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Navigator (1924)


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Navigator (1924) + The General (The Ultimate Two-Disc Edition) + Steamboat Bill, Jr. [Ultimate 2-Disc Edition]
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Brilliantly exemplifying Buster Keaton's ability to mine rich humor from the inanimate, The Navigator is a classic of the Golden Age of Comedy, centered on and about a single extraordinary prop: an immense five hundred-foot yacht. In a return to the "pampered youth" role he had played in The Saphead and Battling Butler, Keaton stars as Rollo Treadway, an inexperienced lad of extraordinary wealth -- and surprisingly little common sense -- who finds himself adrift on The Navigator with no one else on board excerpt an equally na+¯ve girl. After discovering each other's presence in an ingenious ballet of unintentional hide-and-seek, the couple resourcefully fashion a home for themselves aboard the derelict boat, in spite of their unfamiliarity with the tools of domesticity. They then embark on a series of misadventures on the ocean floor and upon the high seas, surrounded by a fleet of menacing cannibals, where the film reaches its explosively funny climax, with the aid of a crate of rocket flares. As a special feature, this DVD includes two additional complete films that demonstrate Keaton's penchant for maritime mayhem. In The Boat, Buster and family set sail aboard the homemade Damfino, while in The Love Nest, he trades sailboat for U-boat to plumb new depths of hilarity.

Amazon.com

Buster Keaton revisits his familiar persona of a spoiled society dandy thrown into the surreal world. Young millionaire Rollo Treadway (the sap in the family tree, according to a title card) embarks on a long voyage to nurse his broken heart when his lady love, Kathryn McGuire, turns down his proposal of marriage. Of course he winds up on the wrong dock and boards a derelict ship, which (as luck would have it) McGuire has also boarded. Foreign spies set the ship adrift on the high seas, stranding the pampered heirs, who must now fend for themselves. Keaton indulges in his love of Rube Goldberg contraptions with an elaborate jungle of levers and hatches that turns a giant galley into a veritable automat and dives into 20th-century technology when he dons a diving suit for a hilarious underwater sequence. McGuire makes a marvelous comic partner for Keaton, a gifted physical comedian and a spunky love interest, while the ship plays straight man to their pratfalls and gags, practically coming alive like a haunted house in their first terrified night aboard. The match between man and massive machine proved so successful that Keaton returned to the concept for his two greatest comedies, The General and Steamboat Bill Jr. Also featured are a pair of appropriately aquatic shorts: The Boat, in which Buster packs his family into a leaky houseboat, and The Love Nest, which pits castaway Buster against a despotic captain. --Sean Axmaker

Special Features

  • Contains Buster Keaton's feature The Navigator (1924, 60 min.), as well as two shorts: The Boat (1921, 22 min.) & The Love Nest (1923, 20 min.)

