A light, clever Keaton feature – not one of my faves, but well paced and only an hour long. Buster and his not-fiancee Betsy (Kathryn McGuire of Sherlock Jr. end up stranded on an adrift ocean liner with no crew after a complicated series of events stemming from a “funny little foreign war” (ouch, not a term we’d use today). The humor doesn’t come from the spy/war/hostage plot but from the fact that Buster and Betsy are millionaire kids with no idea how to do simple daily tasks, and now they have to survive until rescue – they’ve a well-stocked kitchen but no idea how to open a can or boil an egg.
They also run into cannibals (all island natives back then were assumed to be cannibals), deal with a submarine, and Keaton shoots a hokey underwater scene (swordfighting with swordfish, etc). Appropriately on the same DVD as nautical shorts The Boat and The Love Nest. I loved the end, when after a few weeks of trial and error, the couple has rigged the boat with ropes and pulleys to automate daily tasks a la Keaton short The Scarecrow.
Reminiscent of The Private Navy of Sgt. O’Farrell:
IMDB trivia reveals that four years prior, the boat used in filming had been used by the U.S. government to deport Emma Goldman to Russia.