Go West' DVD, Buster Keaton (1925), New & Sealed
I suppose Go West is an uplifting story-a young, goodhearted working man makes a living in the west-and I like the comparison between city and country life, but there is no heart in this film. It is stiff and cold. Even Buster Keaton himself (as the cowboy) lacks his earnestness and lack of confidence. Or maybe he doesn't-it's hard to tell since we rarely get to see clear shots of his face. This is a shame since what makes Keaton so good is not his visual grace so much as his nervous facial expressions while pulling off his stunts. Here we have action but no reaction. Even the action isn't very good; the only scene of real physical mastery is one where Keaton is tumbling around in a boxcar full of barrels; once again, the scene stinks because we never get to see his face. Even the attempt at adding a romance to the film is downright awful because it feels stapled on. One somewhat funny scene involves a crazed gunman trying to get Keaton to smile (you can imagine how reluctant he is) but the scene is a blatantly annoying wink to Keaton's persona and feels like a commercial for Keaton's work rather than a good old-fashion silent comedy riff. Buster Keaton is one my favorite comedians (probably my favorite silent comedian) but he has a handful of incomprehensibly popular trash such as Steamboat Bill Jr., Seven Chances, and-I would hate to have to add it too the list but-Go West.
Director: Buster Keaton
Buster Keaton .... Friendless
Howard Truesdale .... Ranch owner
Kathleen Myers .... Ranch owner's daughter
Ray Thompson .... Ranch foreman
Brown Eyes .... The Cow 'Brown Eyes'
Coding: All Region Code / NTSC format
Video: 4:3 Fullscreen
Audio: Dolby Digital / AC-3 / 5.1 Surround Sound
Subtitles: English / Chinese (Removable)
Runtime: 69 mins.
Colour: Black and White