POSTED October 3 2011

Buster Keaton’s Sherlock, Jr. : Best. Film. Ever.

My favorite movie of all time? Glad you asked, It’s Sherlock, Jr. (1924). Lucky for all of us, this masterpiece from Buster Keaton, screens next Sunday on TCM (at 8 pm) as part of the cable station’s month long tribute to film’s greatest magician and metaphysician.

The tale of a projectionist who dreams of being a sleuth and who literally walks into the movie he’s projecting and solves its mystery, Sherlock’s subject is the mystery and magic of movies. It is Keaton’s most exhaustive — and hilarious — investigation into the perils of what happens when someone from the three-dimensional world penetrates the two-dimensional universe of film. Behold the granite-faced guy in his dressing room, primping before the mirror, gamely striding through the looking glass and into the infinite possibilities of motion pictures. Sublime.

It’s a film that influenced many filmmakers, including Groucho Marx (see the mirror scene in Duck Soup) and Woody Allen, who wrote and directed The Purple Rose of Cairo under its influence.

Your favorite Keaton? Alternatively, nominate your favorite film ever.


  1. John Toner says:

    Great choice. My favorite Keaton as well, although Steamboat Bill Jr. is a close second. Keaton is awesome. His physical feats are still better than any ballet or sports I’ve ever seen. And his filmmaking was beautiful as well.
    As an added bonus, I think the Club Foot Orchestra’s Sherlock score on the KINO dvd is one of the best of all time, as well. When you quote the 007 theme in a silent movie, you know you’re hitting on all cylinders… I read that on the new Kino BluRay has the Aloy Orchestra doing the score. It’s in my Amazon shopping cart and waiting for when I need a treat.
    Keaton is my favorite silent comedian, only surpassed for all-time best by Preston Sturges. The Lady Eve is my “official” favorite film.
    Just found your site. I’ll check back often.
    John T

  2. Jim Sanders says:


    I have to agree with you, and having just received this DVD for the holidays, I guess I need to have some “me time” and enjoy viewing it. Thanks JDT for the gift of film.

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