Sunday, June 21, 2015

Silent Sundays: Go West (1925)


 “Some people travel through life making friends wherever they go, while others - Just travel through life.”

            In life we become attached to certain things be them stuffed animals as a kid or a collections of movies or books or pieces of clothing or even our smart phones. Some even become very attached to their animals. For example, my one aunt brings her small dog pretty much everywhere she goes. I love my dog and sometimes I would love to bring my Indy Bones with me everywhere but she is a massive pain in the ass (yet incredibly cute) big yellow lab. Indy is like a bull in a china shop wherever she goes. Things life like animals can bring us comfort and joy. Yes, I do know my DVD and book collections are inanimate objects and cannot replace the interaction and sometimes joy of being around other humans but the characters and stories are always there for me when I am feeling lonely and down. Films are always there to lift me up and sometimes I come across a film that perfectly speaks to me in that moment of my life. One such film and its character that has recently spoken to me is the silent film Go West.
            A young man, simply known as Friendless (Buster Keaton), lives in a small town in Indiana. There are no work opportunities for him in Indiana so he must leave to go to the big city. In the city he is one of millions of small people making their way through life looking for opportunities. Having not found success Friendless gets the inspiration to move out West. He hops on a cargo train and travels out to find his place in life.
            Friendless is traveling with barrels of food. As the train rolls through the dry desert the barrels begin to move all over the place. He manages to get stuck in one and is ejected out of the train right into the desert. After walking around he comes across a cattle ranch. Friendless sees some men toss their left over clothes on the ground so he grabs the discards and puts them on. He figures out who the ranch owner is and asks for a job. The owner says there are no jobs but quickly changes his tune when another ranch hand leaves. Friendless is given the task of milking a cow named Brown Eyes.
            Friendless and Brown Eyes quickly become friends. The cow follows the human around as though she was a dog. When Brown Eyes has to be branded like the other cows with a hot iron Friendless takes her away and tries to hide her at first. When all else fails he takes out his razor and shaving cream and shaves the brand into the cow himself.
Image result for go west 1925
Image result for go west 1925
            The ranch owner has to send all his cattle to the slaughter house including Brown Eyes. Friendless is distraught that his only friend, something who truly cares for him, has to be taken away and killed. He tries to play some ranch hands in a poker game to win the money to buy her but he cannot get it. The owners daughter tries to plead with her father to just let Friendless have the cow but the cow is another one to sell and he needs the money.
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            Friendless travels on the train with the cows. There is a shoot out at some stretch of journey and he is there more or less to save the cows than the other hands. He makes it back on the train and into the city. He comes up with the idea in the city to take Brown Eyes off the train and keep her. Sometime later all the cattle on the train manage to get off the train and run amok in the city. The police are frantic and the people are terrified.
Image result for go west 1925
            To make a long story short, the ranch owner and his daughter come into town after hearing about their cattle. The owner takes Friendless and Brown Eyes back with him in his car.
            Go West was really cute. I feel like at this moment in my life I can relate to Friendless. I do have friends but they are not around as much or they live far away. I feel lonely and sad over where my life is right now like how Friendless felt at the beginning when he is looking for a job. I cannot find a goddamn full time job to save my life at the moment. I wish I could jump on a cargo train like Friendless and head west. I would love to go live in California! I loved Friendless’ friendship with Brown Eyes because it is a way people feel when they find an actual human friend. When you get an attachment to someone or something you hold on to it for dear life. If it makes you happy and gives you purpose to keep going you hang on to it. If it is an activity like reading or watching movies or YouTube vloggers you keep reading and watching. Go West is one of my favorite Buster Keaton films. The story was perfect for the down and out characters he usually played. 
Image result for go west 1925