Sherlock Jr 1924 (1924) Other movies recommended for you
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Plot: A film projectionist longs to be a detective, and puts his meagre skills to work when he is framed by a rival for stealing his girlfriend's father's pocketwatch. Runtime: 45 mins Release Date: 11 May 1924
It's almost impossible to describe the astounding creativity of "Sherlock, Jr". Even for Buster Keaton, this is a tremendous display of comedic and fantasy material. What's so remarkable is not so much any particularly hilarious gag or gags, as the never-ending stream of amazing and entertaining sights - coming faster and faster as the film proceeds - that seem so off-hand and effortlessly inventive, but that must have involved many hours of painstaking work to perfect. The film vs. reality theme is also highly suggestive, and makes this great movie one of the most <more>
completely satisfying efforts by Keaton or anyone else.The film opens slowly and allows the pace to build gradually. Buster operates the movie projector at a theater, while trying to study on his own to be a detective. He is involved in a real-life mystery that involves his girlfriend's family, and which turns out badly for him. He retreats into the fantasy world of a picture showing at his theater, and from then on you just have to see it to appreciate it. The creative comedy, the technical skill, and the subtly expressed themes are all remarkable.This is a great experience not to be missed.
Not only is this Buster Keaton's best film, but it is among the greatest achievements in the history of cinema, period. While it is not a feature-length film--and thus barred from most critics' lists of great films--it invented just about every single basic special effect known to movies except for morphing . The story itself, about a film projectionist who desires to become part of the movies, and then does, by walking right onto the screen, made palpable the desire that we all have to be in the movies: To get the girl, to be an action hero, to outsmart the bad guys. Keaton invented <more>
meta-cinema before anyone even had a phrase for it.This movie has entered our dreams.
Though a lot of older films tend to be neglected, Sherlock Jr. definitely isn't a film that could be called obscure. I imagine most people at least know OF this movie with its famous movie-in-a-movie surrealist scene.Still, having previously heard over and over again about the brilliance of this film, I never really understood until I saw it myself. It's not just the dream-story and the surreality, it's what Keaton does with it and the importance he places on cinema. This film is even rather unique in using montage in a new way, or showing how much film appeals to the imagination <more>
as much as an artistic endeavor.Thus, this film itself becomes both wildly imaginative and brilliantly artistic... and best of all, it's FUNNY! Thus, it becomes a film for everyone. There's no hard-found artistic conceit that leads to cries of "Pretentious!", but still people can say "It's amazing." There's no comedic conceit that says, "Bah, just simple slapstick, it's low-culture!" because it's rather intelligently done. And it's creative in a way that isn't like an opium-dream. It can appeal to anybody of all ages. It's one very well-done film.--PolarisDiB
Buster Keaton's most surreal movie sprang from his insistence on logic and realism. His tribute to cinema was inspired by stage magic tricks he remembered from his vaudeville career. His most dazzling and original movie is also one of his least formally perfect. All these paradoxes belong naturally to this "through the looking glass" work, which examines the dream-like nature of filmor is it the film-like nature of dreams? As Buster told it, the origin of the film lay in his desire to use certain illusionary stunts, like the bewildering dive through a living assistant's <more>
stomach, which he had learned the secret of as a child. But he firmly believed that impossible or "cartoon" gags were not acceptable in feature films, so he could only include them by making them occur in a dream, which is also a film-within-a-film. This is odd, when you think about it, since what he seems to be saying is that impossible things can happen in a filmbut this was the very rule he himself refused to break. By creating an outer film that is "real" and an inner film that is "not real," Keaton shows that, while film enables illusions and distortions of reality, the filmmaker has a choiceand a responsibilityto clearly delineate fact from fantasy. In one scene, Keaton uses a camera trick dissolving a wall to prove that he's NOT using a camera trick when he dives through a window and comes out disguised as an old woman. Because he was analytical, mechanically-minded, and a stickler for authenticity, Keaton took pleasure in revealing the processes of magic tricks, and camera tricks, rather than using them to fool the audience.Buster plays a hapless