This Buster Keaton short didn't have a ton of laughs but it had enough to suit me. The gist of the story is an Indian tribe getting their land taken from them by corrupt oil men and Buster getting it back for them.Along the way, he proves himself to be a superhuman "god" by surviving being burned at the stake. (A fire-proof asbestos suit did the trick!) Later, he's involved in warring tribes. Through a decent portion of the film, he is being chased by either of the tribes. Chase scenes are always funny and these in this movie are no exception. Some of these sight gags elicit hardy laughs. In the end, Buster not only saves the Indians' land but gets a pretty "squab," too!This is good slapstick and another example of why some people – me included – think Keaton's short movies, generally speaking, were better than his feature films. Some reviewers here label this one "cute and silly" and I would agree with that.
Any spoilers are in references to Buster's sight gags. The inventive genius of Buster Keaton never ceases to amaze. Though not one of his greats, this short is full of some brilliantly observed gags, many of which are cleverly set up during the film: (a) being chased by the Indians and all stopping while he inspects a wasp which stings him; and the gag with the butterfly net and the chief; (b) moving the stake while the firewood is being piled up to the consternation of the wood gatherer who eventually gets knocked out by the stake when Buster bends over; (c) the rope bridge across the canyon which Buster crosses by moving the few slats one at a time; (d) when Buster is caught by the oil executive who wants to change clothes with him, Buster produces a small leafless tree to provide no privacy; (e) whilst doing the war dance in the oil company office, stopping to explain to an Indian how the dance should be done; (f) crawling after an escaping executive and about to scalp him, wh…
After having their land unscrupulously stolen from them by greedy oil sharks, a tribe of Native American Indians vows to kill the next white man who comes into their presence. Said white man turns out to be an unknowing Buster Keaton seeking butterflies for his collection.This movie is basically a live-action cartoon. It features the type of chase and stunt sequences one more expects from Looney Tunes only here its accomplished in live action via a series of daring stunts and surprisingly well accomplished special effects sequences. These are pulled off much better than I though would be even possible for the time and era.Overall this short may not be as humorous as many of Keaton's other efforts but it sure doesn't lack in terms of its overall entertainment value due to the above mentioned dangerous stunt sequences that seem more fitting for a cartoon than live action, the best of which involves Buster being thrown over a cliff and creating a makeshift bridge across a gorge.