Sherlock Jr. (1924)

Who’s your favorite silent era comedian? It usually comes down to either Chaplin or Keaton and if you have followed the best actors relay race, you will know I added Chaplin. You see, I have watched a lot of Chaplin movies, but when it comes to Keaton I only saw this and The General (which is great btw), making the choice for Chaplin obvious.
“Is he my favorite though?” is what I started asking myself after watching Sherlock Jr.

Keaton plays a projectionist who dreams of becoming a detective. The beginning of the movie isn’t really exciting, with a couple of jokes and I wondered why this movie was present in the IMDB top 250. It didn’t take long before I understood. This movie has a brilliant scene where Keaton’s character falls asleep and during a dream he has the ability to walk into a movie screen (way before The Last Action Hero ;)), which is first used for some hilarious jokes and once we see the movie he’s playing in, it all really kick off. There are some very original set pieces and as a viewer you are treated to a great story, including daring stunts and car chases. The execution of them perfect and the movie left me stunned.

If you haven’t got much time to watch a movie then do yourself a favor and check out Sherlock Jr. It has a running time around the 45 minute mark, but is full of romance, comedy and action, displaying the brilliance of Buster Keaton. This was movie making way ahead of its time. It’s a movie which really made Keaton my new favorite silent movie comedian and I now feel the need to check out more of his movies.

Score: 10

10 thoughts on “Sherlock Jr. (1924)

  1. Keaton is my favorite silent film star, bar none, and this film is a big part of the reason for it. I’ve shown this to film classes filled with students who have never seen a silent film at all, and had them leave talking about it, loving it, and telling me how much they enjoyed it. Keaton was really something special.

    Watch Our Hospitality next. You will not be disappointed.

    • I can understand why they love it, it really is amazing. I showed it to the kids a few days after I’d seen it and they liked it too.

      Will try to see Our Hospitality next!

  2. Wow, a 10/10! I also enjoyed this one quite a bit, and it’s probably my favorite Keaton. At just 45 minutes long, there really isn’t a reason for anyone to miss this either.

  3. Had the pleasure of catching this on a big screen a couple of weeks ago. Though there was no accompanying audio track, so it literally was a silent film. I’m a massive fan of Keaton. I prefer him over Chaplin, but love both of their work. Sherlock Jr is a real joy, and the short running time makes it a good introduction to Keaton. The General is my favourite though, and one of my absolute favourite films of all time.

    Nice post by the way.

    • Wow, would be amazing to see it on a big screen. I’ve seen the General as well and was stunned how he was able to keep it interesting with only a train going forward…

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