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Safety Last! (1923)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Thriller | 1 April 1923 (USA)
When a store clerk organizes a publicity stunt, in which a friend climbs the outside of a tall building, circumstances force him to make the perilous climb himself.

Directors:

(as Fred Neymeyer),

Writers:

(story), (story) | 2 more credits »
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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Bill Strother ...
Bill, The Pal
Noah Young ...
The Law
Westcott Clarke ...
The Floorwalker (as Westcott B. Clarke)
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Storyline

In 1922, the country boy Harold says goodbye to his mother and his girlfriend Mildred in the train station and leaves Great Bend expecting to be successful in the big city. Harold promises to Mildred to get married with her as soon as he "make good". Harold shares a room with his friend "Limpy" Bill and he finally gets a job as salesman in the De Vore Department Store. However, he pawns Bill's phonograph, buys a lavaliere and writes to Mildred telling that he is a manager of De Vore. One day, Harold sees an old friend from Great Bend that is a policeman and when he meets his friend Bill, he asks Bill to push the policeman over him and make him fall down. However Bill pushes the wrong policeman that chases him, but he escapes climbing up a building. Out of the blue, Mildred is convinced by her mother to visit Harold without previous notice and he pretends to be the manager of De Vore. When Harold overhears the general manager telling that he would give one thousand dollars to to anyone... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 April 1923 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Monte là-dessus!  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A stuntman revealed for the first time in the television documentary, Hollywood (1980), that Harold Lloyd actually climbed a fake building facade that was constructed over another building's rooftop, positioned so the camera angle could capture the street scene below. The stuntman also revealed that he doubled for Lloyd in the long shots of him climbing the building in the distance. Up until then, even the Time-Life version of Safety Last! (1923) that was aired on PBS contained an opening title declaring that Harold Lloyd climbed the building himself and without the use of a stuntman or trick photography. The stuntman chose to suppress this information until Lloyd's death, and yet, he did not want to detract from the danger of Lloyd's actual stunt work. Lloyd performed the majority of the stunts himself on the rigged facade over a small platform, which was built near the rooftop's edge and still had to be raised a great height to get the proper street perspective for the camera. The size of the platform did not offer much of a safety net, and had Lloyd fallen, there was the risk he could have tumbled off the platform. See more »

Goofs

The "electrical connection" in the building facade's clock which shocks Harold Lloyd is a fuse or sparkler-type firework: as it burns, it progresses down the length of the "wire". See more »

Quotes

Dept Store General Manager: The idea of working in your shirt sleeves! Think of the shock to your customers _ women of culture and refinement.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Back to the Future (1985) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Never before have I heard an audience react so much to a film
13 June 2000 | by (Saint Paul, MN) – See all my reviews

Safety Last was funny pretty much throughout its entirety. The scene where Harold and his roommate hide in their coats (you'd have to see it to know what I'm talking about) got an enormous laugh which lasted for a long time, followed by some applause. I remember that there was a slow section, lasting about 5 minutes, after Harold's fiancee arrived in the city, but other than that, this film was consistently hilarious.

And then during the building climbing scene, there were so many laughs and gasps, applause, and shouts ("OH MY GOD!") coming from the audience. It was probably the single most hair-raising scene that I or most of the other people in the theater had ever seen. And the climb, which lasts, I believe, 12 stories, should have gotten old. But it never came close to getting old. Each joke was masterful.

After having seen the film, I was unfairly comparing it to the silent film that I had seen the previous week at a theater with live piano: Buster Keaton's Sherlock Jr. Well, nothing is really comparable to that film. I consider it the funniest film I've ever seen. I was planning to give Safety Last a 9/10, but after some thought, I realized that I laughed a lot harder and more at this film than 90% of the other comedies I've seen. At least 90%, but probably much more. I have to give this a 10/10. This film really should be on DVD, or at least VHS. Harold Lloyd shouldn't be as forgotten as he is.


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