starring Buster Keaton and Kathryn McGuire
A Buster Keaton farce in six reels - and funny practically
every inch of the way. Which is an accomplishment, because it
isn't easy to be laughable for six thousand feet of film. Buster
plays the heroic Sap who finds himself with his sweetheart on
an ocean liner cut adrift by enemies of he owner. The Sap becomes
the captain, crew and cook until the vessel strands upon a cannibal
isle. Then Buster dons a deep sea diver's suit and keeps the
cannibals more or less at a distance until a submarine comes to
the rescue. Of course, like all farces, this doesn't stand analysis,
but the tale is studded with hilarious moments and a hundred and
one adroit gags. Keaton was never funnier than in "The Navigator,"
and he has a pretty foil in Kathrine (sic) McGuire. It's a picture
starring Buster Keaton, Katherine McGuire
October 4, 1924
Seeing Buster Keaton attempt to
play solitaire with a deck of soaking wet playing cards is worth
the price of admission to "The Navigator." But that
isn't the only laugh in the picture by any means. A big surprise
is the fact that the title does not designate this whimsical comedian
- it's the name of a ship. And what a ship! If you can imagine
an exceedingly dumb young man of the Keatonish variety adrift
in mid-ocean on a steamship with a very pretty girl - and one
who has refused to marry him, at that - perhaps you can see the
many possibilities for riotous fun. And this pretty girl, by the
way, Katherine McGuire, is an excellent foil for Buster.
Space forbids telling the many amusing features of "The Navigator." You will laugh when you see Buster's first appearance, and you will scream when he boards the ship, unmindful of the fact that he is the only one on it - until the girl arrives. You will guffaw at the culinary methods of these two, and you will get a real thrill when Buster goes under sea in a diving suit to try to mend a leak in the ship. But it is unfair to tell everything. Suffice it to say that "The Navigator"is probably the funniest comedy Buster has obliged us with.
starring Buster Keaton and Katherine McGuire
MOTION PICTURE MAGAZINE
Buster, of the Keatons, is sailing the briny deep again. Having shown that he knows something about navigation in several of his comedies, he has elaborated on the others - or compiled them together, so to speak, with the result that his latest will be recorded as one of the most laughable celluloid skits of the screen. Instead of using some Goldberg contrivance - he rides the ocean waves as the skipper, mate and handy man of an ocean liner. He has no other companion except the girl he loves.
You ask how he found himself aboard ship? Well, thru a series of logical circumstances which develop, the young couple take to the waves. They had decided upon marriage thru being inspired by the embrace of colored lovers. The boat has been cast adrift by the enemies of its owner.
There are rich humorous possibilities here - and all of them have been realized by the gag writers associated with Buster. The idea is original in conception and treatment. And once the boat gets under way the fun starts - showing considerable chasing around the decks before the young passengers discover one another. There is unbounded humor in the incident featuring the loves preparing their first meal in the galley.
It isn't all comedy. There is plenty of excitement to keep pace with the laughs when the passengers attempt to find sleeping quarters. Eventually each is established in a redecorated furnace. A good gag introduces the scene. Buster and the girl (Katherine McGuire) are disturbed by a ghostly tenor when a phonograph is accidentally started. The song is "Asleep in the Deep."
The concluding scenes are mostly melodramatic, tho the laughs are well distributed. The boat grounds upon a cannibal isle - which gives Keaton a chance to dress up in a deep sea diver's suit. When he reaches the bed of the ocean, the girl keeps him alive by pumping him air. The cannibals interfere with the air line and kidnap the heroine. What follows is familiar rescue stuff when a submarine appears and takes them away.
This finale is the only flaw in the picture. It is little consequence,
however, when stacked up against the array of bright and amusing
gags leading up to it. It is well produced - and capitally played.
The titles are good.
Video source: Kino
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