|Page 1 of 7:||      |
|Index||65 reviews in total|
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.
The "human fly" antics which ends this movie is undoubtly the most famous
sequence in all of silent cinema. It is also the most hilarious.
Breathtaking, heart-stopping & very funny, it is the element that you
remember the longest. While THE KID BROTHER was Harold Lloyd's masterpiece,
SAFETY LAST was & is his most famous movie.
But don't overlook the rest of the film in which he plays a lowly store clerk (dealing with frantic female shoppers and an imperious floorwalker) who tries to convince his rather gullible girlfriend - played by real-life wife Mildred Davis - that he's actually the store manager.
Throughout, Harold Lloyd is beyond praise. His comic genius makes it all look so easy. And his athletic daredeviltry is even more amazing when you realize that 2 of the fingers on his right hand are fake - he lost the real digits in a freak studio accident.
It has truly said that while THE FRESHMAN, or SPEEDY, or THE KID
BROTHER, are better films, SAFETY LAST is the film that everyone who
never saw a Harold Lloyd comedy recalls. That is because in one moment
on the screen he engraved himself forever into the minds of movie
lovers (something, oddly enough, Chaplin and Keanton never quite did in
a single moment of film). Lloyd, of course, became immortal for being
the man suspended from the clock of the building he was climbing in the
concluding half hour of this wonderful comedy. There is more to the
film than that of course. Harold, here in love with his home town
girlfriend Mildred Davis (who was his wife in real life), has
sacrificed money to buy her jewelry, and has been sending her letters
lying about his business success. He claims he is a bigwig at the
department store he is a clerk in. Actually he is constantly in hot
water with the pompous floor walker, Mr. Stubbs (Westcott Clarke).
After he sends a second gift to Mildred she decides to join him in the
city. He manages to pass himself off as the store's general manager
(don't ask - you have to see how he does it). But she wants to get
married now - he's making enough supposedly for a house. His best
friend is a human fly (Bill Strother), so Harold proposes to the actual
general manager a publicity stunt wherein a mystery man will climb the
department store facade (15 stories). Unfortunately, Police Officer
Noah Young has a grudge against Strother, and keeps preventing him from
climbing. So Harold has to climb up the side - with Strother promising
to take over at the right moment once he shakes off Young.
Although Chaplin and Keaton's physical comedy included dangers to them (Keaton and the water fall in OUR HOSPITALITY, for example), the climb up the store's facade is considered in a class by itself. Certainly it is one of the few comedy stunts that have been taken apart and analyzed over the years (even when we know how it was done, it still impresses us). The stunt got a life of it's own, beyond the famous clock photograph, because the film's theme is the success theme in American business life. Harold wants to make it in business, and he's just a down-trodden clerk. To make it rich, and to get his girl, he has to risk all on a $1,000.00 gamble. He does in the end, with his "climbing" having been cleverly compared to "climbing" the business ladder or getting ahead in America. When he seems to retreat at one point some of the onlookers shake their heads and point upward. Once he is on his route to success, he can't turn back.
The film is more fun than that particularly good interpretation makes it sound. It deserves a 10 for it's success at remaining a humorous and lasting peace of cinematic comic art, and a fitting monument to that comedy master Harold Lloyd.
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.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The 1920's were halcyon years for cinema comedy, and the inspired
products of that period are among the silent screen's finest offerings
These films include Harold Lloyd's amusing masterpiece, "Safety Last!;"
"The General" and "The Navigator," both starring Buster Keaton; and
dozens of short films featuring the mismatched comic duo, Stan Laurel
and Oliver Hardy
There was certainly no melancholia in the films of Harold Lloyd, who may have lacked the depth of Chaplin and Keaton but who was every bit as funny
Lloyd was working as an extra on the Universal lot when he met Hal Roach, who subsequently produced a series of one-reelers starring Lloyd as a character named Lonesome Luke, a frank imitation of Chaplin's Little Tramp
Later Lloyd was to own character, that of a decent, optimistic, and eager young man who wore horn-rimmed glasses and always emerged triumphant from the incredible scrapes he got into
Sight gags were Lloyd's specialty, as "Safety Last," his noisy and disorderly funny film, was to prove Playing a department store clerk who, through a combination of circumstances, is forced into posing as a professional "human fly," Lloyd climbs up the side of a tall skyscraper as traffic whizzes below You will surely squealed with delight as Lloyd missed his footing and grabbed the hands of a huge clockonly to have the face of the clock open out, leaving Lloyd hanging in midair
Wiry, athletic, bespectacled Harold Lloyd may rank third after Charlie
Chaplin and Buster Keaton in "silent age" comedy polls, but when it comes to
perilous, pulse-racing, gravity-defying stuntwork, he's the "King of the
The aptly-titled "Safety Last" is without a doubt Lloyd's signature film. The indelible still taken of Harold dangling from the minute-hand of that Big Ben-looking clock is definitive silent screen imagery. A shame too for it is only one classic moment from a tireless legacy of work that is too often overlooked.