cinema projectionist who yearns to be a detective, but is so clueless that his romantic rival manages to frame him for stealing his girlfriend's father's watch. In a dream, he enters the film he's projecting and becomes a great detective who solves a similar crime. While Buster's on-screen character is a schlemiel who can only achieve mastery in his celluloid fantasies, as a director Keaton's grasp of the mechanics of film-making enabled him to control the camera and its imagery as thoroughly and gracefully as he controlled his acrobatic body. SHERLOCK JR. is the most technically advanced film he ever made, including special effects as when Buster steps through the screen and gets edited from park bench to street to mountain-top to lion's den that can still leave audiences wondering, "How in hell did he do that?" It's often said that Keaton's films inspire gasps rather than laughs. Well, I just saw SHERLOCK JR. with an audience last night, and the laughter was loud and regular as fireworks on the Fourth of July. But it's a particular kind of laughter: surprised, amazed, incredulous laughter.The first half of the movie takes place in the "real" world; it begins with some nice small-scale gags involving Buster's attempts to scrounge up money to buy candy for his girl, and his adorably awkward visit to her house. After he has been thrown out due to his rival's machinations, Buster "shadows" the man literally, copying his every motion exactly , but is tricked again and trapped in a freight train. There's a beautiful shot where he runs along the top of the train, staying in the same spot on the screen while the cars zoom by under him in the opposite direction; but I can't watch the stunt where he rides a water-spout down to the tracks without wincing, knowing he fractured his neck doing it.The beginning of the dream sequence is one of the greatest self-reflexive scenes in the history of film, as Buster's ghostly double rises from his sleeping body, picks up his ghostly hat, marches down into the theater and steps into the screen. Haven't we all wanted to do this at some time? Once over his turbulent introduction to the medium, Buster becomes the elegant Sherlock, Jr., investigating a theft of pearls from a mansion. In a marvelous game of billiards, Buster smoothly plays around an exploding 13 ball; he escapes from the thieves' den with one of the neatest tricks you'll ever see; he rides through busy streets on the handlebars of a motorcycle that no one is driving; and he goes for a romantic sail in a floating car. All this is packed into a mere 45 minutes.Significantly cut after poor previews, SHERLOCK JR. has more in common with Keaton's short films than his features. Because of the fractured story-line, it doesn't have the narrative coherence or trajectory of character development that most of Keaton's great features do. His performance is split between the shy, inept projectionist and the suave, infallible detective. He is totally convincing in both roles. When he wakes from his dream, the projectionist finds that all is well: the girl has solved the mystery and come to apologize. He is still timid as ever, so for a romantic denouement he looks to the screen: peeking out of his booth, he copies the actions of the movie hero wooing his leading lady. This is Keaton's most trenchant bit of social satire: whose ideas of kissing and love-making haven't been influenced by what they see at the movies?
This Keaton classic is both funny and extremely clever in its construction. Our hero is a cleaner but dreams of becoming a detective, always with his nose buried in a book on the subject.The first third of the film is much like any other comedy. There are lost dollar bills, things sticking to other things, something stolen, mistaken identities. Our heroine is introduced in a charming scene where they seem terrified to hold hands. Her father is played by Buster's father Joe Keaton, who would appear in many of his son's films.There's a mustachioed cad with slick hair and a sharp <more>
suit who is after the girl, a cartoon baddie who the audience instinctively knows deserves a hiss and not a cheer.It is in Junior's other job as a cinema projectionist that the film comes alive. We are watching the film he has set up and then, suddenly, he is part of the action. In a sequence of great inventiveness, we see the film within a film changing scenes and watch with delight as the character adapts to each situation and surrounding.Sherlock Jr is very funny but is also unusual and, in comparison with other comedies of the period, ahead of its time. It includes some excellent stunts that are the equal of anything done by Harold Lloyd in the same period, and, although it has a very short running time, manages to develop a good storyline throughout.Justly feted as a masterpiece of silent comedy, Sherlock Jr represented one of the peaks of Buster Keaton's cinematic career. It is a film worth watching and has stood up well today.
