In Sherlock Jr., Keaton’s use of mise-en-scene is portrayed through a variety of actions. Keaton’s use of mise-en-scene helped to develop the film’s dramatic and comedic scenes. The way Keaton navigates between these scenes made the film coherent and pleasing to watch.
The projectionist’s effective use of mise-en-scene was demonstrated when his boss told him to clean up the theater while reading a book called “How to ...view middle of the document...
When the boss first walked in he identified that trash was on the ground while he was studying to be a detective. This scene effectively supports the opening proverb of the film—“Don’t try to do two things at once and expect to do justice to both.”
Keaton also used the mise-en-scene to create a more comedic atmosphere. After peeling the banana the Sheik gave to him, he places it on the ground so that the Sheik steps on it. However, the Sheik stops right in front of it and makes his way back to the girl. The projectionist, unfortunately, slips on his own banana peel trying to get the Sheik to slip on it. Keaton demonstrated a comedic way of using mise-en-scene through direct interaction.
The arrangements of objects were interactive in the scene where the Sheik and the butler set up booby traps to kill Sherlock Jr. Sherlock Jr. dusted the trick chair off, which was actually a booby trap. He also avoided drinking a poisoned glass because he handed it to the Sheik to drink first. While playing pool, he misses the exploding billiard ball the whole game. The use of those stage properties provided both humor and drama during that scene.