Public Domain Theater: Go West (& “The Balloonatic”)

Welcome to Public Domain Theater, your home for the wonderful world of films that have (in the United States, at least) fallen into the public domain, and are free for everyone to see!

It’s time for another look at our old friend, that master of slapstick farce, that Titan of the Silent Age of Cinema, Buster Keaton!

Our feature film (his 1925 picture Go West) isn’t held in as high esteem as Sherlock Jr. or The General (previously spotlighted here on Public Domain Theater). You might find it somewhat slow going at first. But stick with it, I beg you! Because this film has one of the most audacious, epic, go-for-broke, out-and-out bonkers finales this side of Blazing Saddles.

And that’s not the only Keaton we have for you today! We also have his 1923 short film “The Balloonatic”, which is about … well, it’s not really about anything. Keaton plays his go-to role of a hapless, penniless dope, who blunders his way into one wacky problem after another. Think of it less as a story, and more as a highlight reel of some of Buster Keaton’s wildest, funniest gags, and you’ll have a gay old time!

So come roll up your sleeves, and prepare for a double dose of Buster Keaton right into your veins, here at your local Public Domain Theater!

Opening Short:

Feature Presentation: