Monday, February 10, 2014

The 'High Sign' (1921)

Directors: Edward F. Cline, Buster Keaton

Writers: Edward F. Cline, Buster Keaton

Composer: Ben Model

Starring: Buster Keaton, Bartine Burkett, Charles Dorety, Ingram B. Pickett, Al St. John

More info: IMDb

Plot: A drifter at an amusement park finds himself both the bodyguard and hit man of a man targeted by a criminal gang.

My rating: 8/10

Will I watch it again? Yes.

I love these old silent comedies.  They're 20 minutes long so even if they are a million laughs a minute, it's not much of a commitment.  You can pretty much bet on a few guys for solid entertainment, Chaplin, Lloyd, Arbuckle, Keaton and so on.  I don't think I've seen one yet that I didn't like.  This one is no exception.  There are lots of great gags.

That's Our Hero (Buster) on the left and Tiny Tim (Ingram B. Pickett) on the right.  He's a tall drink of water.  Buster is 5'5" for a frame of reference.

Even the cute gags are fun, like painting a hook on the wall to hang your hat.

The big set piece is the trap-door-laden house that Mr. Nickelnurser has to help aid his escape to elude the killers.  It's got that SCOOBY DOO kind of vibe and it's great fun seeing how Keaton & co. utilize it.

And then you've got some outrageous gags like where Our Hero slams the door on one of the bad guys' head.  It's neat to go frame by frame on gags like this to see how they did it.

Of course Our Hero gets the girl by saving her father at the end.  It's a fun flick and there's sure to be at least one bit that you'll find funny.  What never ceases to impress me is the physicality of these comedies.  It's truly remarkable how talented these folks were in front of and behind the camera.  We don't see the likes of these people these days.  It's a completely different world than it was nearly a hundred years ago, huh?

No comments:

Post a Comment