Monday, October 5, 2009
23. Sherlock Jr. (1924)
Running Time: 44 minutes
Directed By: Buster Keaton
Written By: Clyde Bruckman, Jean C. Havez
Main Cast: Buster Keaton, Kathryn McGuire, Ward Crane, Joe Keaton, Erwin Connelly
DON'T WORRY, DON'T WORRY...KEATON'S ON THE CASE
Another Buster Keaton movie comes up and I couldn't be more happy to see it, as it's one of his most heralded films and due to the fact that I absolutely loved Our Hospitality.
All the Keaton gags are in place as Buster plays a projectionist who aspires of being a detective, constantly reading his "How to Be A Detective" manual, while he has down time at the theatre where he works. The movie opens with Keaton at the theatre and a hilarious scene where he is sweeping up trash. From there he heads to his gal's home, taking her a box of chocolates and a ring. Enter Ward Crane who plays the other man interested in the wannabe detective's girlfriend, and the villain of our picture, who frames Keaton's character for the theft of a pocket watch and has him kicked from the home and told never to return again.
Put out, the projectionist returns to his job at the theatre, and falls asleep while showing a movie in the projectionist booth. During his slumber, he has an "out of body" experience and sees himself transplanted into the world of the film, where he is now Sherlock Jr., the second greatest detective to ever live. In the film world, Sherlock Jr. is confronted with a case similar to the stolen pocket watch of real life, with a case of stolen pearls. All the actors who played roles in the real world, are now also transplanted to the movie.
Some of the greatest, funniest and daring scenes you could hope for out of a film. At only 44 minutes this flick is chock full of excitement and fun. The stunt with Keaton riding on the handlebars of a bicycle with a companion steering the bike and not knowing that his companion has fallen off, is absolutely classic. I love Keaton's "avoiding danger accidentally" bits, where everything is set up for Keaton to be put into real danger, but he just happens to avoid them unknowingly. Also, the scene where he jumps through the window and into a dress, as absolutely stunning, and something that I had to rewind several times and rewatch...it's got to be seen to be believed. Buster Keaton is one of the reasons I'm so happy I decided to do this list, as I would've probably never discovered him otherwise. There's still three more Keaton films in the book and I'm already looking forward to them immensely.
RATING: 9.5/10 I dropped it a half of point because it was so short and because I think I like Our Hospitality just a hair better. Still a fantastic piece of film.
NEXT UP: The Last Laugh...F.W. Murnau directs and I'll get it from Netflix on Wednesday, so I won't see you until at least then, if not later. Take care till then.
October 5, 2009 6:32pm
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