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Sherlock Jr. (1924)

Not Rated | | Action, Comedy, Romance | 11 May 1924 (USA)
Trailer
2:01 | Trailer
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 »
Reviews
Top Rated Movies #187 | 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:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

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

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Following his "entrance" into the "movie within a movie," the scenery changes around Buster Keaton very quickly, as if the movie is changing scenes with quick edits (he suddenly finds himself on a crowded city street, in the jungle confronted by lions, on a rock in the middle of the ocean, etc.). Keaton later recalled that his cameraman, Byron Houck, had used surveying instruments to position himself and the camera at the exact correct distances and positions to give the illusion of continuity as the scenes changed. 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 coming back. In the next shot as he leaves the alley, the crossbar is no longer visible on the fence. See more »

Quotes

Title card: There is an old proverb which says: Don't try to do two things at once and expect to do justice to both. This is the story of a boy who tried it. While employed as a moving picture operator in a small town theater he was also studying to be a detective.
See more »

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

Featured in TCM Guest Programmer: Richard Lewis (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

 
marvellous and inventive
16 September 2006 | by didi-5See all my reviews

This Keaton classic is both funny and extremely clever in its construction. Our hero is a cleaner but dreams of becoming a detective, always with his nose buried in a book on the subject.

The first third of the film is much like any other comedy. There are lost dollar bills, things sticking to other things, something stolen, mistaken identities. Our heroine is introduced in a charming scene where they seem terrified to hold hands. Her father is played by Buster's father Joe Keaton, who would appear in many of his son's films.

There's a mustachioed cad with slick hair and a sharp suit who is after the girl, a cartoon baddie who the audience instinctively knows deserves a hiss and not a cheer.

It is in Junior's other job as a cinema projectionist that the film comes alive. We are watching the film he has set up and then, suddenly, he is part of the action. In a sequence of great inventiveness, we see the film within a film changing scenes and watch with delight as the character adapts to each situation and surrounding.

Sherlock Jr is very funny but is also unusual and, in comparison with other comedies of the period, ahead of its time. It includes some excellent stunts that are the equal of anything done by Harold Lloyd in the same period, and, although it has a very short running time, manages to develop a good storyline throughout.

Justly feted as a masterpiece of silent comedy, Sherlock Jr represented one of the peaks of Buster Keaton's cinematic career. It is a film worth watching and has stood up well today.


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