Monday, October 26, 2009

The Navigator

The Navigator (1924) was directed by Donald Crisp and Buster Keaton and starred Buster Keaton and Kathryn McGuire.

Rollo (Buster Keaton) decides to marry his sweetheart Betsy (Kathryn McGuire) and sail to Hawaii. When she rejects him he decides to go alone but boards the wrong ship, the "Navigator" owned by Betsy's father. Unaware of this, Betsy boards the ship to look for her father. whom spies capture before cutting the ship loose. It drifts out to sea with the two socialites each unaware of there being anyone else on board.

The two end up together, stranded and drifting a sea. At first, the young couple is helpless because they've never had to lift a finger in their lives. What follows is a series of comedy gags as the couple tries to figure out how to cook for themselves.

As the weeks pass, Keaton and McGuire become quite adept at fending for themselves, utilizing the huge facilities of the liner (its steam room, its enormous kitchen) for the simplest and most basic of necessities.

An attack by a cannibal tribe requires Rollo (Keaton) to be more resourceful than ever, he must go down in a deep sea diving suit and repair the ship in order to escape the cannibals.

This builds-up to the climatic contretemps between Rollo (Keaton), Betsy (McGuire) and the cannibals .

The movie also has a great gag with a photo of director Donald Crisp.

There are gags with Rollo (Keaton) losing a battle with a deck chair and his attempt to shuffle a water soaked deck of cards.

The Navigator contains some of the most elaborate and well-known stunts by Keaton.

This film is a comic masterpiece and one of the silent era's most memorable films as well as one of Keaton's best films.

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