Harold Hall, an accident prone young man with little or no acting ability, desperately wants to be in pictures. After a mix-up with his application photograph, he gets an offer to have a ... See full summary »
Harold Hall, an accident prone young man with little or no acting ability, desperately wants to be in pictures. After a mix-up with his application photograph, he gets an offer to have a screen-test, and goes off to Hollywood. At the studio, he does everything wrong and causes all sorts of trouble. But he catches the fancy of a beautiful actress, and eventually the studio owner recognizes him as a comic genius. Written by
John Oswalt <email@example.com>
The story of a disaster-prone movie buff who crashes Hollywood and becomes a star in spite of himself might have been lifted from erstwhile silent clown Harold Lloyd's own rags-to-riches autobiography. The film is widely considered Lloyd's best 'talkie', but it can't hope to match his silent classics, and doesn't try to approach the dizzy verbal pace of screwball comedy just then coming into vogue. Ironically, Lloyd himself is the weak link in the film; his (considerable) pantomime talents and optimistic go-getter personality were better suited to Jazz Age silent comedy, and didn't translate well to the Great Depression. Only the somewhat bizarre love interest, between the typically shy Harold and a temperamental actress (who doesn't tell him she's also the Spanish bombshell he's infatuated with) seems more in step with sophisticated sound-era comedy conventions. Technophiles take note: the climactic backstage battle, in which Harold finally proves himself, was clearly shot silent, but the clumsy telegraphing of each gag well in advance kills the tempo.
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