Dean Lemire will be providing live organ accompaniment on the Beverly Ruth Nelson memorial organ.
Also showing with Sherlock, Jr. will be three Buster Keaton classic short films:
The Haunted House (1921): A bank clerk ends up in a seemingly haunted house that is actually a thieves’ hideout.
Neighbors (1920): A young couple who live next to each other in tenement apartments do everything they can to be together despite of their feuding families.
The High Sign (1921): A drifter at an amusement park finds himself both the bodyguard and hit man of a man targeted by a criminal gang.
A movie theater projectionist and janitor (Buster Keaton) is in love with a beautiful girl (Kathryn McGuire). However, he has a rival, the “local sheik” (Ward Crane). Neither has much money. The projectionist buys a $1 box of chocolates, all he can afford, and changes the price to $4 before giving it and a ring to her. The sheik steals and pawns the girl’s father’s pocket watch for $4. With the money, he buys a $3 box of chocolates for the girl. When the father notices his watch is missing, the sheik slips the pawn ticket into the projectionist’s pocket unnoticed. The projectionist, studying to be a detective, offers to solve the crime, but when the pawn ticket is found, is banished from the girl’s home.
Recently, Time magazine named Sherlock, Jr. as one of the All-Time 100 Movies. They wrote, “The impeccable comedian directs himself in an impeccable silent comedy…Is this, as some critics have argued, an example of primitive American surrealism? Sure. But let’s not get fancy about it. It is more significantly, a great example of American minimalism—simple objects and movement manipulated in casually complex ways to generate a steadily rising gale of laughter. The whole thing is only 45 minutes long, not a second of which is wasted. In an age when most comedies are all windup and no punch, this is the most treasurable of virtues.”
Film critic Dennis Schwartz wrote, “[The film is] one of Buster’s superior silent comedies that’s noted for his usual deadpan humor, frolicsome slapstick, the number of very funny sight gags, the many innovative technical accomplishments and that he did his own stunts (including the dangerous one where he was hanging off a ladder connected to a huge water basin as the water poured out and washed him onto the railroad track, fracturing his neck nearly to the point of breaking it. Keaton suffered from severe migraines for years after making this movie).”
In 2012, it was ranked number 61 in a list of best edited films of all time as selected by the members of the Motion Picture Editors Guild.
Presented in partnership with the Columbia River Theater Organ Society.