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
Well it seems Keaton has managed to come out on top despite being less appreciated in his own lifetime unlike Chaplin who was showered with endless praise. I always knew there was something about this buster that people were ignoring time and again. I crown thee Buster Keaton, undisputably, the greatest filmmaker and actor of the silent era well above Stroheim and Chaplin. You were all wrong, damn French critics.
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.