The Love Nest

The Love Nest ★★★

Chronological Keaton

"Since you've broken off our engagement, I've decided not to marry you" - opening intertitle.

The Love Nest sees a broken hearted Keaton, try to forget his woes by sailing off in the Cupid, a small boat. Not long into his round the world journey he runs into the whaling ship Love Nest. On board the whaling ship's Captain (Joe Roberts) throws anyone overboard whom falls on his bad side. Instead of a life belt a wreath is tossed to the drowning sailor. The understated intertitle simply states "The captain is rather irritable".

Keaton is made the Captain's steward and spends most of the short trying to avoid being thrown into the ocean himself. The comedy is mostly pitch black in this one and for the most part it's enjoyable. There are a couple of good gags but for the most part the material feels recycled.

The Love Nest marks a milestone on my Keaton quest. The last silent short that Keaton made and the last short in the Eureka Masters of Cinema box set, which has now finally been returned to the library after the small matter of one year.

What have I learnt?
(1) Keaton was a lot better on his own than he was with Fatty Arbuckle.
(2) Some of the stunt work looks so dangerous it's staggering that he survived this period of his career.
(3) The shorts are a mixed bag and I've rated them between 1.5 and 5 stars.
(4) Keaton was his own harshest critic and some of the films he didn't like himself are very good indeed.
(5) The Love Nest is a classic example of how no one can sink on a boat in such a hilariously stoic fashion as Keaton.

Predictably I've celebrated the occasion by ranking all of Keaton's silent short films. Enjoy.

I'm off to watch a Keaton movie!

Steve liked this review