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The original "Better Off Dead"?
A down-on-his-luck miserable Buster can't take it anymore and decides to end it all but can't seem to even do that! He finds a little hope when he meets a beautiful huntress, but things don't get any better for the poor fellow.
Hard Luck is astonishing in it's surprisingly good black humor and crazy clever jokes. The story is hilarious and silly, and Buster again displays his unparalleled athletic and physical comic ability. But what I really can't get over is how good the dark jokes are.
I never would've guessed it, but dark comedy mixed with The Great Stone Face's deadpan style is a match made in heaven. It's impossible not to love, and as a dark comedy fan, I loved it even more. The mixture of the clever jokes, the dark subject matter, Buster's mastery of deadpan, and the witty storytelling is magnificent.
It may not be one of Buster's funniest, but there are definitely lots of laughs. And it's difficult not to appreciate the ingenuity in the film's humor. Oh, and the ending! Wow! Very clever and funny. The ending was actually lost, until it was found in someone's attic. Buster even called the ending the funniest joke of his career. It's not a perfect film, but the jokes are just so brilliant that I can't help but label this film as one my favorite Buster Keaton films ever (short or feature).
Even though three minutes of the film is missing from history, the story is still mainly intact although the plot jumps from one scenario to the next. While some gags are very predictable, there is still humor to be found. Not the best film, but definitely worth seeing for Buster fans like myself.
"Hard Luck" is 21 minutes in length and is another of his shorts that has truly black humor as the subject of the film revolves around Buster playing a down and out guy who tries and fails to commit suicide (in various hilarious moments). Buster Keaton himself said that the end gag, which unfortunately is lost to time (3 minutes total), was his favorite and most laughable gag in his career. "Hard Luck" was lost for over 60 years, even through Buster's death, and it's a wonder we have it today in such a close to complete version. The film does a good job of detailing what happens as Buster jumps from the high dive and then transitions to the hole in the ground and tells more details via inter-title about what happens next and ends with a single still image that sums it up! I won't spoil it because it was Buster's personal favorite gag and is truly laugh out loud hilarious! This short is a must see!
Wonderful short with botched suicide attempts, hilarious ways to mount a horse and a climactic high dive -- into the ground? -- that doesn't even seem humanly possible to survive.
This was similar to The Boat, but not as dull. The beginning had some good acts, then the film goes downhill. I did like how the film ended though. Quite funny how he came back with an Asian wife and two kids.
The last Keaton film to be found, painstakingly restored to about 85 percent of what it looked like in 1921. Down on his luck, Buster unsuccessfully tries to end his life, drinking a bottle of poison that only gets him drunk, laying in front of a train that stops and turns around, hanging a noose from a branch that bends at will. Always funny.
Brilliant! Not only does he tell a simple story in the absurdest of manners, but he experiments beautifully with adding several tones to the monochrome such as the cyanotype (blue) and the ambrotype (reddish brown) to create filtering-like effects that enriched and livened up the rather-dull-at-times gray scale.
Keaton constantly fails to commit suicide in this black comedy. It's hilarious.
Amazing in every way!