In the midst of the Russian Revolution of 1905, the crew of the battleship Potemkin mutiny against the brutal, tyrannical regime of the vessel's officers. The resulting street demonstration in Odessa brings on a police massacre.
Sergei M. Eisenstein
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 scene where Sherlock Jr., escaping gangsters, leaps headfirst through the body of his assistant, Gillette (who is disguised as an old lady selling neckties) and disappears, Buster Keaton used an old magician's trick. Prior to the trick, Gillette is seen standing with his back against a wooden fence. A section of the fence was sawed out and placed on hinges, so that it opened up and back like a garage door. Ford West (the actor playing Gillette) was then strapped to the underside of the cutaway section, so that when it was opened, West's body was hanging parallel to the ground, but his head and arms stuck out through the upper part of the opening in the fence. The dress and open suitcase were then hung from West's shoulders, so that they hung down in front of the fence, concealing the opening. Both the dress and the suitcase had holes cut in them. With the cameras rolling, Keaton leaped headfirst straight through the hole in the suitcase, the hole in the dress, and the opening in the fence (he later recalled that he "landed face-first in the dirt" on the other side). The cutaway fence section was then swung down to close the opening, so that West's body landed perfectly inside the dress. Attendants on the other side of the fence cut the straps holding West's torso and feet to the cutaway section, and West stepped away from the fence as if nothing had happened. In the film you can see West reach behind his back to close the opening in the dress as he steps from the fence. If you look closely you can also see the outline of the cutaway section in the fence. 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 »
As I sat reading the other reviewers comments I wondered what I could add. Oddly enough I watched Sherlock jr only this afternoon, after so many viewings it still amazes me how far ahead of his time Buster Keaton was, often copied, rarely equalled never surpassed. I would hate to be the kind of movie fan who never watches silent or black and white movies (you'd be surprised how many there are). So if you are like that do yourself a favour, get hold of a copy of this movie and enjoy, it shocks me that films such as 'Something about Mary' are rated higher than this masterpiece of comedy, there is nothing wrong with 'SaM' even I laughed at it, but, watching it once was enough, however I watch Sherlock jr again and again in pure amazement at Buster Keaton and his cameraman, Elgin Lessley's achievements without the aid of modern technology, like most other's the scene where he dives through a window to reappear as a little old lady gobsmacks me, how did he do it? Keaton can only be described in one word, genius. I have to add that I have the Kino version on DVD with the appalling soundtrack, but, luckily I also have it with a more appropriate soundtrack, which is far superior and adds extra enjoyment to an already fabulous movie.
19 of 23 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?