Harold Lloyd dons his famous spectacles for the first time and makes movie history as a boy who just wants to take his girl to a baseball game. Of course, Snub Pollard is in the way and chaos ensues but the real fun is seeing Lloyd’s evolution as a comedian.
Harold Lloyd and Mildred Davis charm as newlyweds who inherit a mansion that may be… haunted. (Thunderclap, please.)
Welcome back! I’m cooking my way through Photoplay Magazine’s 1929 cookbook (150 recipes of the stars!) and today, I’m going to be preparing a dish from one of the top stars of silent comedy. (You can catch up on all my past taste tests here.)
Most newcomers to silent film start out with comedies and there are four comedians who are usually trotted out as the best of the best. The so-called Big Four are indeed wonderful but there are risks.
Harold Lloyd heads out west and he takes co-star Bebe Daniels with him. Lloyd plays a wastrel jazz pianist who, through a photo mix-up, ends up with the reputation of being the most dangerous man in a small western town. Will the power go to his head? Of course it will! Bebe is on hand as a spunky miss and the object of our hero’s affections.
Harold Lloyd has his mischief face on. I can relate. This is exactly me when the rude lady at Starbucks trips and spills her venti soy no-sugar no-whip extra powder green tea blended whatsit over herself. This is me when the road rage-filled driver who is terrorizing the freeway gets pulled over by a stealth car. It’s also me when the guy shouts “Do you know who I am?” and, honestly, no one does.
Yup, Harold nails it. (This is from Haunted Spooks. You can read my review here.)
Availability: You can see it lots of places but I highly recommend The Harold Lloyd Comedy Collection. You get the most Lloyd bang for your buck (most of his 20s features and a good number of his short films) in some very high-quality editions with delightful music.
This reaction shot makes me laugh every time I see it. Part of it is because Harold Lloyd is just really good at looking annoyed and part of it is because I think we have all been there. You thought you had seen everything and then… THIS happens. THIS being something stupid, weird or just plain deranged. For example, that was my reaction when I discovered that people did, in fact, think that women being tied to the tracks in silent movies was a thing. It wasn’t a thing. Why do people keep thinking it was a thing?
(The GIF is from Haunted Spooks, which I reviewed here.)
Availability: While there are many editions of the movie to be had, I prefer the one found on Volume 3 of the Harold Lloyd collection. Get the whole three-volume box, if you have the cash. Well worth it and a steal if you factor in the movie-to-dollar ratio.
After losing another of the only girls he ever loved, Harold Lloyd decides to end it all. That doesn’t work out so well but another proposition turns up. Mildred Davis is a young lady who needs a husband in order to qualify for her inheritance, an old southern mansion. The problem is that the mansion has some other residents of a… ghostly persuasion.
I love vintage ads but there are times when they failed spectacularly. Take this magazine ad for Harold Lloyd’s comedies from 1925. I get that they are trying to say he is the king of comedy (and his movie’s profits certainly gave him legitimate claim to at least the title of prince) but I kept getting distracted by the absurdly tiny legs that they gave him.
Note to graphic designers. Please do not give people absurdly tiny legs. Or if you do, make it look like you meant to do it. Thank you.