A film projectionist longs to be a detective, and puts his meagre skills to work when he is framed by a rival for stealing his girlfriend's father's pocketwatch.

Director:

Buster Keaton

Writers:

Jean C. Havez (story) (as Jean Havez), Joseph A. Mitchell (story) (as Joe Mitchell) | 1 more credit »
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Top Rated Movies #194 | 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Buster Keaton ... Projectionist / Sherlock, Jr.
Kathryn McGuire ... The Girl
Joe Keaton ... The Girl's Father / Man on Film Screen
Erwin Connelly Erwin Connelly ... The Hired Man / The Butler
Ward Crane ... The Local Sheik / The Villain
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Storyline

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 garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

every inch of footage holds such a laugh!

Genres:

Action | Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When 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 »

Goofs

After Sherlock Jr. spins the fence around, placing his pursuers behind it, he puts a crossbar across the gate to stop them from coming back. In the next shot, as he leaves the alley, the crossbar is no longer visible on the fence. See more »

Quotes

Girl Who Loses Dollar Outside Cinema: I lost a dollar. Did you find it?
Projectionist: [points to the trash pile] In there?
Girl Who Loses Dollar Outside Cinema: Yes, did you?
Projectionist: [nods reluctantly, pulls it out] Describe it.
Girl Who Loses Dollar Outside Cinema: [gestures] This long.
[Buster checks it]
Girl Who Loses Dollar Outside Cinema: This wide.
[he checks again, she makes a bird with her hands, he checks and hands it over]
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Alternate Versions

In 1999, Kino Video distributed a 45-minute version of this film, with a music score composed by and performed by the Club Foot Orchestra. See more »

Connections

References Mud and Sand (1922) See more »

User Reviews

 
Anything but Elementary...
17 September 2020 | by XstalSee all my reviews

You can only marvel at the craft of Buster Keaton. The choreography and precision in coordinating these stunts and sequences would be astounding and breathtaking whatever period of cinema they came from but more so here as the medium was still in its infancy. For an imagination to conjure up such things, with the practice and patience to perfect them, can genuinely be considered genius. A performance by an absolute legend of silent picture perfection.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

None | English

Release Date:

11 May 1924 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Misfit See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$977,375
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (1924)

Sound Mix:

Silent | DTS (musical score)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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