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The 'High Sign' (1921)

Not Rated | | Short, Comedy | 18 April 1921 (USA)
A drifter at an amusement park finds himself both the bodyguard and hit man of a man targeted by a criminal gang.

Directors:

Edward F. Cline (as Eddie Cline), Buster Keaton (as 'Buster' Keaton)

Writers:

Edward F. Cline (as Eddie Cline), Buster Keaton (as 'Buster' Keaton)
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Buster Keaton ... Our Hero (as 'Buster' Keaton)
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Storyline

Buster is thrown off a train near an amusement park. There he gets a job in a shooting gallery run by the Blinking Buzzards mob. Ordered to kill a businessman, he winds up protecting the man and his daughter by outfitting their home with trick devices. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A comic of a weird secret society which will turn your theatre into a merry lodge of mirth!

Genres:

Short | Comedy

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 April 1921 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El guardaespaldas See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Narration Card: Guarding a man from danger and killing him at the same time is SOME job.
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Alternate Versions

Film Preservation Associates copyrighted a version in 1995 containing a music score and sound effects, with a running time of 21 minutes. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Highly entertaining bit of comedy
18 December 1999 | by TetselSee all my reviews

Although "The High Sign" is a short film and not very well known, in many ways it is one of Keaton's best. It is non-stop entertainment, especially because the plot is very nearly irrelevant and the gags are so constant. What makes this so special in the development of movie comedy are the shooting gallery scene and the trapdoor house. These are examples of quintessential American slapstick, and they have been copied hundreds of time since 1921. There is also one small special effect in the midst of all the comedy that really caught my eye: Someone spikes Keaton's drink with either alcohol/poison (we are not told) and Keaton sips it. He can tell it is spiked, and looks into the cup, and we see in the drink the image of the rear of a horse kicking it's hind legs. This obvious allusion to the 'drink with a kick' is not only funny, but it is the essence of cinema: show not tell. I highly recommend this one for anyone looking for a short, innovative, hilarious comedy.


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