Sherlock Jr. (1924)

DailyView: Day 311, Movie 441

I set myself several “unofficial” goals for the DailyView. The main official goal, of course, was to watch a movie from 2020 or before that I had never seen, every day, for 365 days. However, I have set a few “unofficial” goals to go along with the main one, as much for fun as anything else. Today, I accomplished the first of those “unofficial” goals thanks to Sherlock Jr. a silent film from 1924 starring Buster Keaton.

As of this moment, I have seen, as a part of the DailyView, at least one movie from every year from 1915 through to 2020. The final year I needed to complete that feat was a film from 1924. While investigating what films would work for that year, I found the Sherlock Jr. film with Buster Keaton.

I have to say that I liked this more than some of the other Buster Keaton films I have seen. I found myself laughing several times as his variation of slapstick that was such a staple of the silent films of the 1920s.

Buster was a movie projectionist and a janitor. He wanted to get a gift for his girl (Kathryn McGuire) but he did not have enough money. When he bought a less expensive version, he changed the price to make it look like he spent more.

However, this led to him getting tied up as a suspect in taking the girl’s father’s watch, actually taken by the Local Sheik (Ward Crane), and he framed Buster for the theft.

Returning to the theater, Buster played a movie and began to dream that he was in the sotry of each.

As I said, I found this very funny, and Buster was excellent. While I have always preferred Charlie Chaplin, this Buster Keaton was charming, engaging and extremely expressive during his troubled dream. There is a chase scene that is just expertly choreographed and designed.

There was a tremendous scene where Buster walked down through the audience of the movie theater and walked up straight into the movie on the screen. That sequence was masterful and a genius bit of effects for the time. According to Wikipedia, Keaton had said “that his character walking onto the screen and into a film was ‘the reason for making the whole picture…Just that one situation.’ “

There were some other amazing stunts in the film, including one with a train and a nearby water spout, Buster leaping into a small suitcase and a whole stretch of a motorcycle ride. These are fabulous and Buster was known to have done his own stunts. In fact, according to Wikipedia, Buster had seriously injured his neck during the water spout stunt, perhaps even having broken it.

Sherlock Jr. was a lot of fun and I am please that it was able to check off the first of the “unofficial” goals for the DailyView, which has less than two months to go.

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