• Roger Joseph Ebert

    ★★★★★ Added by Roger Joseph Ebert

    The greatest of the silent clowns is Buster Keaton, not only because of what he did, but because of how he did it. Harold Lloyd made us laugh as much, Charlie Chaplin moved us more deeply, but no one had more courage than Buster. I define courage as Hemingway did: "Grace under pressure." In films that combined comedy with extraordinary physical risks, Buster Keaton played a brave spirit who took the universe on its own terms, and gave no quarter.…


  • David Pearce

    ★★★ Watched by David Pearce 06 Apr, 2014

    "The brutal bungalow of the Blinking Buzzards, a bold bad bunch of blood-thirsty bandits who would break into a bank, blow a battleship to bits or beat up a blue eyed baby blonde."

    This is undoubtedly one of Keaton's best shorts, but I can't say I'm in love with it. The story is well told and the final chase sequence was impressive, but I can't say I found it as funny as his other films. Keaton usually brings this kind…


  • Dave Jackson

    ★★★½ Watched by Dave Jackson 23 Feb, 2014

    Buster Keaton thought this unworthy to be his first independent two-reeler. I don't agree.


  • Tyler

    ★★★½ Watched by Tyler 01 Mar, 2014

    Holy guacamole at those final few minutes! Was not prepared for that at all. The deception with the shooting range, the Buzzards high sign, and Buster throwing the hat on the rack...all so good. Really pleasantly surprised by this.


  • Owen Erasmus

    ★★★★ Watched by Owen Erasmus 26 Feb, 2014

    Definitely one of the better shorts, its a lot more plot heavy than most but also includes a huge amount of mechanical invention to build to a classic slapstick conclusion.

    Buster tricks his way into a job at a shooting range which leads to jobs as both the bodyguard and the allocated killer of the town miser. Reading that my earlier claim that this one is more plot lead seems funny but it does actually contain some characterisation and a…


  • Adam Redman

    ★★★★★ Watched by Adam Redman 10 Feb, 2014

    So energetic Buster nearly breaks the frame, and the casual toss of the hat over the shoulder onto the stand in the middle of a take is one of my favourite sights in the movies. He really was that good.


  • Sam M

    ★★★★ Watched by Sam M 17 Jan, 2014

    While it is heavier on plot than some of his other films, Buster squeezes in some laughs here. I was admittedly disappointed with the lack of visual comedy, but the last few minutes more than made up for the scarcity of comedy throughout.


  • roujin

    ★★★ Watched by roujin 07 Nov, 2011

    Lots of really good elements and bits. Keaton becomes a member of random band of thugs and is tasked to kill some random dude. He also then unwittingly becomes that same dude's bodyguard. The best early bit is the contraption that Keaton builds to prove that he's a good shot. That's fine. But the real meat of the film and what makes it hilarious is the dollhouse finish, which is all of The Ladies Man and Tout va Bien right…


  • T S

    ★★★★★ Watched by T S 13 Aug, 2013

    The amount of physical comedy Keaton performs here is nothing less than phenomenal. What was he made of -- rubber?? And were all the props from foam? That's doubtful. I think It's called top of the game and feelin' no pain, 'cause this is truly a little gem full of great moments, surreal gags, and flat-out screen presence. I could easily watch this a dozen more times and still enjoy it.


  • Michael Strenski

    ★★★★½ Rewatched by Michael Strenski 21 Jun, 2013 2

    What gets me is that Keaton shelved this film for not being good enough. If I was a comedian or a filmmaker today, I'd sell my soul to make something half as great as The High Sign.

    Most silent shorts are long on gags and short on plot -- character works in pawnshop, character climbs building, etc. --but here Keaton packs in an awful lot of locations and characters, and a not insignificant amount of story into nineteen minutes.



  • Brandon

    ★★★½ Watched by Brandon 11 Jun, 2013

    Being one of Keaton's earliest starring shorts, it's not surprising that most of The High Sign is sub-par, but the nearly five minute chase throughout the house is comedic perfection.


  • Ben

    ★★★★ Watched by Ben 26 May, 2013 1

    I laughed a lot