The Uptown Boy, J. Harold Manners (Lloyd) is a millionaire playboy who falls for the Downtown Girl, Hope (Ralston) who works in Brother Paul's (Weigel) mission. In order to build up ... See full summary »
The Uptown Boy, J. Harold Manners (Lloyd) is a millionaire playboy who falls for the Downtown Girl, Hope (Ralston) who works in Brother Paul's (Weigel) mission. In order to build up attendance, and win Hope's attention, Harold runs through town causing trouble, and winds up with a crowd chasing him right into the mission. He eventually wins the girl and they marry, but not without some interference from his high-brow friends. Written by
Herman Seifer <email@example.com>
This is one of Harold Lloyd's least-known films and, consequently, perhaps his most underrated feature; I was first made aware of this factor by Leonard Maltin's awarding it the full **** rating in his Film Guide and, ever since that time, I've been pining to catch up with it!
Now that I've watched it for myself, I can say that the film is an undoubted classic (certainly among Lloyd's best work) and the only reason that I didn't quite go all the way with my own rating is the fact that, even for its brief 58-minute running-time, the plot line is somewhat thin:
Harold is a millionaire who becomes the unwitting benefactor of a modest mission; believing himself to have been conned into such a position, he determines to put a stop to it - that is, until he meets and falls for pretty missionary's daughter Jobyna Ralston. Then, he resolves to attract customers to the joint - which, considering that the neighborhood is filled with tough guys and gangsters, this will take considerable resource on his part. Nevertheless, he succeeds and the men eventually become fond of him so that, when Lloyd's impending marriage to Ralston is announced in the papers and his rich society-pals decide to 'save' him from such a fate, the gang take action to bring the couple back together again.
While clearly reminiscent of what is perhaps Charlie Chaplin's greatest short, EASY STREET (1917), the film's level of gags and the star's typical ingenuity is extremely high - with only the gangsters' drunken havoc during its last third overstaying its welcome; this section, however, leads to one of Lloyd's most hair-raising stunts - actually inspired by similar scenes in both GET OUT AND GET UNDER (1920) and GIRL SHY (1924) - as a double-decker bus (with atop it the star and his 'flock') races driverless along busy city streets on its way to Harold's wedding. Other hilarious highlights include: the early destruction of two cars owned by our reckless hero - the first happens because of a crate of cat food in the middle of the street, which the black chauffeur mistakes for the real thing and tries to avoid but ends up slamming straight into another car, while the second contrives to run out of gas on a railway track and is summarily scuttled by an oncoming train; as well as another re-used (this time from GRANDMA'S BOY ) but undeniably irresistible routine involving the indigestible 'cakes' which Lloyd is made to eat by his beloved at the mission.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?