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Sherlock Jr & Our Hospitality [VHS]

4.6 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews


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Product Details

  • Actors: Buster Keaton, Kathryn McGuire, Natalie Talmadge, Joe Keaton, Erwin Connelly
  • Directors: Buster Keaton, John G. Blystone
  • Writers: Clyde Bruckman, Jean C. Havez, Joseph A. Mitchell
  • Producers: Buster Keaton, Joseph M. Schenck
  • Format: Black & White, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Rated:
    Unrated
    Not Rated
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Kino Video
  • VHS Release Date: June 27, 2000
  • Run Time: 75 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6303366511
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #341,161 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Sherlock

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I am a Buster Keaton fan, even though I had only seen a few of his films until now. My favorite remains "The General" which is a great Civil War adventure with a lot of laughs, too. This Kino DVD, a combo of Sherlock Jr and Our Hospitality, is hilarious! Our Hospitality is the first on the DVD and tells the tale of Buster Keaton's woes when he wanders into an old blood feud between families and spends half the film blissfully unaware that he is a walking bullseye. The film is set in the 1830s and has some hilarious scenes, such as the early railroad trip back to the old homestead (some of the jokes in this part are a prelude to The General) and some great stunt work (Keaton on the edge of a REAL waterfall). And Keaton does all his own stunts, it's amazing he didn't hurt himself more often!
Sherlock Jr. is probably one of Keaton's more famous works, but to be honest, I liked the first movie on the DVD more. This one is funny, too, but it's kinda scattered, plot-wise. Keaton plays a movie projectionist who enters his movie (in a dream), solves the mystery, and saves the girl. It's really an excuse for some great special effects (back in those days, at least!). I guess some things never change (I wonder if Sherlock Jr. was a summer film...) but this film is still really really funny. Back to back, these films are funnier and more original than almost anything you'd see in theaters today.
Just a few words about the DVD itself - these films are 70+ years old, so they aren't in perfect condition. Our Hospitality has scratches and dust. The source print is ok but looks its age. At least the image is clear with good contrast, unlike a lot of silent films which look all black with patches of white. Sherlock Jr's print source is great!
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Keaton's "Sherlock Jr." One of the genuine legends of film history. While it's not as tragic as Erich von Stroheim's "Greed," "Sherlock Jr." is an experience that simply must be seen to be believed. Buster Keaton's mastery of physical comedy reached its zenith with this exercise in surrealism that is pure joy from beginning to end. It's only forty minutes long and there's not much of a plot to it -- Keaton plays a projectionist at a movie theater who wants to be a detective, but stumbles at his first attempt to solve a crime. He falls asleep in the movie theater, and his dream-self walks into the movie and takes part in an comedy adventure consisting of stuntwork so incredible, it made my jaw drop when I saw it for the first time. Most of the stunts here are filmed live, and Keaton uses masterful editing to bring them all together. One scene here, where he falls from a water tower onto a railroad track, actually broke his neck in real life -- but he didn't even realize it until a physical examination several years later!
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Format: DVD
In the first feature of this DVD, "Our Hospitality" (1923), Keaton shows us a period in American history rarely seen in the movies. The movie starts in 1810 when Keaton's character is a baby and leaps to 1830 when he's 21. Keaton accurately shows us the period of the 1830s by riding a pedalless bicycle, showing us the intersection of Broadway and 42nd Street, which turns out to be the eye-popping rurality of his aunt's cottage between 2 dirt roads, and travels from New York to the South on the Stephenson Rocket, an early train which looks like a string of stage coaches on railroad tracks. Keaton has been informed that he's to claim his family's estate in the South, and much of the movie is shown how traveling by train in this period was so cumbersome. Keaton throws in a lot of gags about this such as the engineer (played by his real father Joe) moving the train tracks with his bare hands in order to get the train past a stubborn jackass, and he illustrates the relative speed of the train by showing a dog outrunning it. The basic plot of the film is that Keaton meets a girl (played by his real life wife Natalie) on the train who turns out to be the daughter of a family in which his own has been feuding with for generations. When Keaton gets to his destination in the South, he finds that the estate he envisioned to be a pretty antebellum mansion turns out to be a worthless dump. However, he stays in town because he has been invited by the girl on the train to have supper with her family. When her brothers and father find out who he is, they spend the rest of the movie trying to execute him with their authentically portrayed pistols. This movie includes the most amazing stunt of Keaton's entire film career.Read more ›
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Format: DVD
These were two of the most amazing and creative films I have seen in months. Buster Keaton wrote, directed, acted, and did all his own stunts in these two films. He even did stunts for a lot of the other actors in these films too.

"Our hospitality" is the story of a feud between two families that reaches a crisis point when Keaton falls in love with a daughter in the other family. In "Sherlock Jr." Keaton plays an aspiring detective and movie projectionist who dreams that he is a famous and skilled detective. Not only are these two films engaging, well made, and interesting, they are funny!! I go weeks sometimes without laughing at a sitcom or a movie that is supposed to be a comedy. I found myself laughing out loud numerous times during this film.

There are some classic scenes that just stand out when you watch these movies. The whole "floating down the river" scene at the end of "Our Hospitality" is jaw-dropping. These have got to be some of the most dangerous stunts ever attempted. In "Sherlock Jr." there is a pool game where every ball on the table is bounced around except for one which is miraculously untouched, there is the harrowing motorcycle ride, there is the escape from the gangsters, I could go on an on.

These films are like live action Bugs Bunny cartoon. There were several occasions where as I was watching these movies, trying to anticipate what was going to happen next I said to myself, "No way. He's not really going to do that. That's not even possible. No sane man would attempt a stunt like that." And yet...he does.

There are about 4 or 5 scenes from both of these films which are completely seared into my brain. That isn't an easy thing to do.
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