An unimpressive but well intending man is given the chance to marry a popular actress, of whom he has been a hopeless fan. But what he doesn't realize is that he is being used to make the actress' old flame jealous.
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 idea for this film began when Buster Keaton learned of a large passenger ship that was due to be scrapped. Seeing an opportunity, he purchased the ship for a low price and proceeded to build a story around this massive prop. 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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This story of a helpless, spoiled rich boy set adrift upon a giant ship with his equally helpless girlfriend has a clever story line and a series of excellent gags, but the plot is slow to develop. It is held up by some slow-moving scenes which are not as funny as they try to be. Although the sequence of events which result in the stranding of the couple upon the sea are highly improbable, they were well-executed and the humorous possibilities to be explored make that easy to overlook. Most of the attempted humor pays off, but somehow the movie drags a bit. I especially found the underwater scene to be too long and was an anchor to the movie's momentum. However, it did lead to some very humorous moments when Keaton made it ashore. Keaton's trip back to the ship from the island may have inspired the scene in Woody Allen's Sleeper in which Allen and Diane Keaton escaped from the futuristic police by using an inflatable suit to float across a lake. Whatever one's opinion of the bulk of The Navigator, the ending is unquestionably inspired. This is a great example of Keaton pulling a rabbit out of a hat to the surprise of the audience. It's a great audience pleaser. I would not recommend this movie as an introduction to Buster Keaton, but if you're already a fan, then you have to see it.
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