Product Details

  • Actors: Clarence Burton, H.N. Clugston, Donald Crisp, Noble Johnson, Kathryn McGuire
  • Directors: Donald Crisp
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, NTSC, Silent
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Dubbed: Japanese
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Image Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: November 20, 2001
  • Run Time: 107 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000021Y7M
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #166,947 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Navigator (1924)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Cheated on June 26, 2000
Format: DVD
THE NAVIGATOR (1924): One of Buster's best features. A fast-paced fun collection of classic gags, Buster filmed on top of "The Buford", a ship that was actually used by the U.S. govt. to dump alleged Bolsheviks out of the USA and into Russia in 1919. The film begins with Buster proposing marriage to his gal, who turns him down. The two mistakenly wind up on the ship, called The Navigator, which happens to be deserted and floundering at sea. They make do the best they can, and eventually must deal with cannibals on a tropical island. One of the funniest Buster gags I've ever seen is in this movie - while he's trying to go to sleep in his cabin, his gal throws a snarly-looking portrait of a swabo out of her cabin and it lands on a nail outside the porthole window of Buster's cabin. It swings from side-to-side, giving Buster the illusion that The Navigator is haunted. More haunted-ship gags follow (spook gags show up in other Buster films), which makes me wonder if Buster was influenced by something he saw not-of-this-world in the 1000 or more boarding houses and hotels he stayed in during those previous 20 years in vaudeville.
THE BOAT (1921): In this 2-reeler, Buster builds a boat, called The Damfino, in the basement of his home. Since the garage doors are only meant for something like a Model T, Buster idiotically collapses his house as he forces The Damfino through this small opening. No one in the family seems to be bothered that their home now looks as if it was hit by a tornado, as they proceed to drive off to launch The Damfino. "The Boat" was thought to be one of Buster's lost films. It miraculously got pieced together recently, and that is what you'll find on this DVD.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Nate Goyer on January 22, 2000
Format: DVD
Many silent films have lived past their copyright expiration and are now in public domain. This allows any hack with enough will to put out old films on DVD and charge what the market will pay. Fortunately, Kino International has provided us some excellent transfers of the Buster Keaton film library to enjoy.
'The Navigator' is a film that uses a large ship as it main prop. Keaton plays the naive son of a wealthy family who wrongly gets on a ship that is about to be destroyed, He spends the rest of the movie barely dodging disaster after disaster while keeping his famous dead-pan facial expression. 'The Navigator' also includes some of the earliest underwater movie photography.
Included with this DVD are 2 extra 20 minute films: 'The Boat' and 'The Love Nest'. Both are excellent transfers and fun to watch. The DVD also has a theme, since all included movies have to do with sailing and the ocean.
The musical scores are excellent and compliment the movie very well.
If you are new to Buster Keaton's work, I would also recommend 'The General' and 'Sherlock Jr'.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Paul J. Mular TOP 1000 REVIEWER on September 11, 2012
Format: Blu-ray
This new transfer, using a 35mm negative from the Raymond Rohauer Collection, adds a few nice touches to the film. It runs almost a minute longer than the old DVD, but this may be only due to differences in film speed as I noticed nothing new.

MORE PICTURE has been added to all sides! The old DVD is heavily cropped! Look at the very first scene, on the Blu-ray: at the top you can see the wall above the windows (cropped off on the old DVD), and at the bottom there is a second white lined rug (cropped off of the old DVD). To the right you can see some empty seats behind the man sitting (the old DVD the frame ends at the back of the occupied chair). To the left you can see decor of an old radio (on the old DVD cuts off at the corner of the radio).
The old DVD is slightly "window-boxed" putting black bars on all 4 sides of the picture. This new Blu-ray is full frame (wide-screen TVs will have black bars on the sides to make a square picture). There are a few occasions during the first 10 minutes in which you can now see film sprocket holes on the right side. The MGM logo at the beginning now has visible film sprocket holes on the left side. Different film sources must have been used for the master negative and now with more visible picture on the Blu-ray these brief imperfections are now visible. But this is only during the first 10 minutes, and I appreciate seeing more of the original picture.

The old DVD does not mention what the film source is but I suspect it is an archival positive made from a 35mm negative. There are brief black scratch lines, these scratches are characteristic of positive print scratches.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Scott Ross on January 8, 2003
Format: DVD
No other movie I've ever seen - with the possible exceptoin of the first Richard Pryor concert film, which isn't quite the same thing - has ever made me laugh as much, or as hard, as this. That the gags are peerlessly set up and flawlessly executed is to be expected with Keaton, and he made better films than this ("The General" comes to mind, of course) but for sheer, painful belly-laughs, none of Buster's work, for me, comes close. A few moments of many: Buster's idiot girlfriend making coffee; their eerily hilarious meeting on the drifting boat, so perfectly timed and played it should a) serve as a model for all physical comedians and b) never be done again; and Keaton's underwater duel with a swordfish. Just don't watch it while you're eating, and keep a pillow by the couch for falling on.
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