Monday September 12, 2005 7:00pm The Seattle Paramount Theater"Say Mr. Detective, before you clean up any mysteries, clean up this theater."In an age before computer generated effects Sherlock Jr's out of control ride on the handlebars of a motorcycle is astonishing. It is a sequence that could never be duplicated in the modern era. Buster plays a theater projectionist with dreams of becoming a master sleuth. When he loses his girl to "The Local Sheik" Buster retreats to a dream world where he literally steps into the movie he is screening and becomes the <more>
"world's greatest detective". As "Sherlock Jr." he dodges exploding billiards, falling blades and poisoned drinks, finally ending up on the motorcycle in what has to be Keaton's best and most unbelievable stunt. As Buster runs down a street he encounters a cop on a motorcycle. The cop threatens to write him a speeding ticket and Buster solicits his help. Jumping on the handlebars they speed along. Why is he running? It doesn't matter. The chase is central to most of Keaton's films. The bike goes over a bump and the cop is bounced, leaving Buster on his own but unaware no one is driving! Attempting to understand how Keaton filmed this sequence is confounding. There are shots in which we can assume he is in control and driving Keaton's coattails hide his position at one point . There are other shots when the bike is obviously on a truck a wonderful shot shows Buster racing a train to a crossing . There are still other shots that seem impossible or at least extremely dangerous Buster speeds along a road as ditch diggers fling dirt in his face . Years later, after an accident, x-rays of his neck revealed spinal fractures that may have been caused by the spills he took shooting this picture. The brilliance and originality of visual gags throughout Sherlock Jr. make it one of Keaton's very best feature films alongside The Cameraman and Seven Chances.Buster finds himself adrift "Three-and-a-half miles higher than a kite" in The Balloonatic. While he's there he washes his socks! When the balloon crash lands in the woods Buster is menaced by bears and rescued by a stream fishing cutie in one of Keaton's simplest and most charming two-reelers
A projectionist Buster Keaton is studying to be a detective and is in love with a young lady. When he proposes her, his rival steals the chain watch of her father and incriminates him. The disappointed young projectionist returns to his job and while projecting the film, he dreams on being the detective of the story. Meanwhile, the girl finds the truth and acquits the guilty of the projectionist to her father."Sherlock Jr." is a very creative movie and certainly using a technique ahead of time. Buster Keaton acquires amazing special effects for a 1924 movie. The story, the gags, <more>
the conclusion, everything works perfectly in this remarkable and hilarious movie. My vote is eight.Title Brazil : "Bancando o Águia" "Playing the Eagle" something like being smart
one of Keaton's better full-length ? films (by MartinHafer)
The above "?" was inserted because this film isn't exactly full-length or a short--it runs at about 44 minutes. I would have to say it was very enjoyable and fun--better than most comedies of the 20s, though not as good as Keaton's very best films such as OUR HOSPITALITY, THE GENERAL or STEAMBOAT BILL, Jr. .A word of caution, though, about seeing this film. The videotape version by Kino Films, frankly, sucks. This isn't a word I have often used in describing any film, but it really irritated me that the musical accompaniment on the tape was so bad and so inappropriate. <more>
Modern instruments are used and the tempo is way too fast for the film. It was a major distraction--so bad that I had to turn off the sound after a while so I could enjoy the film! On to the film itself--Keaton works at a movie theater AND wants to be a detective. The detective aspect of the film at the beginning didn't work all that well compared to the rest of the film, though a few times it did offer some laughs such as when the book recommended trailing the suspect--Buster walked only about a foot behind him and followed him move for move! . Instead, what really worked well was when he was the projectionist and fell asleep. Then a surreal dream sequence began and was very creative and highly reminiscent of Woody Allen's PURPLE ROSE OF CAIRO . Buster walked to the movie screen and literally walked into the film! This was done, for 1924, exceptionally well. Then when he became the movie detective, the film hit its stride.The movie gets very high marks for creativity and pacing. Give it a watch,...with the sound turned WAY DOWN!
My second silent film for the class that I viewed for my class was just as entertaining as the first, which was Charlie Chaplin's The Circus. Buster Keaton playing the role of the movie projectionist Sherlock Jr. was very entertaining. The story is simple, yet interesting and fun, and the movie comes in at much less than one hour, 44 minutes to be exact. While there are a few points in the movie that are disjointed and not as fun, overall you can stay engrossed enough until you get to some really cool and innovative special effects, which given the technological limitations when this was <more>