As part of a self-established routine that brings me back and forth through the history of cinema, I just finished watching The Navigator, a one-hour marvel from 1924 (yes, movies were made in that time).
During an armed conflict between two unknown countries, a rich heir gets turned down by the woman he loves, decides to go on his honeymoon alone anyway and ends up on a drifting ship with no crew, due to an enemy sabotage. The only person who seems to be on board turns out to be the very woman who refused him earlier. As it becomes obvious that no-one will come to their help, they’re faced with no choice but to cooperate. This very normal situation (I mean come on, who never got stuck on a drifting ship after a failed proposal?) sets up the tone for a grand comedy.
The movie itself is quick-paced, never annoying and hilariously funny. Its grand finale provides with an epic scene which flows from underwater to naval warfare with tension and comedy, and boy it is a good one.
For those of you unfamiliar with it, it also features one of the great performances of Buster Keaton, famously known as “The Man who Never Laughed”. As paradoxical as this may sound, it becomes quite obvious when one dares approach some of the silent masterpieces in which he performs. Feel free to check this one, but also The General, where Keaton chases the love of his life through the USA during the civil-war period with the help of his train engine, to an even funnier result. His ability to enduce empathy, smiles and laughter without a single grin himself deserves an applause, something I did offer quite frankly.
Also, the fact that those movies fell into public domain grants you, our lucky readers, the pleasure of seeing them freely, hail the Internet! Now, go enjoy them, and if you loved Buster in his movies, you’ll love this one too : an one-hour long documentary on his career, one that speaks of long-gone era of silent laughter.
Stay tuned for more articles on “Oldies but Goodies”, movies I hope you’ll love as much as I do !