The Navigator

1924 romantic comedy

Rating: 17/20 (note: changed from original 16)

Plot: Buster Keaton and his special lady friend find themselves trapped on a drifting, fifty-foot yacht with no clue how to operate the thing. They share misadventures, including a hunt for a place to sleep, a fight with a swordfish, and attempted cannibalism, and their love grows.

Nice little movie with some great gags and early action-adventure scenes that really hold up well. I'm not sure any Buster Keaton movie is actually laugh-out-loud funny, but I did smile out loud. The portrait scene was my favorite, and there was lots of good physical comedy. This wasn't as perfectly executed as The General, but people who like silent comedies should find lots to enjoy.

Trivia: According to my father, Buster Keaton's parents were from Terre Haute, Indiana, my birthplace. They apparently moved prior to Buster's birth to travel with a minstrel show.

More trivia: I'm not expert, but the nicely-filmed fetish sex scenes in this have to be among the first in movie history. As you can see from the pictures below, this is pretty graphic stuff for 1924.

Beginning of the infamous swordfish-on-Buster sex scene.

Buster nearing climax.
Later, the human characters.

And Buster has what might be the first Hollywood orgasm.

Here I am watching Buster Keaton gettin' busy:


cory said...

I had a DVD that I marked "Our Hospitality" in error, but it turned out to be "The Navigator". I don't think there is a bad Keaton movie, is there? I thought the sight gags on the boat and the stuff with the natives was hilarious. I was a little concerned that holding his breath for five minutes would be a problem, but it is Buster Keaton. A 17.

Shane said...

I'm sure there's some Buster Keaton stuff that's no good. I've not seen them yet though.

Yeah, the boat stuff was hilarious, especially the gag with the captain's picture!