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Get Out and Get Under (1920)

Passed  |   |  Comedy, Short  |  26 September 1920 (USA)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 570 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 5 critic

The comic adventures of a new car owner.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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The Boy
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The Girl
Fred McPherson ...
The Rival
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Storyline

A young man is awakened from a nightmare by the telephone ringing - his girlfriend is calling him, because he is late for an amateur theatrical production. But before he can leave, he gets into an argument with his neighbor. Then, soon after he gets on the road, his car stalls. If he cannot get to the theater quickly, he might be replaced in the play by a rival. Written by Snow Leopard

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Short

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

26 September 1920 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Autonarr  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(2004 alternate version) (1995 alternate) (2004 alternate)

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The title, "Get Out and Get Under," comes from a popular 1913 song, "He'd Have To Get Under - Get Out And Get Under (To Fix Up His Automobile)" (Music by Maurice Abrahams; Lyrics by Grant Clarke and Edgar Leslie). Robert Israel's score in the 2004 alternate version frequently uses melodies from this song. See more »

Goofs

The little boy is eating a banana. Sometimes the banana is half gone and than you can see the whole banana. See more »

Connections

Featured in American Masters: Harold Lloyd: The Third Genius (1989) See more »

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User Reviews

 
An enjoyable comedy with a chilling "back-story"
17 March 2002 | by (Westchester County, NY) – See all my reviews

This is one of Harold Lloyd's most enjoyable short comedies, but if things had turned out differently it might never have been made at all. Get Out and Get Under was one of the first films Lloyd appeared in after recovering from a freak accident that nearly claimed his life. In the fall of 1919, while Harold was posing for publicity photos, actor Nat Clifford innocently handed him what was believed to be a prop bomb; it turned out to be real, and when it exploded both men were badly injured. After a period of convalescence Harold resumed his career, but his still-healing facial scars are visible in his first close-up in this film, and if you watch his right hand carefully you can see that he's wearing a prosthetic device in place of the fingers lost in the explosion. Nat Clifford is here too, as the neighbor at work in his garden.

Despite the circumstances under which it was made Get Out and Get Under is a surprisingly cheerful comedy, though much of the humor relies on anxiety and frustration. Harold plays an actor in an amateur theater production trying to get to his show on time, but auto troubles and other problems hinder him every step of the way. After a somewhat measured opening the story builds in momentum and suspense, becoming funnier, loonier, and more surreal as it goes along. One bit involving the creative use of a pup tent is especially memorable. Some of the gags suggest routines identified with Buster Keaton, as when Harold makes a wrong turn and crashes a parade (as Buster would do in Cops) or is sidetracked into a railroad yard and gets doused by one of those water spouts (as Buster did several times). It all goes to show that there was a lot of borrowing and cross-fertilization in silent comedy; Lloyd certainly returned the favor and borrowed from Keaton on other occasions. In any event, our hero ultimately achieves his goal, wins the girl, and delivers a neat pay-off gag in time for the fade-out.

Modern viewers might be surprised at the sequence involving a drug addict Harold meets during his adventure; the man is actually shown injecting a substance, presumably cocaine, into his arm, leading to a routine reminiscent of Chaplin's Easy Street but with a surprise twist. (Oddly enough, prolific character actor William Gillespie played the dope fiend in both movies!) This sort of subject matter would become absolutely taboo when enforcement of the Production Code kicked in during the '30s, but jokes about illegal substances and drug addicts crop up fairly often in silent comedy. Also of note here is the presence of Ernie "Sunshine Sammy" Morrison, the first African- American kid in the Our Gang series, who plays the boy who insists on participating while Harold is trying to fix his engine. Sammy has an easygoing charm and naturalness before the cameras that is striking in this sequence.


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