyes from the slaughterhouse.
The great scene is the
well-orchestrated cattle stampede through the streets
of LA, where Friendless rounds up the cattle and saves
his beloved cow when the grateful owner gives him the
cow as a reward.
This pic is Buster's
warmest film and his personal favorite.
REVIEWED ON 10/26/2011 GRADE: B+
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