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|Index||15 reviews in total|
This Harold Lloyd silent film is fun because it has fast-moving story,
plenty of chase scenes and sight gags, good camera-work and some great
expressions on the actors' faces. It also has a couple of endearing
people such as a poor little girl and her lame dog, and a good-hearted
Of course, being a "silent," I expect exaggerated facial expressions, but some in here are ones that made me laugh out loud. You see all kinds, from shady winks to eyebrow raising to evil-looking smiles. Hey, it's a story about a crooked lawyer and a bunch of thugs (almost the same). One of the lawyers is named "Leech."
The little girl, called "The Waif," is played by cute Peggy Courtwright. "Waif" is a common term in these silent films, which Charlie Chaplin and others featured a lot: homeless, extremely poor creatures, male, female, children and dogs.
"The Girl" as she is called, is played by Mildred Davis. It was her first appearance in a Lloyd film. Four years later, she and Harold were married.
Another interesting feature in this film was the sudden switch to a blue tint in the second half. It would be shown for a couple of short scenes.
The ending, of course, was the best. You will have a smile on your face at the very last scene in the diner. These wild endings are the norm for silent comedies and are great fun to watch.. I loved how Harold rounded up the cops.
This Harold Lloyd comedy is both very enjoyable and very thoughtful,
and it works especially well considering that it was made during a time
in Lloyd's career when he was gradually making a transition in the way
that he portrayed his characters on-screen. The story and the
characters bear many resemblances to Charlie Chaplin's popular comedies
of the same era, but Lloyd and director Alfred Goulding give it a style
and tone of its own.
Lloyd plays a penniless drifter who befriends a very young street waif, played with charm by Peggy Courtwright, whose character is accompanied by an equally endearing dog. The three of them are rescued from a scrape with authorities by an heiress played by Mildred Davis, who turns out to have some worries of her own.
After a bit of a slow start, things pick up, and it works very well, combining the different story lines with plenty of slapstick and some very thoughtful moments as well. Most of the themes are familiar ones, but it does a good job with them, and Lloyd succeeds with some material that is rather different from that in most of his movies.
A Hal Roach HAROLD LLOYD Comedy Short Subject.
Poor Harold is living FROM HAND TO MOUTH until he meets a very pretty rich heiress who's the target for kidnappers.
There is much to enjoy in this little film which boasts excellent production values, some top notch chase sequences and a typically first rate performance from Harold. His future wife Mildred Davis plays the rich young lady, Snub Pollard is the comically wicked kidnapper & little Peggy Cartwright exudes winsome charm as the spunky waif. Fans will notice that Harold's right hand is intact; this film was made shortly before his famous accident which left him with only half a hand.
Robert Israel has composed an excellent film score which perfectly complements Harold's antics on the screen.
This is quite a good Harold Lloyd short, perhaps the best I've watched so far. During the first reel, the comedy centers somewhat uneasily around the lead character's poverty - but then it picks up with a lengthy chase involving the entire police district (actually anticipating Buster Keaton's more celebrated COPS ); likewise, Lloyd's ineptitude as a burglar brings to mind Laurel & Hardy's later Talkie short NIGHT OWLS (1930). The subplot about an attempt to fleece heroine Mildred Davis out of an inheritance (by a shady lawyer with the revealing name of Leech) is also interesting; given a macabre spin, it would soon see service in many an 'old dark house' thriller. Apart from Davis, Lloyd is supported in this one by two other amiable characters - a little street girl and her brave injured dog.
In this enjoyable Harold Lloyd comedy, our boy Harold (playing a
down-and-outer whose acquaintances include a scrappy little beggar girl
and her lame dog) finds himself coming to the aid of a pretty heiress
whose inheritance is in danger of being weasled away by a shyster
lawyer in cahoots with a gang of thugs. Every Lloyd film has a
rollicking climax full of visual stunts, and the one to this movie
shows Harold verbally or physically assaulting every police officer in
the city in an attempt to lead them to the gang's lair.
Everything comes right in the end, as Harold, heiress, beggar girl and dog get to sit down to a mighty dinner and we get to turn off the T.V. with a smile on our faces.
Two people and one dog share the same problem: they have nothing to eat.The penniless man is joined by a waif and her dog.There is a dishonest lawyer working with a gang of criminals trying to swindle an innocent young heiress out of her inheritance.Then this lovely lady rescues Harold and the waif from the hands of the authorities.Maybe Harold could help the girl with the problem she's having.This silent comedy short, From Hand to Mouth (1919), has two directors, Alfred J. Goulding and Hal Roach.Harold Lloyd is truly great as this poor man.Mildred Davis is really amazing as his love interest.Peggy Cartwright is a magnificent child actress.And you gotta love the dog! There's also the great 'Snub' Pollard playing The Kidnapper.What fine moments this movie offers!
