We're at the final Buster Keaton silent short and about to enter into his equally brilliant run of feature films. THE LOVE NEST is another engaging short and would be the best film for many lesser comedians, but for Keaton, it lacks that one brilliant stand out gag or scenario for me to give this a 10, hence the 9 instead. Still, there is absolutely nothing wrong with this short at all.
What do I like about THE LOVE NEST? In general, I dig the deep sea atmosphere and just the loneliness of the whole thing. Really, Keaton is a guy lost at sea, and even when he is on a ship with others, you never feel like he is either on board with everyone else on the ship or understands their feelings about him. Think the times Keaton think Roberts will throw him off but doesn't. So yeah, a real lonely film, similar to some Chaplin and Langdon, but never Lloyd. I dig that kind of thing, and perhaps that speaks more about me than the film itself. Speaking of Joe Roberts, it's always a treat watching him play the intimidating heavy, and this is one of his more humorous roles.
Lots of fun little throwaway gags in this one. Keaton appearing to stare at the sea through a window outside only for Roberts to take down the window revealing it's actually a painting Keaton's staring at got a big laugh this viewing. One of the many Keaton gags where he surprises the audience, think the opening prison bar scene in COPS. Love Keaton walking down the stairs into the sea with a rifle to shoot a fish, the sinking of the big boat while Keaton camps out on the smaller boat on top, the phony beard, the trick ending where he's really not at sea....just an overall entertaining film.