The most important family in Hickoryville is (naturally enough) the Hickorys, with sheriff Jim and his tough manly sons Leo and Olin. The timid youngest son, Harold, doesn't have the ... See full summary »
A meek and mild projectionist, who also cleans up after screenings, would like nothing better than to be a private detective. He becomes engaged to a pretty girl but a ladies man known as the Sheik vies for her affection. He gets rid of the projectionist by stealing a pocket watch belonging to the girl's father - which he pawns to buy her an expensive box of candy. He then slips the pawn ticket into the projectionist's pocket and subsequently is found by the police. He doesn't have much luck but in his dreams, he the debonair and renowned detective Sherlock Jr. who faces danger and solves the crime. In real life, the girl solves crimes quickly. Written by
For the sequence in which Buster Keaton's "dream-self" enters the "movie within a movie," Keaton employed the power of suggestion. He shot an actual movie featuring Ward Crane and Kathryn McGuire in a living room setting. As the sequence begins, the movie is playing on the theater movie screen. The film cuts back and forth between Buster sleeping in the projection booth, and his "dream-self" climbing on stage as the movie is showing. In the scene where Buster's "dream-self" steps through the movie screen and into the movie, the living room setting was re-created on the theater stage, and a large hole was cut in the movie screen for Keaton to step through. The actors were placed in the living room setting, creating the illusion that Buster stepped inside the movie screen to join them. See more »
After Sherlock Jr spins the fence around placing his pursuers behind it, he puts a crossbar across the gate to stop them coming back. In the next shot as he leaves the alley, the crossbar is no longer visible on the fence. See more »
[to Sherlock Jr. about a man locked in a tight cage]
That's a detective. When he's dead I'll put you in there.
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I have to say that this is by far Keaton's finest work. I have seen and own about 19 of his films/short films and this is the one that truly stands out.
It is rare these days to find a comedy which will make you laugh each and every time you see it. Yet this one, to me, seems not only to be able to do this but also to get BETTER the more you watch it.
The physical comedy, sight gags and insane stunts never cease to amaze me. That is what I love about Buster, the fact he did his own stunts shows that he was a great believer in producing a film that was genuine, that didnt try to trick or fool it's audience.
I find it sad that today most people seem to think that comedy is about dialouge and punch lines, when it is clear from film master pieces such as Sherlock Jr. that this is not true. Silent movies are not to be ignored just because they are 'old', when I watch many of them they feel as fresh as any new comedy - if not more so.
So thank-you Buster!
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