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Buster Keaton and Joe Roberts
Directed by Buster Keaton, John G. Blystone
Produced by Joseph M. Schenck
Scenario by Jean Havez, Clyde Bruckman and Joseph Mitchell
Starring Buster Keaton, Joe Roberts
Cinematography Elgin Lessley, Gordon Jennings
Distributed by Metro Pictures Corporation
Release date November 19, 1923
Running time 1 hour, 14 minutes
Country United States
Language Silent film, English intertitles
"Our Hospitality" is a sparkling comedy, included in our program to celebrate the work and contributions of our star Joe Roberts.
The feud between the Canfield and McKay families has taken the lives of many men on both sides. When the infant Willie McKay (Buster Keaton) loses his father, his mother takes him away to be raised in safety.
Twenty years later young Willie receives a letter, inviting him to come back and claim the estate he inherited. His aunt, who raised him, tells him the story of the feud and warns him to stay away from the Canfields.
In a train trip full of adventures Willie travels with a girl going to the same town. Upon arrival he asks a young man for directions. The man is quick to inquire and learn that Willie belongs to the McKay family, his mortal enemy, as he himself belongs to the Canfields. The man makes several unsuccessful attempts to borrow a gun and shoot Willie.
The current patriarch of the Canfields, Joseph (Joe Roberts) upon learning that a McKay is in town mobilizes his sons to take care of business. In the meantime he is told by his daughter that she invited a nice young man from the train trip for dinner.
Serious complications arise when both sides realize that one enemy is a guest in the home of the other. The host is prevented by a certain code of honor to kill anybody in his home, so Willie makes himself a permanent resident of the house.
Things change, however, when the girl also learns about the identity of her suitor and rejects him. With nothing to lose Willie makes a daring escape and runs for his life, chased by the armed Canfield gang across fields, hills and rocky cliffs.
Then the girl changes her mind and decides that she doesn't want Willie to die. She tries to help him but they both end up being carried down the river towards deadly falls. In a daring and miraculous stunt Willie catches the girl from going down the falls to certain death.
After a fruitless chase the Canfields return home, only to find the parson getting ready to declare Willie and the girl man and wife in a marriage ceremony. Joseph Canfield is tempted to use his gun on Willie. Will he shoot his daughter's chosen man and make her miserable for life, or will he give her his blessings and relegate the family feud to history?
Three generations of the Keaton family played in the film: Buster Keaton's father Joe Keaton was the train engineer, Buster Keaton played Willie McKay and his infant son was baby Willie in the prologue.
Joe Roberts played his last role as Joseph Canfiled. He had a stroke during filming, but insisted on continuing work. He died shortly after the film was completed. This was the biggest role of his life, and he made a significant contribution to the film's tremendous success. Joe Roberts also partnered with Buster Keaton in 16 of his 19 short films as well as in "Three Ages".
The film is ranked number 28 in the list of The Top 100 Silent Era Films of the influential website Silent Era.
"Our Hospitality" enjoys a very strong rating in IMDB.
Click to enlarge:
Buster Keaton Jr. is the infant Willie in the prolog of "Our Hospitality" (1923).
Joe Roberts is the young Canfield mourning the loss of his brother in the prolog of "Our Hospitality" (1923).
Buster Keaton Jr. leaves for New York with his mother in the prolog of "Our Hospitality" (1923).
Buster Keaton receives a letter in "Our Hospitality" (1923).
Buster Keaton rides a bicycle in "Our Hospitality" (1923).
Buster Keaton waits at a busy intersection in "Our Hospitality" (1923).
Buster Keaton gets the news that he inherited an estate in "Our Hospitality" (1923).
Buster Keaton is told about the family feud in "Our Hospitality" (1923).
Buster Keaton is ready to take the train in "Our Hospitality" (1923).
Buster Keaton is seated next to a fair passenger in "Our Hospitality" (1923).
The train is being prepared to leave the station in "Our Hospitality" (1923).
The train advances steadily in "Our Hospitality" (1923).
