Saturday, November 29th at 1:00pm | $10
Live organ accompaniment by Dean Lemire!
Presented in partnership with Columbia River Theatre Organ Society
The Navigator is often ranked with The Gold Rush, City Lights and Keaton’s own The General as one of the greatest of silent comedies. Having heard that the S.S. Buford was slated to be scrapped, Keaton and his production team resolved to build a film around it. Keaton plays a callow young rich boy who, along with his girlfriend (Kathryn McGuire) is stranded on a drifting ghost ship in the middle of the ocean.
The film was Keaton’s biggest box office success and considered by many to be a cinematic masterpiece. As to the latter, it’s not hard to see what critics read into it. A ship at sea is a metaphor. To be alone on a ship at sea is an existential metaphor. For two useless rich people to be alone and helpless on a drifting ship is a political metaphor. But knowledge of such things generally does more harm at the box office than good. Keaton’s drifting ship gets into a surprising amount of trouble during the film's 59 minutes. That’s what captures the allegiance of audiences.
The film was co-directed by Donald Crisp, best known today as an actor in films like Wuthering Heights and How Green was My Valley.
Accompanying The Navigator are Keaton’s classic short films Cops and The Goat.