Sherlock Jr. (1924)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

This film is one of Buster Keaton's funniest and most technically innovative features. He plays the floor sweeper and projectionist of a small-town movie theater who in his free time studies to be a detective.
Action & Adventure , Classics , Comedy , Kids & Family , Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Metro Pictures Corporation

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Buster Keaton
as Projectionist/Sherlock, Jr.
Kathryn McGuire
as The Girl
Ward Crane
as The Rival
Joe Keaton
as The Girl's Father/Man on Film Screen
Erwin Connelly
as The Hired Man/The Butler
Horace Morgan
as Conspirator
Jane Leigh Connelly
as The Mother
Ford West
as Theater Manager/Gillette
George Davis
as Conspirator
John Patrick
as Conspirator
Ruth Holly
as Candy Store Woman
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Critic Reviews for Sherlock Jr.

All Critics (17) | Top Critics (6)

Keaton's appreciation of the formal paradoxes of the medium is astounding; his observations on the relationship between film and the subconscious are groundbreaking and profound. And it's a laugh riot, too.

Full Review… | May 29, 2015
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Keaton's third feature under his own steam is an incredible technical accomplishment, but also an almost Pirandellian exploration of the nature of cinematic reality.

Full Review… | May 29, 2015
Time Out
Top Critic

A master of movement and stillness, Keaton developed a comedy style that was as intellectual as it was physical, and this small gem shows us why he's as purely American a film genius as the motion pictures have produced.

Full Review… | May 29, 2015
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

The unexpected, fantastic dream situations lend themselves to some remarkable trick effects, including one in which Buster walks right out of an audience and into a picture on the screen.

Full Review… | May 29, 2015
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

There is an extremely good comedy which will give you plenty of amusement, so long as you permit Mr. Keaton to glide into his work with his usual deliberation.

Full Review… | May 29, 2015
New York Times
Top Critic

This Buster Keaton feature length comedy is about as unfunny as a hospital operating room.

Full Review… | May 29, 2015
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Sherlock Jr.

A great movie all the more remarkable due to the technique employed and how Keaton could pull off a number of risky stunts without getting killed - and his huge care is evident in a hilarious billiard scene and a fabulous moment in which he dodges many dangers on a motorcycle.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer


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 involved. 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.

Melvin White
Melvin White

Super Reviewer


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 films 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.

Spencer S.
Spencer S.

Super Reviewer

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