Une des plus grandes réussites de Buster Keaton, au visage superbe de gravité. Un gag chasse l'autre dans ce chef-d'oeuvre du comique visuel, véritable apogée du muet. On n'oubliera pas de si tôt la séquence de la révolte des Tong dans Chinatown, ni le sauvetage de Sally, par Buster lors d'une régate. Un vrai plaisir... www.cinefiches.com
Buster at his best! Like a lot of silent comedy, the plot is essentially a framing device meant to surround scarcely related set-pieces, some of which work better than others. But when it all ties together at the end, it's a thing of beauty and hilarity, with a few cheeky statements about what filmmaking does to reality. All this high-minded subtext, plus the best performance a monkey has ever given on screen.
Keaton's "worst mistake of his career" at least brought forth this late-career gem before MGM yanked all creative control. You can sense how confining a script can be for Keaton but he still shines from one mishap to the next. With several standout moments, and an adorable monkey, it may be a lightweight affair. But it earns its emotional beats in the end despite it's contrived resolution.
It's fascinating how this film is, in many ways, a narrative precursor to the wholly experimental Man with a Movie Camera: the heralding of the photographer in the opening, the almost lifelike camera and tripod, the split screen images in Buster's first newsreel...