IMDb > The Navigator (1924)
The Navigator
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The Navigator (1924) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

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Writers:
Clyde Bruckman (story) &
Joseph A. Mitchell (story) ...
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Contact:
View company contact information for The Navigator on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
13 October 1924 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
Two spoiled rich people find themselves trapped on an empty passenger ship. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Fun, crazy, Keaton-esque, though not as original as his best See more (45 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Buster Keaton ... Rollo Treadway
Kathryn McGuire ... Betsy O'Brien
Frederick Vroom ... John O'Brien
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Clarence Burton ... Spy (uncredited)
H.N. Clugston ... Spy (uncredited)
Noble Johnson ... Cannibal Chief (uncredited)
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Directed by
Donald Crisp 
Buster Keaton 
 
Writing credits
Clyde Bruckman (story) &
Joseph A. Mitchell (story) (as Joseph Mitchell) and
Jean C. Havez (story) (as Jean Havez)

Produced by
Buster Keaton .... producer (uncredited)
Joseph M. Schenck .... executive producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Robert Israel (1995)
William Axt (uncredited)
Claude Bolling (1969) (uncredited)
 
Cinematography by
Byron Houck (photography)
Elgin Lessley (photography)
 
Film Editing by
Buster Keaton (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Denver Harmon .... electrician
 
Other crew
Fred Gabourie .... technical director
Joseph M. Schenck .... presenter
David Shepard .... video producer: 1995 alternate version (as David H. Shepard)
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
59 min | Sweden:75 min
Country:
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
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 »
Goofs:
Revealing mistakes: 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 »
Quotes:
[first lines]
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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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful.
Fun, crazy, Keaton-esque, though not as original as his best, 14 September 2012
Author: secondtake from United States

The Navigator (1924)

This short fun silent comedy is filled with gags and funny moments, but it's not Buster Keaton's best (in my view) being a little obvious and kind of more silly than original. It also has a grand climax that plays on stereotypes of naive and impressionable natives on some faraway island and it struck me as dated and (depending on the viewer, maybe) demeaning. This includes a comic appearance of Keaton in a deep sea suit from the water spooking the natives who apparently think he is a kind of monster or god. They later catch on and the chase begins again.

The basis of the movie is the clueless rich young man (Keaton) trying to get the disinterested girl (Betsy O'Brien). And in a very very roundabout way he seems like he just might. You'll see.

The Navigator is actually the name of a ship (a trick rather like how the name of his better and more famous film "The General" is the really the name of a locomotive). And it mostly takes place on board this abandoned vessel (which Keaton bought outright when it was being scrapped). The reason it is abandoned (in the movie) and set adrift seems like it might matter at first as a kind of political plot but this all ends up not really being part of the larger movie. It's just an excuse to have the two on a big ship alone, with all the likely things that might happen as a result.

The grand finale of it all is a bit of a lucky farce, and a good laugh, though the natives, again, don't look too clever in it all. The gags that Keaton uses are slapstick and sight gags, with some of his trademark stunt work but not as much as usual. In fact, this might the most Chaplin-esque of all his films, even having a scene where submarine tilts its sense of "level" and reminds me a lot of Chaplin's "Gold Rush" in the cabin scenes. To note, however, this is one year before the Chaplin film. The scenes where Keaton is at his best are probably the underwater ones, with a lobster as a wire cutter and a sword fish as a weapon in an underwater sword fight. Hilarious.

Keaton co-directs with Donald Crisp, who went on to a long acting career (starting years before "Birth of a Nation" and going into the 1940s with some general fame). It's thought that Keaton ended up directing most of it himself. It's a great fun ride, for sure, but just if you've seen other Keaton gems ("Sherlock Jr." and "The General" and "Steamboat Bill") you need to expect something less original.

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