Quiz about Our Hospitality
Quiz about Our Hospitality

Our Hospitality Trivia Quiz


This 1923 Buster Keaton film featured his son and his father, as well as his wife, Natalie Talmadge.

A multiple-choice quiz by ubermom. Estimated time: 8 mins.
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Author
ubermom
Time
8 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
320,879
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
15
Difficulty
Tough
Avg Score
8 / 15
Plays
168
This quiz has 2 formats: you can play it as a or as shown below.
Scroll down to the bottom for the answer key.
1. We open with the prologue. It was a dark and stormy night. All of the McKay clan have been killed off in a feud except for John McKay and his infant son, William. John fears for his life -- Jim Canfield is back in town, looking for him. As Jim loads his gun and heads off into the night, his brother Joseph, hoping for peace, follows him. Who ends up getting killed? Hint

John McKay
Joseph Canfield
Jim Canfield
John McKay and Jim Canfield

2. Young Willie's mother, wanting to escape the bloodshed, takes the baby to her sister's home, so he can grow up ignorant of the feud. Where does Mrs. McKay take Willie? Hint

South, to Alabama
Northeast, to New York
West, to Missouri
North, to Ohio

3. We jump forward twenty years and get to meet young Willie McKay, now 21 years old and living with his elderly aunt. When we first see Willie (Buster Keaton), he tucks a letter into his hat and heads home using an usual mode of transportation. What is it? Hint

A goat cart
A wooden bicycle with no pedals
Roller skates
A penny farthing bicycle (with the big wheel in front)

4. The letter Willie had tucked into his hat tells him he has inherited an estate, and instructs him to come and take possession. So off Willie goes, aboard a vintage train, in the company of a beautiful girl (Natalie Talmadge). When a stubborn donkey blocks the way, what do the engineer and coachman do? Hint

They coax the donkey off the track with apples.
They move the track to go around the donkey.
The engineer rides the donkey while the coachman leads it.
The coachman pulls the donkey while the engineer nudges it with the engine.

5. As Willie is helping other passengers disembark from the train, the beautiful girl runs to greet her family -- the Canfields, of course. As he wipes the soot from his face, Willie sees his dog, who we've been watching as he trotted faithfully along under the train all this time. Willie identifies himself and asks directions to the McKay estate from the first man he sees -- who turns out to be a Canfield brother. What does this brother -- who keeps his own identity a secret -- do when he learns who he's speaking to? Hint

He goes into a hotel and asks the desk clerk for a pistol.
He invites Willie to a saloon for a drink.
He gives Willie directions, then rushes home to tell his father.
He gives Willie directions, then rushes to head him off and ambush him.

6. Having parted ways with the Canfield brother, Willie finds his way to the McKay estate -- a rundown old house that nearly collapses on him when he opens the door. We see his dream estate blow up before our eyes. Oh, well. Willie wanders off to occupy himself, and walks straight up to a Canfield brother -- who he still doesn't realize is out to kill him. What happens when they meet? Hint

A group of schoolchildren rush through, keeping the Canfield brother from getting a shot at Willie.
Willie trips, so the shot the Canfield fires goes over his head.
A chunk of Willie's decrepit house falls down, knocking out the Canfield brother.
The Canfield brother's gun won't fire. Willie takes it from him, fires it, and hands it back.

7. Willie finds himself with time on his hands. What does he do? Hint

He reads a newspaper.
He plays solitaire.
He goes fishing.
He tries to fix up his dilapidated house.

8. How is it that Willie ends up at the Canfield house? Hint

The Canfield brother had invited him.
He was looking for a place to stay and it looked hospitable.
His dog had led him there.
The beautiful girl from the train had invited him.

9. How does Willie learn that he's in the home of his sworn enemies, the Canfields? Hint

The father introduces himself.
The butler tells him.
The beautiful girl introduces her family.
He reads it on a piece of mail he finds on a table.

10. After dinner, Willie stalls for time, trying to delay the inevitable moment when he leaves the house and gets shot. He shakes hands all around -- sometimes twice with the same person. He surreptitiously flicks his hat under a seat and asks for help looking for it. What's his final stall tactic? Hint

He tries to get his dog to do tricks.
He pretends to sprain his ankle.
He offers to sing them a song.
He asks the parson a theological question.

