After her husband John McKay is killed in an ongoing feud with the Canfield family, a woman takes her baby boy Willie to her sister's house in New York hoping he will never know of the feud with the Canfields. Twenty years later Willie is a grown man and he receives a letter saying he has inherited his father's estate and must travel to his family home to take possession. On the train there he meets a beautiful young woman and falls in love only to learn that she's a Canfield. He accepts her invitation to dinner and quickly realizes that the Canfield men won't kill him while he's in their home. His plan to stay there as a permanent guest is short-lived and the Canfields are soon after him.Written by
The earliest comedy included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »
When the donkey refuses to move from the rail tracks, the engineer and others curve the tracks around him. The long shot that shows the train moving past the donkey, however, shows the tracks back in a straight line. See more »
There has never been a more comic use of a `train' (if the label is appropriate) than in this film. This is ingenuity at its finest, the most sustained comic sequence I've ever seen. Travelling from New York ca. 1830 to the Appalachians to claim an `estate', Keaton on this journey provides the highlight of the film-and what a highlight it is! From the bouncing actions of passengers to the lifting and moving of track, this series of images is non-stop pleasure. A dog, a hobo, a man throwing rocks at the engineer, a mule-all are inspired catalysts to laughter.
Once Keaton (a McKay) reaches his destination, the movie changes pace. And despite many good moments, especially those when Keaton has taken up `permanent residence' at the Canfields, the humor never reaches the level of the first portion of the film. Nonetheless, Keaton's genius is evident throughout the film, and it is this ability to innovate that constantly amazes.
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