~The Navigator~
1924
~Buster Keaton~
~Plot Synopsis~
At the request of his star Buster Keaton, producer Joseph M. Schenck purchased an obsolete ocean liner
for $20,000. Keaton wanted to use the boat as a "prop" in his upcoming feature comedy, but went into
production with nary a plot idea in his head. Eventually, Buster and his chief gagman Clyde Bruckman
came up with a story involving two wealthy, pampered young people (played by Keaton and Kathryn
McGuire), who through a series of fantastic but logical plot convolutions end up stranded together on a
drifting, deserted ocean liner. At first, the young couple is helpless because they've never had to lift a
finger in their lives. As the weeks pass, Keaton and McGuire become quite adept at fending for
themselves, utilizing the huge facilities of the liner (its steam room, its enormous kitchen) for the simplest
and most basic of necessities. An attack by a cannibal tribe requires Keaton to be more resourceful than
ever; the build-up to the climactic contretemps between Keaton and the cannibals is almost as
side-splitting as the climax itself. While the film is rife with some of Buster Keaton's most elaborate gags,
he scores equally well with smaller, more intimate comedy bits, notably his losing battle with a deck chair
and his attempt to shuffle a waterlogged deck of cards. Reasoning that the comedy in The Navigator
would work best if built upon an utterly serious storyline, Keaton hired actor/director Donald Crisp to
handle the "straight" scenes. Alas, as Keaton would later recall, the constitutionally humorless Crisp
"turned gagman on us", resulting in miles of wasted footage. Thus, pay no attention to the "official"
directorial credits: Buster Keaton alone is responsible for the helming of The Navigator. Joe Schenck's
initial 20 grand investment proved sagacious when Navigator ended up as Buster Keaton's most
profitable silent feature film.

Plot Synopsis by Hal Erickson, AllMovie.com
Directed by:
Donald Crisp
Buster Keaton

Written by:
Clyde Bruckman - writer
Jean C. Havez - writer
Joseph A. Mitchell - writer  
~Cast~

Buster Keaton ...  Rollo Treadway
Kathryn McGuire ...  Betsy O'Brien
Frederick Vroom ...  John O'Brien
Clarence Burton ...  Spy (uncredited)
H.N. Clugston ...  Spy (uncredited)
Noble Johnson ...  Cannibal chief (uncredited)
~Remaining Credits~

Production Company: Buster Keaton Productions

Distribution Company: Metro-Goldwyn Pictures Corporation

Executive Producer: Joseph M. Schenck
Producer:
Buster Keaton
Cinematography by: Byron Houck & Elgin Lessley
Film Editing by:
Buster Keaton
Electrician: Denver Harmon
Technical Director: Fred Gabourie
Presenter: Joseph M. Schenck

Length: 6 Reels
Runtime: 59 Minutes
Released: October 13, 1924