The High Sign (1921) (1921) - Rotten Tomatoes

The High Sign (1921) (1921)

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

The first film that Buster Keaton made independently, High Sign portrays the filmmaker as a drifter in search of a job. Passing himself off as a skilled marksman, he finds employment at a shooting gallery in an amusement park. But he gets more than he bargained for -- a girl (Bartine Burkett) talks him into being a bodyguard for her father, who has run afoul of a gang. Meanwhile, the gang, called the Blinking Buzzards, forcibly recruits him to snuff out...yes, the girl's father. Keaton hated this two-reeler when it was done and shelved it. It was released only because he was laid up with a broken leg seven months later and production had halted. While not as good as the next film Keaton made (the top notch One Week), it still has many classic sequences, including a chase through a series of trapdoors at the gang's hideout and Keaton pouring through the want ads in an endlessly unfolding newspaper.

Cast

Critic Reviews for The High Sign (1921)

All Critics (1)

It's a trip watching Buster try to protect his client from all The Blinking Buzzards trying to kill him.

Full Review… | October 25, 2011
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for The High Sign (1921)

½

Keaton shelved this movie for quite a while because he wasn't satisfied with it as his first solo project. It's a hoot, though. Keaton's prop comedy is front and center here, climaxing with an extended chase through a house loaded with trap doors and secret passages.

Michael Harbour
Michael Harbour
½

The "High Sign" was Buster Keaton's first two-reel independent film but was shelved for a year when he broke his ankle and had to release it to meet his contract, which is a lucky break for us Buster fans! The film demonstrates once again Keaton's acrobats and fitness as well as his mastery of the genre. It's nice knowing that even back in 1920/21 the legend already had a keen grasp on what he wanted to become. While brief at only 19 minutes, it's most certainly a fun and entertaining comedy that is loads of fun to watch. Getting into Buster Keaton by way of the Kino Short Films Collection is a fast and still enjoyable way to do so as all 19 films range between 17-23 minutes and contain Keaton's magic and some wonderful set pieces.

Chris Browning
Chris Browning

Super Reviewer

Earlier sections are a little slow, but the climax in the house with the secret trap doors is sheer genius.

Eric Broome
Eric Broome

Super Reviewer

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