0022: Sherlock, Jr. (1924)

Sherlock Jr.

Rating: 8.5/10

Wow, was this movie enjoyable. I know that many silent films are an “acquired taste” nowadays, but I think that Buster Keaton films are an exception to that and can be easily enjoyed by all. They are timeless, and this one even has special effects which are seamlessly incorporated into the movie. Something I’ve seen in many movies of this time was just how far they were pushing the medium, even then.

There were a lot of stunts in this movie as well, I noticed. Being that the studios didn’t put much into actor safety back then, I was surprised how many dangerous situations Buster Keaton (or maybe his stunt double) was put in for the sake of comedy.

Speaking of comedy, I found this movie to be absolutely hilarious. Though there were a couple of slow bits, especially concerning the female lead that Buster Keaton’s character is trying to marry (I don’t remember anyone’s name being mentioned, if they had any), but even she becomes part of the gags later in the film. It was a laugh riot and the visual comedy is great throughout the film, with less slapstick comedy than you’d think for a silent comedy. It was simply delightful and I highly recommend it.

My greatest complaint though is that it wasn’t very strong on plot. From a 21st-century perspective on movies it distracts me from the comedy. It’s still a fun, delightful movie, it’s just that the fun seems to be driven only for the sake of it rather than really trying to make a point. Though maybe I just expect more from a movie after watching that Kubrick film… Either way, this film’s story isn’t what’s important and there’s enough substance and humor to keep anyone watching for the entire 44 minutes of run-time. Also, I’m not totally sure but I think this movie is old enough to be free of copyright laws so you can watch it on YouTube…maybe…

Oh, one thing I forgot to mention was that the music was absolutely awesome. It was redone at some point and it went with the movie perfectly.

Why I think It’s on the List: Outside of it being a great Buster Keaton flick, I think it was because of the special effects used during the dream sequence in the movie theater. I was really surprised they were able to do it at the time.

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