The tracks have to be moved for the donkey in "Our Hospitality" (1923).
Joe Roberts gets the news that his daughter is coming in "Our Hospitality" (1923).
The iron monster speeds though the mountains in "Our Hospitality" (1923).
The fair passenger gets comfortable next to Buster Keaton in "Our Hospitality" (1923).
Joe Roberts is waiting for his daughter with his sons in "Our Hospitality" (1923).
Buster Keaton is surprised to see his dog upon arrival in "Our Hospitality" (1923).
Buster Keaton checks his dog's paws in "Our Hospitality" (1923).
Buster Keaton asks for directions to the McKay estate in "Our Hospitality" (1923).
Buster Keaton says he is the heir of the McKay estate in "Our Hospitality" (1923).
Buster Keaton's companion borrows a gun to shoot him in "Our Hospitality" (1923).
Joe Roberts enjoys a cocktail in "Our Hospitality" (1923).
Joe Roberts is told that a McKay is in town in "Our Hospitality" (1923).
Buster Keaton is invited for dinner in "Our Hospitality" (1923).
Joe Roberts and his sons get ready to hunt for the enemy in "Our Hospitality" (1923).
Joe Roberts is told that a young man will be a guest for dinner in "Our Hospitality" (1923).
Buster Keaton bumps by accident into Joe Roberts in "Our Hospitality" (1923).
Buster Keaton is identified as the enemy in "Our Hospitality" (1923).
Buster Keaton kills time by trying some fishing in "Our Hospitality" (1923).
Buster Keaton catches his hat with his left hand a split second after it fell from his head in "Our Hospitality" (1923).
Joe Roberts and his sons end a fruitless chase in "Our Hospitality" (1923).
Joe Roberts learns that Buster Keaton is his daughter's acquaintance in "Our Hospitality" (1923).
Joe Roberts stops his sons from shooting Buster Keaton in their home in "Our Hospitality" (1923).
Joe Roberts resists the temptation to grab Buster Keaton in "Our Hospitality" (1923).
Buster Keaton overhears chat about getting shot in "Our Hospitality" (1923).
Buster Keaton learns that he is in his mortal enemy's home in "Our Hospitality" (1923).
Joe Roberts sizes up Buster Keaton during prayer in "Our Hospitality" (1923).
Buster Keaton sizes up Joe Roberts during prayer in "Our Hospitality" (1923).
Joe Roberts invites Buster Keaton to come again in "Our Hospitality" (1923).
Joe Roberts and his sons reach for their guns as Buster Keaton prepares to leave in "Our Hospitality" (1923).
Joe Roberts watches Buster Keaton biding his time before leaving in "Our Hospitality" (1923).
Joe Roberts invites the parson to stay; Buster Keaton invites himself in "Our Hospitality" (1923).
Joe Roberts watches Buster Keaton court his daughter in "Our Hospitality" (1923).
Joe Roberts talks to his daughter in "Our Hospitality" (1923).
Joe Roberts tells his daughter that Buster Keaton is the enemy in "Our Hospitality" (1923).
Joe Roberts won't guarantee Buster Keaton's life in "Our Hospitality" (1923).
Buster Keaton clings to a cliff running for his life in "Our Hospitality" (1923).
Buster Keaton ends up in the river with a rope tied around his waist in "Our Hospitality" (1923).
Buster Keaton catches Joe Roberts' daughter before she goes down the falls in "Our Hospitality" (1923).
Buster Keaton and Joe Roberts' daughter hug after the miracle rescue in "Our Hospitality" (1923).
Joe Roberts looks for Buster Keaton in "Our Hospitality" (1923).
Joe Roberts and his sons end another fruitless chase in "Our Hospitality" (1923).
Joe Roberts is shocked to see Buster Keaton in his home again in "Our Hospitality" (1923).
Joe Roberts sees the parson preparing a wedding ceremony in "Our Hospitality" (1923).
Joe Roberts gives blessings to his daughter in "Our Hospitality" (1923).
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