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The High Sign


The High Sign by Buster Keaton, 1921. Should you need a reminder of what a great comic Buster Keaton was, go no further than here. He starts off with a brilliant scene of reading a newspaper, goes to a shooting gallery where he hooks up a Rube Goldberg devise to prove what a great marksman he is and ends up in a wild scene in a house full of hidden rooms and secret passages. Keaton was disappointed with this, his second independently produced film and held it back a year before he released it. It is A masterpiece of the form. Enjoy.

The High Sign is a 1921 in film American short comedy film starring comedian Buster Keaton. It was written and directed by Keaton and Edward F. Cline. The runtime is 21 minutes. Although One Week (1920 film) (1920) was the first of Keaton's independent shorts to be released, The High Sign was the first one to be produced. Disappointed with the result, Keaton shelved the film. It was not until a year later, when he broke his ankle and delayed the completion of The Haunted House (1921 film) (1921), that the film was released. The title ers to the secret signal used by the underworld gang in the film.
Guitarist Bill Frisell released a soundtrack to the movie in 1995 on his album The High Sign/One Week. The Rats & People Motion Picture Orchestra premiered its new score for the movie in 2008.


Buster plays a drifter who cons his way into working at an amusement park shooting gallery. Believing Buster is an expert marksman, both the murderous gang the Blinking Buzzards and the man they want to kill end up hiring him. The film ends with a wild chase through a house filled with secret passages.


  • Buster Keaton - Our Hero (as 'Buster' Keaton)
  • Bartine Burkett - Miss Nickelnurser (uncredited)
  • Charles Dorety - Villain (uncredited)
  • Alfred St. John - Man in during target practice (uncredited)

See also

  • List of American films of 1921
  • Buster Keaton filmography

Category:1921 films
Category:Films directed by Buster Keaton
Category:Films directed by Edward F. Cline
Category:American films
Category:American silent short films
Category:Black-and-white films
Category:1920s comedy films
Category:Metro Pictures films
Category:1920s short films
Category:American comedy films

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