This Film Is 100 Years Old

Go West (1923)

Go West is a 1923 silent comedy short, directed by Len Powers and featuring some chimps dressed up as people, albeit people with fake tails, as was the style at the time.

A father throws his useless wastrel son out of the house, so he hitches a ride on the railroad out west, holds up a clothes store, then gets lynched for his crime.

It’s quite the tale to tell in just under twelve minutes.

Luckily at the end it was all a dream, and the feckless young chimp man can go back to being a useless old drunk once again.



1. I watched this on blu-ray, and took the screenshots from this essentially version on youtube.

2. Not to be confused with the 1925 Buster Keaton film of the same name.

3. Even though I only saw it because it was included as an extra with the 1925 Buster Keaton film of the same name.

4. Like all things with animals dressed up as humans, this was deeply unsettling and upsetting in almost every way.

5. Although the dog sheriff at least looked like he was having fun.


Film Information

Title: Go West
Year: 1923
Director: Len Powers
Duration: 12 minutes
Watch: youtube

This Film Is More Than 100 Years Old

The Allotment Holder’s Enemies (1918)

The Allotment Holder’s Enemies (1918) is a short film made to advertise The Smallholder, a magazine for allotment owners, providing exciting instruction on how to rid your garden of pests. It was made by Charles Urban, some of whose films I’ve looked at here before.

Alongside slightly strident title cards like the one above, The Allotment Holder’s Enemies contains five minutes of surprisingly lovely and vivid footage of various kinds of fairly benign British garden wildlife, all of which are probably far less benign if they’re about to eat the last cabbage in the country. But it’s still quite amusing to see such ferocious disgust at, well, sparrows.

Poor sparrows.

(Incidentally, that reminds me of this beautiful old bestiary description of bees, which is, and shall always be, one of my very favourite things.)

Anyway, these most destructive birds are then presented to the viewer with some footage (see image immediately below) that doesn’t exactly do much to illustrate the dire biblical plague that obviously at the time they represented.

Just terrifying.

So to calm you down, here are some lovely pictures of snails, caterpillars, grubs.

Although even caterpillars can be quite ferocious.

“Especially to ladies.”



1. I watched this on the BFI Player

2. And gleaned, as usual, most of my information from there.

3. A sequel/companion to this, The Allotment Holder’s Friends, was made at the same time.

4. But unfortunately, except for mention of its title in various online catalogues, can find no evidence of its existence.


Film Information

Title: The Allotment Holder’s Enemies
Director: Charles Urban
Year: 1918
Duration: 5 minutes
Watch: BFI Player