Keaton’s tribute to detective fiction also pioneered taking films about movie love to a higher plane. Mild-mannered film projectionist Keaton shakes off mix-ups with girlfriend Kathryn McGuire and her father Joe Keaton (Buster’s own dad) by dreaming himself into onscreen action as the titular suave sleuth, with those in his orbit also transferred into the narrative. The ingenuity of the gags beautifully enhances the reliability of the “what if I could” fantasy motif.
The Playhouse (Edward Cline & Buster Keaton, 1921, U.S., 23m)
Keaton partners with himself onscreen, as members of a troupe and orchestra and the audience.
U.S. premiere of 4K DCP restoration