The High Sign (1921)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Slapstick  |   Run Time - 21 min.  |   Countries - United States   |  
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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.



bad-guy, blackmail, bodyguard, drifter, employment, father, gangster, good-guy, marksman