(director/writer: Buster Keaton/Edward F. Cline; screenwriters: Raymond Cannon/Lex Neal; cinematographer: Elgin Lessley; editor: Bert 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 andEdward 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 theDiamond Bar Ranch. The owner (Howard Truesdale) and 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+ https://dennisschwartzreviews.com/