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Safety Last! (1923)

Not Rated | | Action, Comedy, Thriller | 1 April 1923 (USA)
A boy leaves his small country town and heads to the big city to get a job. As soon as he makes it big his sweetheart will join him and marry him. His enthusiasm to get ahead leads to some interesting adventures.

Directors:

Fred C. Newmeyer (as Fred Neymeyer), Sam Taylor

Writers:

Hal Roach (story), Sam Taylor (story) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Harold Lloyd ... Harold - The Boy
Mildred Davis ... Mildred, The Girl
Bill Strother Bill Strother ... Bill, The Pal
Noah Young Noah Young ... The Law
Westcott Clarke Westcott Clarke ... The Floorwalker (as Westcott B. Clarke)
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Storyline

In 1922, the country boy Harold says goodbye to his mother and his girlfriend Mildred in the train station and leaves Great Bend expecting to be successful in the big city. Harold promises to Mildred to get married with her as soon as he "make good". Harold shares a room with his friend "Limpy" Bill and he finally gets a job as salesman in the De Vore Department Store. However, he pawns Bill's phonograph, buys a lavaliere and writes to Mildred telling that he is a manager of De Vore. One day, Harold sees an old friend from Great Bend that is a policeman and when he meets his friend Bill, he asks Bill to push the policeman over him and make him fall down. However Bill pushes the wrong policeman that chases him, but he escapes climbing up a building. Out of the blue, Mildred is convinced by her mother to visit Harold without previous notice and he pretends to be the manager of De Vore. When Harold overhears the general manager telling that he would give one thousand dollars to to anyone... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

You're Going to Explode With "Safety Laughs" when You see This Fun Bomb. (Print Ad- Buffalo Courier, ((Buffalo NY)) 30 September 1923)


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 April 1923 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Safety Last! See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$121,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Hal Roach Studios See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Blu-ray)

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A stuntman revealed for the first time in the television documentary, Hollywood (1980), that Harold Lloyd actually climbed a fake building facade that was constructed over another building's rooftop, positioned so the camera angle could capture the street scene below. The stuntman also revealed that he doubled for Lloyd in the long shots of him climbing the building in the distance. Up until then, even the Time-Life version of Safety Last! (1923) that was aired on PBS contained an opening title declaring that Harold Lloyd climbed the building himself and without the use of a stuntman or trick photography. The stuntman chose to suppress this information until Lloyd's death, and yet, he did not want to detract from the danger of Lloyd's actual stunt work. Lloyd performed the majority of the stunts himself on the rigged facade over a small platform, which was built near the rooftop's edge and still had to be raised a great height to get the proper street perspective for the camera. The size of the platform did not offer much of a safety net, and had Lloyd fallen, there was the risk he could have tumbled off the platform. See more »

Goofs

After the Boy sends the Girl off in the car, the ladder has inexplicably moved further to the right. See more »

Quotes

Bill, The Pal: I'll be at the next floor up, just as soon as I am through ditching the cop.
Harold - The Boy: [feeling exasperated with Bill for the delay and scared from the height and exhausted from his having to keep climbing up one floor-level after another] You BE THERE - - or I will be THROUGH!
See more »

Alternate Versions

In 1990, The Harold Lloyd Trust and Photoplay Productions presented a 73-minute version of this film in association with Thames Television International, with a musical score written by Carl Davis. The addition of modern credits stretched the time to 74 minutes. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Animaniacs: Piano Rag/When Rita Met Runt (1993) See more »

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User Reviews

Excellent Comedy in the Best Tradition of the Silent Classics
29 October 2001 | by Snow LeopardSee all my reviews

This is an excellent comedy in the best tradition of the silent classics. It is pleasant and lively, with a story revolving around silly predicaments combined with a good assortment of gags, and it all leads up to a terrific finale that combines humor with excitement and suspense.

Harold Lloyd has an ideal role as an earnest young man trying to make good in the big city so that he can impress his girlfriend. His antics in the department store are very amusing - in this part, it's hard not to be reminded of "Are You Being Served?" - there is even Stubbs the floorwalker fussing endlessly over trivial details. The situation is built up nicely until we get to the famous climbing scene that climaxes everything. This climax is one of the best sequences of its kind, set up very carefully and executed skillfully with lots of good detail.

Most fans of silent comedies should find "Safety Last" to be very enjoyable. And even those who do not normally watch silent comedy should be able to appreciate its masterful and thoroughly entertaining conclusion.


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