The Navigator (1924)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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A funny, touching story, this is the tale of a wealthy couple who find themselves cast adrift in an empty cruise liner. By themselves and away from their posh lifestyle, they have to cope with unending perils which really consist of numerous sight gags and stunts conceived of by Keaton. Played out on a condemned steamer that Keaton actually bought for the purpose, this is an unequaled gem in the comedy field.
NR (nothing objectionable)
Classics , Comedy
Directed By:
Written By:
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Buster Keaton
as Rollo Treadway
Kathryn McGuire
as Betsy O'Brien
Fred Vroom
as John O'Brien
Noble Johnson
as Cannibal Chief

Critic Reviews for The Navigator

All Critics (13)

THE NAVIGATOR is a text-book example on how to execute slapstick and sight gags. I would say that this film, even more so than THE GENERAL, is a perfect introduction to the films of Buster Keaton.

Full Review… | April 29, 2014
Film Geek Central

Keaton's master coup is in seizing Murnau's haunted ship as a gargantuan comic prop for a pair of stranded nitwits, who don't know what to do with it

Full Review… | September 2, 2010

One of Buster Keaton's best, which is to say comedy classic.

April 23, 2007

One of the great slapstick comedies from silent comic Buster Keaton.

Full Review… | October 12, 2006
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Part of Keaton's charm is that he doesn't have to be zany in every single frame, which is charmingly illustrated here.

June 12, 2005

Keaton is the great metaphysical existentialist: a modernist in the finest sense of the word.

Full Review… | April 19, 2005
Film Freak Central

Audience Reviews for The Navigator


Another fabulous Buster Keaton comedy, just funny with a lot of creative sight gags. The film is just hilarious and a lot of fun to watch. It deals with these two rich "kids" that end up stranded together on an abandoned ship. As these two have never had to fend for themselves and have always had someone to do everything for them, when they try to do something as simple as cooking breakfast, boiling eggs, opening cans, etc, the results are hilarious. It really shows spoiled these two really are. Of course, after a couple of weeks, the couple are quite good at taking care of themselves quickly and efficiently. Another thing I liked is that the woman in this movie, played by Kathryn McGuire, actually got a large number of the laughs instead of just being a damsel in distress for Buster's character to save. I mean, she still has to be saved, but she's really entertaining and it was certainly surprising to see considering the, I'm sure, amount of sexism that must've permeated in films at this point. As always I found the gags to be very creative like, in the underwater scene, Buster taken and posting a sign that said 'Men at Work' and trying to wash his hands underwater. There's also the scene when Buster and Kathryn are trying to sleep at night that's really funny. This and the underwater scene are the definite comedic highlights of the film, just hilarious stuff. And the climax, with the cannibals, isn't as strong as the rest of the film but it is still strong and entertaining. Perhaps I was spoiled by the absolute insanity of the chase sequence in Seven Chances, but this was still a very entertaining climax. I love Buster Keaton...can you tell? Anyway, after the events of this week, with the Boston Bombing, the shooting at MIT and the explosion in Waco, this is the type of movie that you should watch if you've had a down week. Just another wonderful Buster Keaton film.

Jesse Ortega
Jesse Ortega

Super Reviewer


A millionaire and his love interest get stranded on an ocean liner. There are some chuckles in this slapstick, silent comedy, and Buster Keaton once again proves himself a master of the young medium. Though there aren't many moments like the amazing stunts of College and The General, Keaton prat falls his way through the shifting ship and an underwater sequence. The film didn't show its antiquity until the "cannibals" appear. Black natives attack Keaton's character, and I was again found myself wishing that Keaton's films were more progressive than their times, just as I did with The General. The portrayal of black characters leaves much to be desired, and it ruined the film for me. Overall, this isn't as well made as Keaton's other films, and the outdated views of minorities made the film more difficult to enjoy.

Jim Hunter
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer


Keaton and a girl are trapped on a ship together and try to find a way back to land, most of this movie is really hilarious, but there are some slow parts.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

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