20 user 11 critic

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.


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


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




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


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


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


Short | Comedy


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


When Buster comes back from the gang's room to the shooting gallery (9:45 min), there is nothing on the wall between the two posters. But after he climbs over the counter, his coat is now hanging on the wall. See more »


Narration Card: Our hero came from Nowhere, he wasn't going Anywhere, and got kicked off Somewhere.
See more »

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 »


Referenced in The Popcorn of Doom (2003) See more »

User Reviews

Pleasantly Silly & Very Funny
26 July 2001 | by Snow LeopardSee all my reviews

This is the kind of pleasantly silly and very funny film that typifies the very best of these old silent short slapstick comedies. It's fast-paced and filled with clever gags, and a couple of especially hilarious scenes. It starts when Buster tricks everyone into thinking that he is a crack shot, and thus finds himself hired by a rich miser to be his bodyguard, while also being recruited by a gang of criminals (the 'Blinking Buzzards', who go around saluting each other with the 'High Sign') to assassinate the same man. There's not much else to the plot, which is mostly a setup for a lot of zany antics. It's funny all the way through, and there is some especially good use of props and settings in this one. It's just slapstick fun, nothing to take seriously, but slapstick doesn't come much better. This is highly recommended for fans of silent short comedies.

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None | English

Release Date:

18 April 1921 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El guardaespaldas See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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