11. While Willie continues to try to stall, the kindly old parson takes his hat and shawl and opens the door -- to see pouring rain. The Canfield patriarch won't let him leave, saying "It would be the death of any one to go outside tonight." Willie takes this to heart and invites himself to stay. The next day, the beautiful girl keeps him captivated (while he watches the men uneasily) by doing what? Hint

Reading poetry
Playing the piano
Showing off the house
Teaching him a card game

12. Old Mr. Canfield takes the opportunity, when Willie has left the room, to tell his daughter who her suitor is. When Willie returns, she turns away from him. He decides to leave -- disguising himself in women's clothes. But, like Bugs Bunny in drag with his tail sticking out, Willie walks off with his hoops awry and his trouser-clad backside visible. The chase begins! What does Willie set up as a decoy to buy time? Hint

A bush
A horse's rear end
A scarecrow
A cigar store Indian

13. Willie tries climbing down a steep mountainside to escape, but gets himself trapped on a ledge. How does he get off the ledge? Hint

He leaps into the river.
A Canfield brother throws him a rope, which he ties around his waist.
The beautiful Canfield girl throws him a rope, and he climbs up.
He jumps into the back of a passing hay wagon.

14. The film approaches the grand finale, the great stunt -- the waterfall rescue. How does Willie end up being swept down a raging river toward a waterfall? Hint

He tries to swing across the river on a vine, but the vine breaks.
He'd jumped in where it had seemed fairly calm, but it quickly grows rougher than Willie had counted on.
The tender of the train he'd stolen derails with him aboard.
The boat he'd stolen capsizes.

15. Willie rescues the beautiful Canfield girl -- who is only in the river because she'd tried to rescue him, but we won't get into that. Darkness falls and three disappointed Canfield men return to the house. What do they find there? Hint

Willie and the girl kissing in her bedroom.
Willie and the girl getting in the carriage to ride away to be married.
A note from the girl that she has eloped with Willie.
Willie and the girl, wrapped in blankets in front of the fireplace.


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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. We open with the prologue. It was a dark and stormy night. All of the McKay clan have been killed off in a feud except for John McKay and his infant son, William. John fears for his life -- Jim Canfield is back in town, looking for him. As Jim loads his gun and heads off into the night, his brother Joseph, hoping for peace, follows him. Who ends up getting killed?

Answer: John McKay and Jim Canfield

It's a very dark prologue, for a movie that turns into a comedy. John and Jim fire at almost the same time, shooting each other down. John's wife, hearing the gunshots, opens the door. Her husband falls dead at her feet. Joseph arrives to find his brother lying dead. He carries the body home and sadly pronounces that the feud must now go on.

Though the Hatfield/McCoy feud that the movie loosely borrows from ran from 1878 to 1891, Keaton set his film in 1830 (and the prologue in 1810) so that he could have an excuse for building a working model of a period train -- in this case, the Stephenson Rocket. Keaton does reach for a bit of realism, though, in making the Canfield (Hatfield) family more prosperous than the McKay (McCoy) family.

The baby billed as "Buster Keaton Jr." was originally Joseph Keaton VII -- keeping with the long-standing Keaton tradition of naming firstborn sons Joseph. Keaton's wife began calling the child Jimmy, and after divorcing his father she legally changed his name to James Talmadge (also changing his brother Robert's last name to Talmadge). Hence, though Buster Keaton had only sons -- born in wedlock -- his children and grandchildren were all Talmadges.
2. Young Willie's mother, wanting to escape the bloodshed, takes the baby to her sister's home, so he can grow up ignorant of the feud. Where does Mrs. McKay take Willie?

Answer: Northeast, to New York

We see the young widow bidding an elderly couple -- perhaps her parents -- goodbye, and getting into a coach with her baby.

Mrs. McKay is an uncredited Jean Dumas, whose brief career encompassed only four films.
3. We jump forward twenty years and get to meet young Willie McKay, now 21 years old and living with his elderly aunt. When we first see Willie (Buster Keaton), he tucks a letter into his hat and heads home using an usual mode of transportation. What is it?

Answer: A wooden bicycle with no pedals

Keaton, who was a stickler for historical accuracy, did his best to have Fred Gabourie and his crew recreate Broadway and Forty-Second Street as it appeared in an 1830 print. I've been unable to confirm the accuracy of the depiction. Gabourie and crew's replica of the Gentleman's Hobby Horse bicycle was so accurate that the Smithsonian asked for it. Keaton graciously donated it.

Keaton rides a goat cart with his date in "The Cook" (1918), and a penny farthing bicycle in "The General" (1926). To my knowledge, he never roller-skates in his films, but a penguin does -- in "The Spook Speaks" (1940).
4. The letter Willie had tucked into his hat tells him he has inherited an estate, and instructs him to come and take possession. So off Willie goes, aboard a vintage train, in the company of a beautiful girl (Natalie Talmadge). When a stubborn donkey blocks the way, what do the engineer and coachman do?

