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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
...
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!  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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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 prop anemometer at the top of the building is composed of spheres, instead of the half-spheres of a true anemometer. See more »

Quotes

Old Lady With Flower Hat: Young man, don't you know you might fall and get hurt?
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User Reviews

 
Without a Net
25 June 2002 | by (Deming, New Mexico, USA) – See all my reviews

One of the best contructed full-length comedies of the twenties. Harold Lloyd was not as outrageously inventive as Chaplin, nor as sentimental. His style was a kind of minimalist one, taking a simple idea -- say, being a hasseled salesman in a clothing store and needing desperately to become a success -- and building on that small situation until, by the hilarious climax, he finds himself swinging from the bent minute hand of an oversized clock on the side of a building many stories above the street. (Human flies were popular around this time, as were flagpole sitters and goldfish eaters.) When a mouse crawls up the leg of his trousers, not only does Loyd go through a sort of break dance trying to get rid of it but when he finally does shake it out, the mouse falls down the wall of the building and in the process removes a toupee from a spectator peering out of a lower window. All of this without matte work. Not to say that the earlier scenes in the store aren't extremely amusing, because they are. Loyd had a very mobile face and like most silent comedians a deft physical manner. He makes a splendidly fawning salesman. A very funny movie indeed, and thrilling as well. Any five minutes of the climax, taken at random, makes one dizzier than whole sections of Clint Eastwood or Sylvester Stallone hanging around the Eiger or elsewhere in the Alps. Somehow, Loyd managed to make a self-deprecatory joke out of his athletic skill, while nowadays stars use what amount of it they have as an opportunity to show off their bravery and, when possible, their bulging muscles. Let's hear it for the silents.


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