November 30, 2015
Review #758: Safety Last!
Harold Lloyd (The Boy), Mildred Davis (Mildred, The Girl), Bill Strother ("Limpy" Bill, The Pal), Noah Young (The Law), Westcott Clarke (Mr. Stubbs, The Floorwalker), and Earl Mohan (The Drunk) Directed by Fred C. Newmeyer (#667 - The Freshman and #674 - Grandma's Boy) and Sam Taylor (The Freshman)
Yes, Safety Last. When it comes to an actor doing all their own stunts, Harold Lloyd is a prime example of this, and especially in the 1920's. The scene of him hanging from the hands of a clock high above the street is especially impressive while also one of the most memorable scenes put onto film. Lloyd shines once again as the everyman (sorry, everyboy) who manages to get himself into such fun situations. As with good silent movies, there are good titles, with my favorite being this gem: "There were certain days of the week when she could be sure of a letter from him. They were Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday". Words fail me here. The movie runs along nicely, not dragging and managing to have fun gags, especially with the climax of Lloyd trying to climb a building. It is impressive to see Lloyd hanging from a clock, because it just showcases his brilliant physicality (I myself would not climb 5, let alone 12 stories), but it is his charm of being likable despite all of the madcap stuff that happens to him that makes the movie work well. Silent comedies are fun to watch because the gags that work manage to do so without needing sound, just good ol' slapstick, with a little bit of suspense this time around. The movie is enjoyable while also having thrills that make for good entertainment. Whether it be Keaton, Chaplin. or Lloyd, you really can't go wrong.
Overall, I give it 10 out of 10 stars.