Classic of the Week: Sherlock Jr. (1924)


Sherlock Jr. is an American silent comedy film directed by and starring Buster Keaton. It also stars Kathryn McGuire, Joe Keaton and Ward Crane.

The film follows the story of a theater projectionist and janitor (Keaton) that longs to be a detective and tries to put his expertise to work, but is framed by his enemy, the “local sheik” for stealing his girlfriend’s father’s pocketwatch.

Although this film was a box office bomb and received mixed reviews, it is still not just a Keaton or silent film classic, but truly one of the greatest comedies (and films) of all time. I can’t believe that this wonderful film, was deemed so mediocre when it came out. To me, I find it to be clever and funny to the very end. With amazing stunts Keaton was ahead of his time, just like Harold Lloyd in Safety Last!. Yes, there may be a little too much stunts and not enough acting, but that doesn’t detract from the quality of this film.

Truly original and still funny this day in time, it is one that can be watched over and over without getting old, because there is nothing boring at this film. Keaton can sure make anyone laugh, without even cracking a smile. He is truly one of the pioneers of slapstick humor and this film is filled it. No dialogue and the entire film is only 45 minuets long and not a second is wasted. Filled with quick-witted humor and intense stunts, this film stands out amongst the rest in both originality and cleverness. Although this one is short, it feels like it is much longer.

If you want or need a good laugh, this film is the perfect choice. You want be disappointed. Buster Keaton and his father Joe Keaton are outstanding in this film, Kathryn McGuire and Ward Crane are great as well. This one proves that you don’t need talking for a film to be any good, you know what’s going on with just music and no color. Keaton truly shines in this film, showing off his smart humor and brave stunts while engaging in mischief. There is no comedy film today that comes even close to being as spectacular as this one. It doesn’t rely on completely adult subjects to try to gain laughter, it is a good clean and fun film that both adults and older kids can enjoy. 8+ 5/5


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