In Sherlock, Jr., Buster Keaton plays a movie theater projectionist and a janitor who is also studying to be a detective at the same time. He is down on his luck and everything just doesn’t seem to work out for him. He is in love with a girl (Kathryn McGuire) but he also has someone also trying to get her as well (Ward Crane). The first 15 minutes of this 45 minute film are filled with wonderful, genuine gags and pieces of comedy that just feel so right. If you aren’t laughing or at least cracking a smile, something isn’t right. Buster Keaton with his deadpan face carry this film from simple gags of slipping on bananas to the complexities of a billiards ball that is a bomb, that is the range of comedy in this film.
After the first 15 minutes, Buster Keaton falls asleep while at his projectionist job and he begins to dream that he has become the “greatest” detective in the movie he was projecting. This leads to a fun series of bad detective work and more great physical comedy. I’ve seen a few of Keaton’s films, The General being one of them. While I enjoy The General, I found myself laughing much more during this film and just found everything about this lighthearted film to bring a smile to my face. It’s a short one but definitely worth a watch for its comedy, its genuineness, and just for being a fun film.