Answer: They move the track to go around the donkey.

The train, a faithful reproduction of a period Stephenson Rocket, is quite whimsical to our modern eyes. Cameramen Gordon Jennings and Elgin Lessley framed beautiful shots of the train wending its way through the landscape.

The engineer is played by Keaton's father, Joe Keaton. Later in the film, the elder Keaton shows off his famous high-kick when he kicks the hat off the coachman's head during a bickering match.

Cameraman Gordon Jennings was the first to do credits that moved up the screen. He moved from cinematography to special effects in 1932 and worked steadily into 1945. He was the brother of Devereaux "Dev" Jennings, who was Keaton's cameraman in "Steamboat Bill Jr." (1928), "College" (1927), "The General" (1926), and "Battling Butler" (1926). Elgin Lessley worked with Keaton from "The Bell Boy" in 1917 through "The Cameraman" in 1928.
5. As Willie is helping other passengers disembark from the train, the beautiful girl runs to greet her family -- the Canfields, of course. As he wipes the soot from his face, Willie sees his dog, who we've been watching as he trotted faithfully along under the train all this time. Willie identifies himself and asks directions to the McKay estate from the first man he sees -- who turns out to be a Canfield brother. What does this brother -- who keeps his own identity a secret -- do when he learns who he's speaking to?

Answer: He goes into a hotel and asks the desk clerk for a pistol.

The Canfield brother asks several businessmen for guns as he walks along with the oblivious Willie. Young Mr. Canfield finally finds somebody with a pistol, but when he emerges from the building, Willie is gone -- having wandered off to defend a woman from her battering husband and get beaten up by the wife for his trouble.
6. Having parted ways with the Canfield brother, Willie finds his way to the McKay estate -- a rundown old house that nearly collapses on him when he opens the door. We see his dream estate blow up before our eyes. Oh, well. Willie wanders off to occupy himself, and walks straight up to a Canfield brother -- who he still doesn't realize is out to kill him. What happens when they meet?

Answer: The Canfield brother's gun won't fire. Willie takes it from him, fires it, and hands it back.

Willie walks off with his dog and his carpetbag, still oblivious of the danger. And when he walks again past the quarreling couple, he pauses just long enough for the wife to take another swing at him, then gives them a wide berth.

Keaton will re-use the misfiring gun gag later in both "The Passionate Plumber" (1932) and "She's Oil Mine" (1941), though the setting in those later movies will be a duel.
7. Willie finds himself with time on his hands. What does he do?

Answer: He goes fishing.

Willie buys a fishing pole from a boy and goes to a fishing hole. Of course, everything goes wrong -- though in a way that inadvertently protects him from the Canfields, who are still looking for him with murder on their minds.

Keaton, who liked his films to have symmetry to them, fits a small waterfall scene in at this part of the film, balancing out the larger waterfall he'll deal with later. Of course, it could also be that he wanted to get another scene out of the massive waterfall set he had built.
8. How is it that Willie ends up at the Canfield house?

Answer: The beautiful girl from the train had invited him.

Upon seeing their sister's guest, the Canfield brothers eagerly begin loading their pistols. They're quite crestfallen when their father forbids them to shoot him in their house. You see, though they've sworn to kill him in vengeance for the death of Jim Canfield, southern hospitality and thus their honor prevents them from shooting a guest in their home. They have to wait for him to go outside.

Joe Roberts, who played the senior Canfield, was an old friend of Keaton's from his childhood summer home in Muskegon, Wisconsin. Roberts, whose enormous bulk made a striking contrast to Keaton's diminutive frame, was a favorite comic foil. Sadly, he had a stroke and died shortly after filming of "Our Hospitality" was completed.
9. How does Willie learn that he's in the home of his sworn enemies, the Canfields?

Answer: The butler tells him.

Willie overhears the brothers talking about being forbidden to kill him in the house. He approaches the butler and asks whose house he's in. When he realizes he's in the lions' den, he runs outside, only to have the brothers follow, pistols firing. Willie darts back inside.

The Canfield brothers were played by Ralph Bushman (often credited as Francis X. Bushman Jr.), whose career reached into the mid-1940s; and Craig Ward, who only acted in three films.
10. After dinner, Willie stalls for time, trying to delay the inevitable moment when he leaves the house and gets shot. He shakes hands all around -- sometimes twice with the same person. He surreptitiously flicks his hat under a seat and asks for help looking for it. What's his final stall tactic?

