This Film Is 100 Years Old

Sherlock Jr. (1924)

Sherlock Jr. is a mid-length Buster Keaton film (not quite a short, not quite a feature) that’s pretty much the platonic ideal of Keaton perfection really, full of technical invention, astonishing stunts, creatively staged chases, and lots of good jokes in between as well to tie it all together.

Plot wise here, Buster Keaton plays a daydreaming cinema employee who’s trying to impress his girlfriend. Unfortunately, some other arsehole is also trying to win her heart, but by nefarious means. Appalling!

Of course, this means he tricks everyone into thinking Buster’s an absolute disgrace of a man, even though obviously he’s not. But now he’s banned from seeing his girlfriend, forever. Poor Buster.

Anyway, after this traumatising event, he goes back to work, falls asleep, and then while dreaming climbs into the film he’s projecting, where he spends basically the rest of the film, having lots of fun.

Wonderfully, this film within a film isn’t a parody of some other film you haven’t watched (as is usually the case), but a parody of this very film you’re watching right now, which is nicely circular.

It also allows for a good fifteen minutes of non-stop action and chases at the end, as well as a pretty wonderful recurring joke where he repeatedly fails to recognise his sidekick in his various disguises (all of which are just him wearing a big moustache).

So yeah, I loved this. Hooray for 1924. It’s off to a pretty good start.



1. I watched this on blu-ray, but as ever got the screenshots from youtube.

2. There’s a stunt/trick in the middle of this which is genuinely the best magic trick/special effect ever.

3. Which I won’t spoil here.

4. Cause I’m nice like that.

5. But it really is incredible.

6. And impossible.

7. Although like all the best tricks, its obviously a simple mixture of mirrors, trapdoors and some sort of portal to another dimension.

8. There’s also a bit where snooker is used for comic effect, which might be even more technically impressive somehow.

9. Who knew such a thing was even possible.

10. But turns out it was.

11. Briefly.

12. One hundred years ago.


Film Information

Title: Sherlock Jr.
Director: Buster Keaton
Year: 1924
Duration: 45 minutes
Watch: youtube