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Buster Keaton, Kathryn McGuire, Ward Crane, Joe Keaton, Jane Connelly ... see more see more... , Erwin Connelly , Horace Morgan , George Davis , John Patrick , Ford West , Ruth Holley , Betty Blythe , Kathrun McGuire

The enduring power of this silent-era comedy classic from director/star Buster Keaton can be ascertained simply by recognizing how often its central concept has been cribbed, most notably by writer/di... read more read more...rector Woody Allen for The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985). Keaton is a cinema projectionist who dreams of being a famous detective, like Sherlock Holmes. In love with a beautiful girl (Kathryn McGuire), he presents her with chocolates and a ring, but another suitor (Ward Crane) also vies for her affections. The projectionist unsuccessfully tails his romantic rival, a deceitful sort who has stolen a watch from the girl's home and pawned it to buy her a larger box of candy. Falsely accused of the crime by his girlfriend's family, the heartbroken young man falls asleep at work while exhibiting a movie. He dreams that he walks into the screen and interacts with the film's characters -- now the players in the stolen watch imbroglio. ~ Karl Williams, Rovi

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95% liked it

6,537 ratings

Unrated, 45 min.

Directed by: Buster Keaton

Release Date: April 21, 1924

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DVD Release Date: October 8, 2013

Stats: 560 reviews

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Flixster Reviews (560)


  • July 25, 2014
    A great movie all the more remarkable for the techniques employed and for how Keaton was able to pull off a number of risky stunts without killing himself - and his preciosity is evident in a hilarious billiard scene and in a fabulous one where he dodges many dangers on a motorcy... read morecle.
  • April 28, 2014
    Sherlock Jr. is only the third silent film I've seen and the first from Buster Keaton. All that's going to change though because this movie has made me see the different types of humor that the silence offers, as well as other cool things that can be done when talking isn't invol... read moreved.

    A young projectionist, who is also studying to be a detective is accused of stealing from the family of the girl he is trying to marry when a rival suitor frames him. He falls asleep while running a movie and dreams himself onto the screen where he becomes Sherlock Jr., the greatest detective in the world.

    I loved pretty much everything about this movie and the influence it had over future movies is almost unparalleled. It was one of the first films ever to employ the usage of multiple story lines and also introduced the notion of escaping from ones life into the movies. A story which has been used many times over the years.

    Sherlock Jr. is a masterpiece of early filmmaking from one of the most revered silent comedian and director of the silent era. The technical concepts he uses in this film are quite astounding for his time and watching them now, over 90 years later, it astounds me to see a masterpiece like Sherlock Jr.
  • February 3, 2014
    It is an unchallenged assumption that Buster Keaton is one of the silent films era's greatest comedians, on par with the likes of Charles Chaplin and Harold Lloyd. The great stone face stars in this film with the same candor and comedy of his previous films. What sets Keaton's fi... read morelms apart from his contemporaries seems to be his love of danger and high impact stunts within his comedies. In "The General" he did a lot of stunts aboard an old timey locomotion which I had thought was the deadliest choice for that film, since paid stunt men were regularly killed in making these kinds of films. In "Sherlock Jr." there is one sequence in particular that is so hard to watch and so filled with complex stunts and scenes. Reportedly Keaton suffered from a fractured neck, which he remained unaware of until ten years later, and many of the scenes caused trauma and injury to stunt doubles, as well as the motorcycle used. Plot-wise, this film is a simple dream sequence that follows a man who wants to be a great detective and is the given the chance through his investigation of a thief. It's classic Keaton and delivers the laughs every chance it gets.
  • August 11, 2013
    Hilarious and physically impressive gags. Keaton's imagination was boundless.
  • September 30, 2012
    Timeless comedy from the genius of Buster Keaton.
  • July 25, 2012
    A movie projectionist dreams he's a suave detective who can clear his name and get the woman of his dreams.
    I've always enjoyed Buster Keaton. I think though he's not as balletic as Chaplin, he's more adventurous; some of the stunts he did were some of the most amazing things I'... read moreve seen from the silent era. And his deadpan demeanor and impeccable comic timing make him a joy to watch. What bothered me about his films was the political messages embedded within; College is rife with anti-intellectualism (but one of the best climaxes ever) and The General valorizes the Southern cause. Sherlock Jr. is apolitical and all the better for it. It's great fun, with some good special effects for the time, and Keaton shines throughout the film.
    Overall, I'm glad that I've finally found a Keaton film I can enjoy without a stab at my conscience for liking it.
  • December 31, 2011
    Though SHEROCK, JR. only runs for 44 minutes (barely long enough to be considered a feature-length film), it is often hilarious and ultimately to the point. It remains one of the most well-recognized silent films made before the "talkie" era (the first film of this era, THE JAZZ ... read moreSINGER, was released in 1927, but it did not become of mainstream popularity until the early 1930s), and still funny today. Recently, the American Film Institute listed it on one of its hundred-anniversary compilations, "100 Years...100 Laughs". Though funny, this film rarely gets near to living up to its massive legacy. For anyone who appreciates and enjoys films released during the silent era, this will be very entertaining.

    Full Review: http://wp.me/1Urcx
  • October 9, 2011
    I'd never watched any real silent films before, because I feared that if I did the film would be outdated in its humor and wouldn't warrant that many laughs out of me. But man did this film blow away my expectations, this is one of the funniest films I've seen In my whole life. N... read moreow the only real comedies that make me burst out laughing every 5 minutes are usually Jim Carrey films, but this film I burst out laughing every 5 seconds. The pool scene is one of the most tension building scenes ever put in film, but is also very funny to watch. I never thought I would recommend a silent film, but this film is a must for comedy fans and fans of silent comedies.
  • September 3, 2010
    A brilliant comedy. One of Keaton's best.
  • March 10, 2010
    My first Buster Keaton film, whilst I am familar of his work through various montage clips, it was refreshing to see his work first hand in what is the era of oriiginal slapstick comedy. The ideas, stunts and pure genius of gilm throughout is exactly what I had expected and it d... read moreid not fail to deliver.

    A short film, with a lot of content.

Critic Reviews


Jeffrey M. Anderson
November 19, 2010
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid

To put it plainly, Sherlock Jr. is my choice for the greatest film ever made. Full Review

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Sherlock Jr. : Watch Free on TV


Sherlock Jr. Trivia


  • Star of "The General", "Steamboat Bill, Jr." and "Sherlock Jr.". This "stone-faced" actor has mostly been overshadowed by Charlie Chaplin. His nickname was given to him by the famous magician, Harry Houdini. (Name The Actor)  Answer »
  • Who plays Sherlock Holmes in the 2010 movie?  Answer »
  • Who directed Sherlock Holmes starring Robert Downey Jr & Jude Law?  Answer »

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