The Buster Keaton Blogathon – The Navigator (1924)


This is a post dedicated to The Sixth Annual Buster Keaton Blogathon which is taking place over at Silent-ology.

Tnx Lea for letting me take part!

“[to the servant] I think I’ll get married. [Servant responds briefly before Rollo turns his attention back to the portrait of Betsy] [to himself] Today.” – Rollo Treadway

Number of Times Seen – 1 (8 Mar 2020)

Brief Synopsis – Two people are trapped aboard a deserted ship at sea and must find a way to safety.

My Take on it – This is a film that I randomly chose for this blogathon and I loved every minute of it.

This movie’s story is the perfect showcase for Buster Keaton’s physical comedy routines and with his work here, he once again is able to show how much of a true pioneer he was in the movie industry when it came to comedy.

The story itself might be a bit too simple and silly, yet Keaton finds a way to use this to his advantage and the results are breathtaking to watch.

The film is filled with lots of great sight gags and one needs to be playing close attention in order to catch them all.

Trying to discover them all is part of the fun of it.

Keaton was able to find comedy in just about anything and these characters constantly prove that again and again by the way that things play out.

This film may only be slightly more than an hour long, yet every minute is truly hilarious.

Its also great watching this film and seeing scenes that have been re-used as an homage to this movie.

MY favorite one here is how Keaton’s character gets the string of a small canon attached to his leg and accidentally shoots it in all directions just by jerking his foot.

This scene was used in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999) with Jar Jar Binks and a laser and is quite effective from a comedic perspective in both instances.

This movie is so much fun the whole way through.

Here are a few high points for me from the film without much of an explanation, so those who have seen this will smile, while those who haven’t yet seen this gem will get even more more curious.

  • The wet cards being shuffled
  • The cigarette in suit
  • The underwater ‘men at work’ sign
  • The use of a lobster as scissors
  • Having a sword fight with sword fish
  • Using the floating suit as raft
  • The use of fireworks and coconuts against the invaders
  • The sight gag for the Pier #

There are lots and lots more and I definitely hope to see this again at some pint because it truly is such an amazing and ground breaking film that stands the test of time even after almost a Century.

Bottom Line – Perfect story line for Keaton’s physical comedy which shows once again how much of a pioneer he was for film comedy. The story itself is a bit silly, but the way that Keaton uses this to his advantage throughout is superb. Some of the sight gags are things that one needs to be paying close attention in order to spot, but that helps make this film so enjoyable to watch. His ability to find comedy in everything that these characters do is amazing because despite only being one hour long, this film is hilarious from start to finish. Loved how it’s now easy to see certain scenes from this movie that were copied as an homage in more recent films. So much fun the whole way through. Highly Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – According to co-director Donald Crisp, a length of piano wire was linked to Buster Keaton’s diving helmet during the underwater scenes. One day, though, a crew member neglected to attach the piano wire to the helmet. If it hadn’t been for a telephone cable also attached to the helmet, Keaton would have drowned. (From IMDB)

Rating – Oscar Worthy (10/10)

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Check out my *updated* movie stats here

To see my reviews of Oscar Winning Performances check out this link

To see my reviews of all Oscar Best Picture Winners click here (now complete)

Here is a link to my movie index A-Z

2 thoughts on “The Buster Keaton Blogathon – The Navigator (1924)

  1. Pingback: The Sixth Annual Buster Keaton Blogathon | Silent-ology

  2. Pingback: MovieRob Monthy Roundup – March 2020 | MovieRob

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