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 ...
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Timid milkman, Burleigh Sullivan (Lloyd), somehow knocks out a boxing champ in a brawl. The fighter's manager decides to build up the milkman's reputation in a series of fixed fights and ... See full summary »
Temperamental saloon singer Freddie Jones, jealously shoots at her cheating boyfriend Blackie but mistakenly hits Judge Alfalfa J. O'Toole's honorable behind, forcing her to skip town under the guise of a schoolteacher.
An office clerk loves entering contests in the hopes of someday winning a fortune and marrying the girl he loves. His latest attempt is the Maxford House Coffee Slogan Contest. As a joke, ... See full summary »
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
The last laugh of any great clown is interesting, if only for its memento mori value. Laurel & Hardy's last film, UTOPIA, is sadly botched but moments of their grand comedy still flair up, like Marc Antony's final bravery in Shakespeare's Antony & Cleopatra. The grandiose W.C. Fields still holds his own in SONG OF THE OPEN ROAD, even though he was deathly ill with alcohol poisoning. The Marx Brother's LOVE HAPPY is mainly a vehicle for one last pantomime fling for brother Harpo -- and all the more poignant for it. Chaplin's KING IN NEW YORK is a splendid idea -- we chuckle at its conception -- though Chaplin conducts himself like a department store floorwalker more than a comedian. And Harold Lloyd's last movie seems to me to be a nostalgic conspiracy between him and director Sturges, a Last Hurrah to remind movie audiences one last time of the glorious slapstick & pantomime heritage that America was in the process of losing forever as the old clowns faded from the scene and brash lunatics like Martin & Lewis or Bob Hope took over the reins of comedy. Lloyd's film exists in several differently edited versions, but I won't call any of them "butchered", just misunderstood. By the late Forties there weren't any skilled editors around who could quite understand the cadence, the beat, the nearly-balletic timing that a great clown brought to the camera and needed the editor to highlight -- such things as double-takes, long shots of the chase and just stationary shooting when the clown is unfolding a gag. Lloyd produced a novel, a War & Peace, if you will, of vintage gags -- his editors only understood short stories or magazine articles. They grew nervous when the camera lingered on anybody or anything. But great comedy is just that -- lingering. In his final film Lloyd wants to loiter over gags silly and profound. His dawdling is cut short and the truncated comedy that follows seems at times stiff and childish. But before Harold is relegated to the dusty shadows he still pulls off much nonsense that is both genial and brassy -- not a coming attraction, but a dignified retreat back to the Land of Belly Laughs. Anyone grounded in American cinematic comedy feels abit like one of the children in the story of the Pied Piper; we wish we could go with him back into that wonderful, magical, mountain.
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