Isn't it amazing that despite knowing the outcome of this movie, knowing that Lloyd survived all these crazy stunts, your heart still skips a beat every time he scales that 12-story building, floor by floor, encountering every obstacle imaginable...or unimaginable? Those pesky pigeons, the mouse, the flagpole, the painters, the rope, the mad dog and, of course, the clock. What adds to the intrigue is knowing he did his own stunts, that he had lost fingers prior to this filming in another movie mishap, that there were no safety nets underneath, and that there was no trick photography used. I say Harold deserves a more prominent place in movie history, suffering for his art as no other artist has.
The plot leading up to his daredevil antics is fairly pat but sprayed throughout with inventive sight gags. Harold plays your simple, hapless, small-town 'everyman' who goes to the BIG city to seek fame and fortune, leaving his true love (played by Mildred Davis, his real-life wife) at home until he's makes it. Fresh off the bus, he eventually manages to scrape up a job as a clerk in a department store, a job that takes him nowhere fast. To save face, he keeps sending expensive trinkets back home that indicate otherwise. Convinced that he has indeed made it, she heads off to the BIG city to join him, much to his chagrin. Desperate to earn quick cash before she discovers the truth, he takes his boss up on an offer and works up a publicity ruse to drum up sales for the store.
The rest is classic Lloyd. Wearing his trademark straw hat and horn-rimmed glasses, the meek mouse suddenly turns into Mighty Mouse as our boy, through a series of mishaps, literally moves up in the world, scaling heights even he never dreamed of!
All's well, of course, that ends well, as we've been saying for centuries. Sure, we know how things ended back in the good ol' days, but isn't it great to know that when Harold got the girl, he STAYED with the girl? In real life, Harold and Mildred remained sweethearts for over 45 years.
Highly recommended for those who want to see more of this genius's amazing work is "Kid Brother" and "The Freshman." For me, this guy still provides one heck of an "E" ticket rollercoaster ride.
The first half of this film takes place between Harold Lloyd and his
fiancée. Harold works as a clerk in a department store. There are
plenty of sight gags in this section, including the hilarious scene
where Harold hides in a coat hanging on a coat tree. You have to see
this to believe it.
The second part of the movie consists of Harold climbing up the side of a building. Forget that this movie was made in 1923. This scene is one of the most hair-raising things ever filmed and will have you on the edge of your seat. It builds and builds with one gag after another, climaxing in the timeless movie image that everyone has seen, of Harold hanging from the hands of the clock on the building. Every time I watch this scene I get very nervous.
I highly recommend this film even if you are not a fan of silent films. Though Harold Lloyd's overall fame was eclipsed by Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin, this film deserves to been seen and ranks as one of the best silents ever made.
See it on DVD.
In the era of silent comedies, the man who was 2nd only to Charlie Chaplin
was not Buster Keaton, but Harold Lloyd. Though
he has since been mostly forgotten, except by film historians
reluctantly list him automatically as the third great silent comedian
Keaton and Chaplin), Lloyd's is still remembered for his clock sequence in
Safety Last. More recently, this has been reproduced in "Back to the
Future" and "Shanghai Knights".
However, it is not just the skyscraper sequence that makes this film special. Harold portrays his usual go-getter self, as his character moves to the city and tries to become a successful businessman, in order to impress his girlfriend. Along the way, there are many amusing mishaps, which conclude with the aforementioned skyscraper sequence. Quite magical in its silence, as compared to the later remake, also by Lloyd, "Feet First".
Highly recommended for silent film fans, and anyone wanting to get a taste of the genre.
This is an excellent comedy in the best tradition of the silent classics.
It is pleasant and lively, with a story revolving around silly predicaments
combined with a good assortment of gags, and it all leads up to a terrific
finale that combines humor with excitement and suspense.
Harold Lloyd has an ideal role as an earnest young man trying to make good in the big city so that he can impress his girlfriend. His antics in the department store are very amusing - in this part, it's hard not to be reminded of "Are You Being Served?" - there is even Stubbs the floorwalker fussing endlessly over trivial details. The situation is built up nicely until we get to the famous climbing scene that climaxes everything. This climax is one of the best sequences of its kind, set up very carefully and executed skillfully with lots of good detail.
Most fans of silent comedies should find "Safety Last" to be very enjoyable. And even those who do not normally watch silent comedy should be able to appreciate its masterful and thoroughly entertaining conclusion.
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 that could promote De Vore attracting people to the department store, he offers five hundred dollars to Bill to climb up the Bolton Building. However things go wrong when the angry policeman decides to check whether the mystery man that will climb up the building is the one who pushed him over on the floor.
"Safety Last!" is one of the funniest comedies ever and the joke begins with the title that plays with the expression Safety First! Another day I saw "Hugo" and Martin Scorcese pays a tribute to "Safety Last!" showing the scene of Harold Lloyd hanging from the Bolton Building clock and I have decided to see this film again.
If Harold Lloyd himself or a stuntman climbed the building, it does not matter. The breathless scene is among the most known in the cinema history and "Safety Last!" is a must-see film for any generation. My vote is nine.
Title (Brazil): "O Homem Mosca" ("The Fly Man")
|Page 1 of 7:||      |
|External reviews||Parents Guide||Plot keywords|
|Main details||Your user reviews||Your vote history|