Our Hospitality, produced in 1923, was Buster Keaton’s first true feature film, and in viewing, one can see that old gags used in shorts have been toned down for feature length product, but the continual growth of Mr. Keaton as an artist toward future features.
As a now almost hundred year-old film, it holds up beautifully. Basically, a take on backwoods muti-generational family feuds, along with the Christian ethic of kindness toward others, it still shines.
As a 1923 American production, it’s now in the public domain. Without getting into what entities owned what, and at what times regarding this Metro distributed film, suffice to say that quality film elements are out there.
It was previously released by Kino in 2011 in Blu format, with a Carl Davis score, and many of the same extras that are found in the new version.
Will there be another Blu appear via The Cohen Collection?
If there is, it may not matter, as the film elements used for the Lobster restoration are of requisitely high quality, and have been handled in such a way, that there may be little need for yet another version. I’m actually surprised that they’ve not moved on this title, as the copyright clock, allowing them exclusivity, is running.
Derived from a 35mm dupe negative, with portions courtesy of a MOMA diacetate print, this Our Hospitality shines. There are minimal problems – and I mean extremely minimal problems – that I note only as a matter of record. A tiny bit of “rain,” possibly at heads and tails, an errant abrasion in one spot. That’s it.
Lobster’s master is gorgeous, with beautiful shadow detail, appropriate image resolution, and a fine score by Robert Israel.
It was a thrill to see this film again, in this newly restored state.
Grab a copy.
Image – 4.75
Audio – n/a
Pass / Fail – Pass
Upgrade from previous Blu-ray – Yes!
Very Highly Recommended