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The 'High Sign' (1921)

 |  Short, Comedy  |  18 April 1921 (USA)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 1,447 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 8 critic

A drifter at an amusement park finds himself both the bodyguard and hit man of a man targeted by a criminal gang.

Directors:

(as Eddie Cline) , (as 'Buster' Keaton)

Writers:

(as Eddie Cline) , (as 'Buster' Keaton)
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Title: The 'High Sign' (1921)

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Directors: Gerald Potterton, Buster Keaton, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Buster Keaton
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Our Hero (as 'Buster' Keaton)
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Storyline

Buster is thrown off a train near an amusement park. There he gets a job in a shooting gallery run by the Blinking Buzzards mob. Ordered to kill a businessman, he winds up protecting the man and his daughter by outfitting their home with trick devices. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Short | Comedy

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Details

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Release Date:

18 April 1921 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El guardaespaldas  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Buster Keaton's first independent two-reeler. He didn't consider it to funny enough and had it shelved upon its completion in 1920. It was released the following year when his film output was slowed by a broken leg. See more »

Quotes

Leader of Buzzards: Do you know the nature of an oath?
Our Hero: Yes. I play golf.
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User Reviews

 
Keaton Komedy Klassic
20 October 2014 | by (Northern Ireland) – See all my reviews

This has to be my favourite Buster Keaton short, and it just so happens to be the first independent film Keaton produced, giving birth to his iconic unnamed character. However Keaton himself was disappointed with the film and didn't release it until the following year, instead making "One Week" his first solo short.

Of course I question why though, as I feel the premise of The 'High Sign' is one of Keaton's most inspired and possibly even worthy of being used as a set up for a feature. It's true what they say, the artist is often wrong about their own work.

The 'High Sign' packs in so much humor into its 20 minutes, and even features earliest example I've seen in film of a recurring gag. The short's finale is a real "How did they do that?" sequence, and I don't want to spoil it or any of the gags in the film, but this short has it all. You'll laugh, be in awe, and even shocked.

I'll say it now and I'll say it again, the genius of Buster Keaton will never cease to amaze me.


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