Guarding a man from danger and killing him at the same time is SOME job.
"The High Sign" (1921) follows a drifter (Buster Keaton) whose audition a shooting gallery leads to his recruitment as both a hit man and the bodyguard of the intended victim. Hilarity Ensues.
"The High Sign" provides examples of:
- Accidental Aiming Skills: Arguably. Buster can shoot a bottle off a wall — just never the one he's aiming at.
- Alliterative Name: The Blinking Buzzards...a bold bad bunch of blood-thirsty bandits who would break into a bank, blow a battle-ship to bits or beat up a blue-eyed baby blonde.
- Ballistic Discount: A shooting gallery customer holds Buster at gunpoint and makes off with the profits.
- Banana Peel — first averted, then immediately done straight.
- Blackmail: Extortion, actually, but there's no page for that.
- Failed a Spot Check: Buster and the Nickelnursers don't notice the Blinking Buzzards entering the house.
- Five-Finger Discount: How Buster acquires a newspaper and a revolver.
- Hobos: Buster, presumably, since he makes his entrance being thrown off a train.
- Irony: The man whose newspaper Buster stole unknowingly buys it back from him.
- Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Buster, at least initially.
- Impossibly-Compact Folding: As Buster unfolds the newspaper, it just keeps unfolding until it's roughly the size of a bedsheet. As he tries to fold it up again, he has to stand on a bench to do so and quickly loses his balance.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: Subverted and played straight — Buster has to fake amazing marksmanship at the shooting gallery, but manages to toss his hat onto a rack in the next room without looking.
- Large and in Charge: See picture. (Buster reportedly stood 5-1/2 feet tall).
- Magic Bullets: Or in this case, magic pellets — one shooting gallery customer uses his own double-barreled shotgun and wipes out the entire gallery with one shot.
- Nose Tapping: The Blinking Buzzards' "secret" signal.
- Painted Tunnel, Real Train
- Buster appears to paint a hook on the wall and then hang his hat upon it.
- Buster dives through a seascape that conceals a secret passage.
- Portrait Painting Peephole: The entrance to the Blinking Buzzards' headquarters.
- Punny Name
- "Dr. Pullem, Dentist"
- August Nickelnurser, an elderly miser.
- Visual Pun: After sipping some spiked or poisoned tea, Buster looks into the cup and sees a kicking mule. So, a drink with some kick.