036: For Heaven's Sake (1926) - released 4/5/1926, viewed 2/10/06
BIRTHS: Jerry Lewis, Peter Graves, Gus Grissom.
DOUG: Our laundry room had a TV, so we hooked up our DVD player and watched our next Harold Lloyd film while we did our laundry. Now, when asked "What's the weirdest place you've ever watched a movie?" I'll have a good answer. Lloyd plays a millionaire playboy who finds himself (quite accidentally) funding a downtown mission and falling for a downtown girl. Soon he'll do anything to win her over, including leading a townfull of roughnecks into the mission to increase attendance. Jobyna Ralston plays the girl, and she still rocks, so I look forward to seeing her in The Kid Brother. Noah Young, who played the cop in Safety Last and also appears in Girl Shy pops up again here as 'The Roughneck.' One scene has him trying to knock Harold out, only to inadvertently get hit back by everything in the room, all without Harold noticing. My favorite sequence comes after Harold hears that the only ones not coming to the mission are the gang from the pool hall, so he goes out to recruit them. The way he does this is quite inspired indeed; running at top speed, he punches, kicks, and knocks over any roughneck he passes by, causing them all to chase after him. He finally leads them into the mission, and then to seal the deal, they can't leave without running afoul of the cops waiting outside. The finale is a rather unusual setup; Harold must drag five of his roughneck friends (led by Young), all of whom are completely steam-drunk out of their minds, across town to get to his wedding. Things really start to unravel as he shoves them all onto a double-decker bus, and he must climb over, under, and around the bus to make sure they're all accounted for; before you know it, the bus has no driver!
KEVIN: Because it was not on any list, I wasn't expecting very much from our fourth Harold Lloyd feature For Heaven's Sake. At first, I was surprised to see that Lloyd's protagonist was a hapless millionaire. Most of the silent comedies we've seen, including Lloyd's, feature an average guy trying to make it in the world. So I was intrigued when this film took a different approach right out of the gate. As one might easily surmise then, the arc of the main character involves finding out there's more to life than needlessly throwing away money on expensive cars that he promptly crashes. This is achieved with a little help from Hope, played by the still wonderful Jobyna Ralston, and a pool hall full of scoundrels who Harold helps to find a little religion. It was cool to see Noah Young again (I doubt it'll be the last time), and I liked him better here as Bull the roughneck than as the cop in Safety Last. This film was full of some of the most inventive gags I've seen yet, including a scene where Harold gets no luck from a plate full of sweets, a scene where he beats up Bull without really trying, and in the most inspired scene, when he gets the guys from the pool hall to come to Brother Paul's mission and stay there. The fast-paced climax finds Harold racing to his wedding to Hope with his five steaming-drunk pool hall friends in tow. My only problem with the climax was that since Hope knew why Harold was late, there was a lot less pressure on him to get there on time. The suspense mainly comes from making sure he and his inebriated cohorts don't die horribly on the way there.
Last film viewed: The Freshman (1925). Last film chronologically: The Black Pirate (1926). Next film viewed: The Kid Brother (1927). Next film chronologically: Sparrows (1926).
The Movie Odyssey is an exhaustive, chronological project where we watch as many milestone films as possible, starting with D.W. Griffith's Intolerance in 1916 and working our way through, year by year, one film at a time. We also write a short review for each film before we watch the next, never reading the other's review before we finish our own. In this project, we hope to gain a deeper understanding of the time period, the films of the era, and each film in context, while at the same time just watching a lot of great movies, most of which we never would have watched otherwise.
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