"From Hand to Mouth" marks a transition in Harold Lloyd's career, as he was phasing out the Chaplin imitations of his early days and began developing the bespectacled "glass character" that would bring him stardom. This is also Lloyd's first film with Mildred Davis, who became his long-term leading lady and (offscreen) his life-long wife. Snub Pollard and Noah Young, both of whom did excellent support work in many of Lloyd's best films, have good roles here. The film's climax, featuring a race against time, is a prototype for Lloyd's later "thrill" comedies.
In this movie, Lloyd plays a vaguely Chaplinesque drifter who mooches his way along with a little-girl waif (Peggy Cartwright, not very good). When a dog digs up a bankroll and gives it to the penniless Lloyd, he and Peggy rush off to a general store to buy some groceries. Lloyd hands over some cash, and takes possession of the food just as the grocer discovers that the dollars are counterfeit. This surprises Lloyd so much, he drops the food ... which is now ruined, and he has no money to pay for it.
Just as the grocer is threatening to arrest Lloyd, along comes an expensive car with a beautiful woman in it (Mildred Davis), who pays for the groceries. She's an heiress who (conveniently) is just about to claim her inheritance, but only if she can obtain certain documents (the McGuffin papers?) by midnight tonight. Naturally, a rival heir wants to stop her.
Snub Pollard is the leader of a gang of thugs who kidnap Davis, intending to detain her until the midnight deadline passes. Lloyd trails the goons to their hideout, and then tries to enlist the aid of a policeman. But the cop takes one look at Lloyd (who plays a shabby drifter in this film) and ignores him. Lloyd smacks the cop, who draws his nightstick and gives chase. With the cop in pursuit, Lloyd keeps running until he finds another cop ... then smacks him too, and now he's got two cops chasing him while he looks for a third. Lloyd keeps smacking the constables, until finally he's got a whole platoon of policemen chasing him. (This scene is clearly the prototype for the climax of Lloyd's sound film "Professor Beware".) When Lloyd has enough cops chasing him, he leads them back to Snub's hideout for a slam-bang finish. Will midnight strike before Lloyd can rescue Mildred and help her claim her inheritance?
This is not one of Lloyd's best films, but it's an interesting effort and it shows the gestation of his "glass character". The final scenes in the film are supposed to take place just before midnight, but the footage was clearly shot day-for-night and it isn't very convincing. I'll rate this film 4 out of 10.
A penniless young man (Harold Lloyd) tries to save an heiress (Mildred
Davis) from kidnappers and help her secure her inheritance.
This film has the distinction of being the first Lloyd-Davis pairing, and before the two had been married. They made an excellent screen couple, as can be told from this and future films.
Of Lloyd's work, this is not his strongest, and is not helped by its age. The prints available are grainy and in a variety of colors, and this is not likely to change. I hate to judge a film by its age, but with better Lloyd films out there and in better condition, I would not make this a top priority.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"From Hand to Mouth" is an American 22-minute short film from 1919, so three more years and it will have its 100th anniversary. The people who made this are Alfred J. Goulding, H.M. Walker and Hal Roach and these films certainly tell film lovers that this is a black-and-white silent film. The cast also includes some very known names, most of all lead actor Harold Lloyd of course and the ones starring next to him are Mildred Davis and Snub Pollar, people who regularly worked with Lloyd. The premise here is similar to many other silent films. we have a(n unconventional) hero, his love interest that he meets during the film and a main antagonist. But the best about the movie were the scenes with Lloyd and child actress Peggy Cartwright and it was pretty touching to watch them suffering from hunger early on. This is also a relevant films in terms of the time when it was made. It was briefly after World War I and starvation was certainly a problem for many. Back to this film. I remember enjoying it more when I watched it for the first time, but I still think it was a good watch this time too. Sadly, I did not end up caring a whole lot for everything involving Mildred's character. But Lloyd's talent makes up for it on many occasions. Thumbs up for me, I recommend the watch.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The only other Harold Lloyd work I've seen is 1923's "Why Worry?" which
at sixty three minutes wasn't a film short, so I have no others to
judge this one by. As it is, this was an entertaining story with some
notable touches, like the name of 'Leech' on a dishonest lawyer's door
- no surprise there. The young 'waif' (Peggy Courtwright) was a cutie
and her scenes with Lloyd and her pup were well staged, the timing
involved in their frantic run-around was done to perfection.
The main story involves a young woman (Mildred Davis) who will inherit a fortune if she can prove her identity by midnight. This leads to her kidnapping and eventual save by 'The Boy' (Lloyd) following a Keystone Cop-like chase sequence, but unless the picture was filmed at one of the Poles where it's daylight for six months at a time, there's no explanation for why it's light outside at the stroke of midnight. My guess is that audiences of the era weren't too fussy about little details like that.
One observation apart from the story itself - ever since I noticed how often one sees Coca-Cola product placement in movies I've kept a watchful eye for it's appearance, and I believe this one sets my all time earliest record to date. There's a large billboard or fence on which the latter half of 'Cola' is visible in the distinctive font style for Coke. For 1919, this beats my previous 'first Coke appearance' by seven years, recently seen in the 1926 Laurel and Hardy short, "Thundering Fleas".
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