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The Sin of Harold Diddlebock (1947)

Approved | | Comedy | 4 April 1947 (USA)
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 »

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Writer:

(original screenplay)
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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Jimmy Conlin ...
...
E.J. Waggleberry
...
Lynn Sargent
...
Jake (Bartender)
...
Manicurist
...
Formfit Franklin
...
Max
...
Flora
...
James R. Smoke
Robert Dudley ...
Robert McDuffy
Arthur Hoyt ...
J.P. Blackstone
...
Nearsighted Banker
...
Robert Greig ...
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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

Plot Keywords:

clerk | bar | lion | drink | loss of job | See All (18) »

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) See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Preston Sturges wrote this screenplay in order to entice Harold Lloyd out of retirement. See more »

Goofs

When Diddlebock reaches for Jacky's lead with his foot and knocks it over the edge, Jacky is standing up close to the wall. The next shot immediately after shows Jacky sitting down. See more »

Quotes

Formfit Franklin: Very clever! I guess I have to get up pretty early in the morning to catch you in bed.
Manicurist: It's been tried.
Formfit Franklin: Oh!
See more »

Crazy Credits

"... and for the first time a young girl called Frances Ramsden playing the youngest Miss Otis" See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Mouth 2 (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Can-Can
(uncredited)
from "Orpheus in the Underworld"
Music by Jacques Offenbach
Played during the can-can scene
See more »

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User Reviews

The last laugh
3 April 2001 | by (Minneapolis Minnesota) – See all my reviews

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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