Even masters make misfires, and this Buster Keaton two-reeler lacks the spark that defined most of his work. An aimless comedic jaunt about a jilted lover trying to commit suicide, HARD LUCK is nevertheless Keaton's favorite of his own films because it contained the biggest laugh of his career, a clever finale that has since been lost. The film itself only exists in a truncated, degraded form.
The last Keaton film to be found, painstakingly restored to about 85 percent of what it looked like in 1921. Down on his luck, Buster unsuccessfully tries to end his life, drinking a bottle of poison that only gets him drunk, laying in front of a train that stops and turns around, hanging a noose from a branch that bends at will. Always funny.
There is still much to cherish in this fragmented and partly lost short film. Keaton still have great ideas and the plot that starts with our hero attempting suicide by jumping in front of cars and going under falling safes is something that you will never see in today's comedies unless you get labeled as a "bad taste comedy that makes suicide fun" but Keaton gets away with it. Sadly, the ending is totally missing.