MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 16,415 this week

The Sin of Harold Diddlebock (1947)

Approved  |   |  Comedy  |  4 April 1947 (USA)
7.0
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.0/10 from 986 users  
Reviews: 26 user | 5 critic

Twenty years after his triumphs as a freshman on the football field, Harold is a mild-mannered clerk who dreams about marrying the girl at the desk down the aisle. But losing his job ... See full summary »

Director:

Writer:

(original screenplay)
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

Free at Internet Archive

ON DISC

Related News

The Forgotten: Sharps and Flats (1928)
| MUBI

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 43 titles
created 29 Mar 2012
 
list image
a list of 2849 titles
created 10 Jul 2013
 
a list of 35 titles
created 05 Sep 2013
 
a list of 448 titles
created 06 Jan 2014
 
a list of 50 titles
created 25 May 2014
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Sin of Harold Diddlebock (1947)

The Sin of Harold Diddlebock (1947) on IMDb 7/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Sin of Harold Diddlebock.
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Certificate: Passed Romance | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An inventor needs cash to develop his big idea. His wife, who loves him, decides to raise it for him by divorcing him and marrying a millionaire.

Director: Preston Sturges
Stars: Claudette Colbert, Joel McCrea, Mary Astor
Dr. Jack (1922)
Certificate: Passed Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Country Doctor, Jack Jackson is called in to treat the Sick-Little-Well-Girl, who has been making Dr. Saulsbourg and is sanitarium very rich, after years of unsuccessful treatment. His ... See full summary »

Directors: Fred C. Newmeyer, Sam Taylor
Stars: Harold Lloyd, Mildred Davis, John T. Prince
Certificate: Passed Action | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

An irresponsible young millionaire changes his tune when he falls for the daughter of a downtown minister.

Director: Sam Taylor
Stars: Harold Lloyd, Jobyna Ralston, Noah Young
The Cat's-Paw (1934)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Naive Ezekial Cobb, brought up by his missionary father in China returns to America to seek a wife. Corrupt politicians enlist him to run for mayor as a dummy candidate with no chance of ... See full summary »

Directors: Sam Taylor, Harold Lloyd
Stars: Harold Lloyd, Una Merkel, George Barbier
Hot Water (1924)
Certificate: Passed Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Episodic look at married life and in-law problems. Adventures include a ride on a crowded trolley with a live turkey; a wild spin in a new auto with the in-laws in tow; and a sequence in ... See full summary »

Directors: Fred C. Newmeyer, Sam Taylor
Stars: Harold Lloyd, Jobyna Ralston, Josephine Crowell
The Lady Eve (1941)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A trio of classy card sharps targets the socially awkward heir to brewery millions for his money, till one of them falls in love with him.

Director: Preston Sturges
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Henry Fonda, Charles Coburn
Certificate: Passed Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Harold Bledsoe, a botany student, is called back home to San Francisco, where his late father had been police chief, to help investigate a crime wave in Chinatown.

Directors: Clyde Bruckman, Malcolm St. Clair
Stars: Harold Lloyd, Barbara Kent, Noah Young
The Racket (1928)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

An honest police captain vows to bring down a powerful bootlegger who is protected by corrupt politicians and judges.

Director: Lewis Milestone
Stars: Thomas Meighan, Louis Wolheim, Marie Prevost
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

Oil heiress Mame Carson takes an incognito cruise so that men will love her for herself, not her money.

Director: Lloyd Bacon
Stars: Jane Russell, Gilbert Roland, Arthur Hunnicutt
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

With a full Hollywood background and settings but more an expose of scandal-and-gossip magazines of the era, has-been actor John Blakeford agrees to write his memoirs for magazine-publisher... See full summary »

Director: Robert Florey
Stars: John Halliday, Marsha Hunt, Robert Cummings
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Documentary short depicting the dangers of inadvertent dispersal of secret military information, showing the unintended and disastrous results of careless conversation and improper maintenance of secret records.

Director: Preston Sturges
Stars: Eddie Bracken, Walter Huston
Swell Hogan (1926)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  
Director: Ralph Graves
Stars: Ralph Graves
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Jimmy Conlin ...
Raymond Walburn ...
E.J. Waggleberry
...
Lynn Sargent
Edgar Kennedy ...
Jake (Bartender)
Arline Judge ...
Manicurist
...
Formfit Franklin
...
Max
...
Flora
Jack Norton ...
James R. Smoke
Robert Dudley ...
Robert McDuffy
Arthur Hoyt ...
J.P. Blackstone
Julius Tannen ...
Nearsighted Banker
Al Bridge ...
Robert Greig ...
Edit

Storyline

Twenty years after his triumphs as a freshman on the football field, Harold is a mild-mannered clerk who dreams about marrying the girl at the desk down the aisle. But losing his job destroys that dream, and when he finds a particularly potent drink at his local bar, he goes on a very strange and funny rampage (with a lion in tow). Written by Kathy Li

