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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.


(as Fred Neymeyer),


(story), (story) | 2 more credits »

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Complete credited cast:
Mildred, The Girl
Bill Strother ...
The Law
Westcott Clarke ...
The Floorwalker (as Westcott B. Clarke)


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


Comedy | Thriller


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

1 April 1923 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El hombre mosca  »


Box Office

Gross USA:

$623,809, 31 December 1923
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This film was selected to the National Film Registry, Library of Congress, in 1994. See more »


After the Boy sends the Girl off in the car, the ladder has inexplicably moved further to the right. See more »


Mildred's Mother: Don't you think it's dangerous for a young man to be alone in the city, with so much money? -...
See more »


Referenced in Mr. Magoo (1997) 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 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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