Rollo decides to marry his sweetheart Betsy and sail to Honolulu. When she rejects him he decides to go alone but boards the wrong ship, the "Navigator" owned by Betsy's father. Unaware of this, Betsy boards the ship to look for her father. whom spies capture before cutting the ship loose. It drifts out to sea with the two socialites each unaware of there being anyone else on board. Written by
Ed Stephan <email@example.com>
The ship in the movie was actually the USAT Buford, named after prominent Union Civil War cavalry officer and hero of Gettysburg Gen. John T. Buford. The ship had begun life as the S.S. Mississippi for the Atlantic Transport Line in 1890. It was later purchased and renamed by the US government in 1898 and became an army troop transport in the Spanish American War and in WW I. Its most notorious incarnation was as the "Soviet Ark" (or "Red Ark") when the ship was used to deport 249 political radicals and other "undesirable" aliens, among them the fiery anarchists Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman, to the Russian SFSR in December, 1919, during the Palmer Raids of the first "Red Scare" period in the U.S. See more »
Rollo Treadway (Buster Keaton) is supposedly boiling eggs in a large pot, but he grips the edge of the pot, as well as a utensil that's been hanging inside the pot, without burning himself. See more »
Leader of a small gathering:
Gentlemen, the enemy have just purchased the steamship Navigator.
[Walks over to open the double doors, and gestures to a vessel outside]
Leader of a small gathering:
There she lies now, and it is our patriotic duty to destroy that ship. We will send her adrift in the fog tonight before the new crew goes aboard. The wind - the tide - and the rocks will do the rest.
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Buster Keaton never needed anything more than a simple outline to make his typically graceful, inventive comedies, and the entire plot of one of his best remembered features can easily be summed up in less than twenty words: a spoiled young millionaire and his reluctant fiancé find themselves adrift alone on an empty ocean liner.
It takes a little effort to get the couple aboard (with help from a group of histrionic saboteurs) but, once at sea, the minimal scenario allowed Keaton plenty of room to exercise his unique comic genius, with gags ranging from the intimate (battling a recalcitrant deck chair; shuffling a soggy pack of cards) to the sublime (Buster, in a leaking rowboat, attempting to tow the huge drifting liner). As usual, fate and circumstance (and, in this case, a tribe of hungry cannibals) all play a part in Buster's rite of passage from bumbling naïf to competent hero, and (also, as usual) the transformation is often as astonishing as it is sidesplitting.
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