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Yes Sir! Wednesday was WILD! Wednesday was RUGGED! THE WILDEST WACKIEST MOST HILARIOUS AND COMPLETELY BOLLIXED-UP DAY YOU EVER HEARD OF! (original print ad - mostly caps)

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 April 1947 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mad Wednesday  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,712,959 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (1950 re-release) | (2005 DVD release)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

During the scene were Harold Lloyd's character meets Jackie the lion, on the first take when Harold pets Jackie, the lion actually bit him on his right hand. But Harold was not injured at all because the lion's teeth scraped against his two prosthetic fingers. After that, Harold refused to pet the lion ever again on or off screen, and in the second take which was used for the film, Harold's terrified squirming over the lion standing next to him is genuine. See more »

Goofs

When Diddlebock is reaching for Jacky's lead on the ledge, the overhead shot from behind shows Jacky's legs close to the wall. The closer shot (from the front) shows Diddlebock reaching between Jacky's legs, with Jacky's feet now on the edge. See more »

Quotes

Jake: [when asked to prepare Harold's very first alcoholic beverage] You arouse the artist in me.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Mouth 2 (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Poet and Peasant Overture
(uncredited)
Music by Franz von Suppé
Played during the scene at Smoke's office
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Not a classic, but certainly deserves to be remembered
15 December 2000 | by (Los Angeles, CA) – See all my reviews

Harold Lloyd and Preston Sturges are in the same boat, really. In their respective times, they were beloved stars. Now, the rank and file don't really remember them, or if they do remember them it's for a limited selection of films which don't necessarily reflect their full bodies of work. For Lloyd, audiences really only know him as the guy who's always hanging from the clock in the Chuck Workman montages that pop up during award shows, no concept at all that he was, in his time, far more successful than Buster Keaton and on the same level as Chaplin. And for Sturges, only filmlovers really remember him, even though the best of his films, like Palm Beach Story and Sullivan's Travels are among the very best of their time.

Lloyd, of course, was a silent comedy icon. After the depression is career slumped and while he made a series of largely unsuccessful sound films trying to maintain the verve of his silent comedies, audiences simply were not interested. In 1947, though, he attempted another comeback in the film The Sins of Harold Diddlebock. Directed by Preston Sturges, Diddlebock capitalized on Lloyd's past rather than avoiding it. The film took the interesting question "What happened to Harold Lamb (Lloyd's character from The Freshman, his most popular silent film) after the Depression?" In doing so, the film also examined what happened to Lloyd's image.

Diddlebock opens with the final 10 minutes of The Freshman, the triumphant football game. Shifting to sound almost immediately after the final whistle, Lloyd's character goes from youthful exuberance to aged desperation. Following the game, we discover, Harold took a bookkeeping job at an ad agency hoping to move straight to the top. Like his character in Safety Last (the classic where he hangs from that big clock) all he wanted was the chance to pitch his one great idea. But that chance never came and nearly twenty years after he lost his savings in the Crash, Harold loses his job as well. Grey haired, face set in wrinkles, Harold goes into the world with only a small pension. But with the help of a night of drinking, a horse named after his aunt, a look-alike sister played by Margaret Hamilton (the Wicked Witch of the West), and an old boozehound named Worm, he reclaims his comic genius, briefly owns a circus with 37 lions, and, well, perhaps you can see where this late screwball comedy is going. Diddlebock went nearly a million dollars over budget and was reedited and renamed (to Mad Wednesday). It was a disaster.

Looking at the film objectively, many years later, it certainly isn't so bad. The central stylistic conceit is that the silent slapstick of Lloyd's age and the verbal acrobatics that made Sturges famous were not so different at all. Sturges goes so far as to change Lloyd's character's name from "Lamb" to "Diddlebock" to create a slapstick of nomenclature. Diddlebock also proves fairly conclusively that Lloyd's decline was not caused by an inability to handle speaking roles. In this film he keeps up his end of the witty repartee and even harmonizes in a chorus of "Auld Lang Syne." The film also pays homage to Safety Last's human fly scene with a skyscraper chase scene involving Lloyd and a lion. Even at 53, Lloyd was still fit enough to handle the stunts, including swinging upside down from a leash. And yet, for all of its charm, Diddlebock must have seemed out of place. By that point audiences probably didn't remember Lloyd and didn't want to remember the Depression.

The problem is that the film is just a little too clunky and, like the worst of Sturges's writing, relies largely on expositional monologues to justify plot contrivances. Also, the film just doesn't have the zip that Sturges's films had at their peak. Still, it's a pleasant combination of elements, capitalizing on Lloyd's considerable personal appeal, Sturges's talent (even low Sturges is better than, well, most things), and several members of Sturges's stock troupe, including Jimmy Conlin as drunk gambler Wormy. The fact that audiences of the time rejected it shouldn't have any impact on people with unjaded eyes viewing it today.

Look for the 90 minute version, by the way.

I'd give Harold Diddlebock a 7 out of 10. It's worth a look if you're a fan of either Lloyd or Sturges.


31 of 32 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
I liked this movie. thundercloud47
Discuss The Sin of Harold Diddlebock (1947) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?