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Time Out says

The main reason why Keaton is funnier and infinitely more 'modern' than Chaplin is that his movies are written, directed and shot as movies, never as excuses for comedy and/or pathos. This was his second feature and first full-length masterpiece, a story about the innocent inheritor of an old feud between Southern families, who carelessly starts dating the girl from the other family. The period setting (1831, the early days of rail travel) is made integral to the action, and all the laughs spring directly from the narrative and the characters. Buster's climactic rescue of his sweetheart from a waterfall is one of his most daringly acrobatic (and most celebrated) gags.

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