Answer: He tries to get his dog to do tricks.

The dog fetches Willie's hat for him when his help is decidedly not wanted. Willie puts the dog through some fairly pathetic paces, trying to buy time.
11. While Willie continues to try to stall, the kindly old parson takes his hat and shawl and opens the door -- to see pouring rain. The Canfield patriarch won't let him leave, saying "It would be the death of any one to go outside tonight." Willie takes this to heart and invites himself to stay. The next day, the beautiful girl keeps him captivated (while he watches the men uneasily) by doing what?

Answer: Playing the piano

Willie is doubly uncomfortable -- as an unwelcome suitor, and as a sworn enemy. He manages to shake the men for a moment by darting outside and slipping back in while they run off looking for him, but they quickly return and go back to glaring at him while the girl, oblivious, plays her instrument. Willie even buys enough time go go outside and retrieve a piece of sheet music that had blown away, by taking the brother's gun, firing it, and handing it back.

The kindly old parson is played by Monte Collins Sr., whose son will later play with Keaton in several short films for Columbia.
12. Old Mr. Canfield takes the opportunity, when Willie has left the room, to tell his daughter who her suitor is. When Willie returns, she turns away from him. He decides to leave -- disguising himself in women's clothes. But, like Bugs Bunny in drag with his tail sticking out, Willie walks off with his hoops awry and his trouser-clad backside visible. The chase begins! What does Willie set up as a decoy to buy time?

Answer: A horse's rear end

First Willie tries to hide on the train, but the Canfields stop it to search for him. Then he takes off on a horse, but his skirts blow up over his face. Finally he drapes the dress on the horse's backside and fastens the umbrella as additional cover. The ruse lasts long enough for the Canfields to take aim, but luckily for the horse, not long enough for them to fire.
13. Willie tries climbing down a steep mountainside to escape, but gets himself trapped on a ledge. How does he get off the ledge?

Answer: A Canfield brother throws him a rope, which he ties around his waist.

The Canfield brother throws Willie a rope, which he got from a prospector by saying, "Lend me your rope -- I want to swing a man over where I can get a better shot at him." He ties the rope around his own waist then tosses the other end to Willie. Willie evidently figures any port in a storm, and ties the rope around his waist.

He swings over to a more secure spot, but loses his footing momentarily and yanks on the rope, sending the Canfield brother tumbling off the cliff. Willie blandly watches the brother fall past him, then realizes he's tied to the plummeting man a moment before getting yanked off the ledge himself.

They both plunge into the river, far below.
14. The film approaches the grand finale, the great stunt -- the waterfall rescue. How does Willie end up being swept down a raging river toward a waterfall?

Answer: The tender of the train he'd stolen derails with him aboard.

The rope that ties Willie to the Canfield brother gets cut when the train passes over it. Willie steals the engine and tender of the train, but the tender comes unhitched then derails and falls in the river.

Most of the river scene was actually shot in a river. Keaton nearly drowned when the safety wire keeping him from being swept away snapped. When he was fished out of the river, Keaton had two questions: "Did Nat (his wife) see it?" and "Did you get it?" The answer to both was yes. Natalie had indeed witnessed her husband's near-drowning, and the cameramen -- well trained to keep cranking until Keaton yelled "Cut!" or was killed -- caught the whole thing on film. Keaton used the mishap, as he did many of his near-fatal stunts gone awry -- in the final cut of the film.

Even under the controlled conditions of the waterfall set built for the rescue scene, Keaton needed three tries to snatch the dummy from the brink of destruction, and got so much water in his ears and nose that he needed a doctor's attention.
15. Willie rescues the beautiful Canfield girl -- who is only in the river because she'd tried to rescue him, but we won't get into that. Darkness falls and three disappointed Canfield men return to the house. What do they find there?

Answer: Willie and the girl kissing in her bedroom.

Just as the Canfield father is about to blow the supposed debaucher's head off, the kindly old parson appears, closes his book, and asks the father to kiss the bride. It's legitimate for Willie to be in her bedroom after all. The father contemplates his plaintive daughter -- and the sampler on the wall saying "Love thy neighbor as thyself" -- and lays aside his pistol.

The brothers follow suit and lay aside their own arms. And Willie unwraps himself from his blanket and sets aside the arsenal he was keeping hidden, just in case.
Source: Author ubermom

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor jmorrow before going online.
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