For Heaven's Sake (1926) Poster

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My favorite Lloyd so far...
plaidpotato28 February 2003
I saw this film at the Silent Movie Theater when I was in Los Angeles last summer. It was my first Lloyd. Three quarters of the film was as funny as any Buster Keaton film I've ever seen, and funnier than any Chaplin. I tend to be more of a smiler than a laugh-out-louder, but the first chase scene in this film gave me abdominal cramps. It brought the house down. I don't think I've ever heard such raucous laughter in a movie theater before. It was a great, great chase scene. And it was a great experience being in a theater packed with people, even little kids, fully enjoying a 75+ year old film.

I've since seen two more Lloyd features, Hot Water and Speedy, but For Heaven's Sake is my favorite so far. If it weren't for a long and kinda unfunny sequence toward the late middle of the film, with Harold herding a pack of drunks, it would probably be my favorite silent comedy, period--my current favorite is Keaton's The Cameraman, incidentally.

The announcer guy at the theater claimed the print of For Heaven's Sake they were screening was the only one in existence. I don't know if it was an original nitrate print or what. I think I remember that it looked fairly pristine. I hope the film makes it to DVD soon, lest something unfortunate happen to the print, especially if they're going to take chances screening it publicly.
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An Utter Delight From Mr. Lloyd
Ron Oliver9 August 2003
Uptown millionaire J. Harold Manners leads a life insulated by his immense wealth until he meets a very pretty young lady working with her father in a Downtown skid row mission.

Comic genius Harold Lloyd had another tremendous success with FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE, a silent film very simple of plot but wildly delirious in terms of hilarious detail & inspiration. Harold had the enviable knack of making an audience like him immediately and empathize with his tribulations. They entered into and became a part of his gags, watching them build and grow, until the final explosion of laughter and the immediate start of his next comedic onslaught.

Here, Harold has two of his finest sequences, two very different extended chases which illustrate his visual wizardry and perfect timing. In the first, Harold infuriates a growing crowd of enraged hoodlums, crooks and ne'er-do-wells into chasing him into the mission, so as to please the sweet young lady. In the second, which climaxes the movie, Harold races to his own delayed wedding, through crowded New York streets (actually filmed in Los Angeles), while shepherding five very friendly and extremely intoxicated bums, culminating in a wild ride atop a runaway double-decker bus. Through it all, Harold exhibits his magnificent athletic ability, putting himself in real danger, a self-imposed peril made even more remarkable by the fact that he was missing half of his right hand.

The production values in the film are absolutely first rate, even down to casting the ‘faces,' wistful & careworn, seen in the mission scenes. The logistics involved in filming the action sequences on actual city streets, involving crowds of extras and split-second precision timing for the stunts, is beyond merely impressive. Lloyd, who fathered the idea, put the film through five previews until he was sure he had it perfect.

Jobyna Ralston once again amply fills the role of the girl of Harold's dreams. Diminutive Paul Weigel exudes saintly goodness as her father. Noah Young brings bullish bluster to his role of a tough gangster tamed by Mr. Lloyd.

Robert Israel has composed an excellent film score which perfectly complements Harold's antics on the screen.
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Impossible to Describe the Gags - You Must See It!!!!
kidboots4 May 2010
Six months ago I had barely seen a Harold LLoyd feature (except "The Kid Brother" 35 years ago) - now I know that whenever I feel down I can put on a Harold Lloyd movie and laugh myself silly from start to finish!! It is such a comforting feeling. This is not a typical Harold Lloyd comedy and I was a bit concerned initially - instead of the poor boy who makes good or the eager, hopeful go-getter who by the film's end is everyone's hero, this movie has Lloyd as J. Harold Manners, an idle rich boy who accidentally becomes the patron of a mission for down and outs.

There are two fantastic chases in this movie - the first where Harold pledges to get the "Pool Hall Boys" to the Mission -he does (and a whole lot of other thugs as well) and by the time the police arrive they are all singing hymns and liking it!!! The other one is reminiscent of the hilarious chase in "Girl Shy" - in this chase he has been kidnapped by his well meaning rich friends, his "pool room" mates find him and then he has the job of getting himself and his inebriated friends to the church on time.

Jobyna Ralston, as Hope, can't be over-estimated. Even though her role is usually "the girl", either rich girl, poor girl or working girl, she compliments Harold Lloyd so much and brings so much to his movies on her own, it would be hard for me to imagine any other actress in the role. Noah Young also adds immensely to the laughs as the leader of the thugs. And three cheers for the wonderful Robert Israel and his Orchestra - if only he could score the music for all the silent movies that are available.

Highly, Highly Recommended.
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FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE (Sam Taylor, 1926) ***1/2
Bunuel19762 January 2007
This is one of Harold Lloyd's least-known films and, consequently, perhaps his most underrated feature; I was first made aware of this factor by Leonard Maltin's awarding it the full **** rating in his Film Guide and, ever since that time, I've been pining to catch up with it!

Now that I've watched it for myself, I can say that the film is an undoubted classic (certainly among Lloyd's best work) and the only reason that I didn't quite go all the way with my own rating is the fact that, even for its brief 58-minute running-time, the plot line is somewhat thin:

Harold is a millionaire who becomes the unwitting benefactor of a modest mission; believing himself to have been conned into such a position, he determines to put a stop to it - that is, until he meets and falls for pretty missionary's daughter Jobyna Ralston. Then, he resolves to attract customers to the joint - which, considering that the neighborhood is filled with tough guys and gangsters, this will take considerable resource on his part. Nevertheless, he succeeds and the men eventually become fond of him so that, when Lloyd's impending marriage to Ralston is announced in the papers and his rich society-pals decide to 'save' him from such a fate, the gang take action to bring the couple back together again.

While clearly reminiscent of what is perhaps Charlie Chaplin's greatest short, EASY STREET (1917), the film's level of gags and the star's typical ingenuity is extremely high - with only the gangsters' drunken havoc during its last third overstaying its welcome; this section, however, leads to one of Lloyd's most hair-raising stunts - actually inspired by similar scenes in both GET OUT AND GET UNDER (1920) and GIRL SHY (1924) - as a double-decker bus (with atop it the star and his 'flock') races driverless along busy city streets on its way to Harold's wedding. Other hilarious highlights include: the early destruction of two cars owned by our reckless hero - the first happens because of a crate of cat food in the middle of the street, which the black chauffeur mistakes for the real thing and tries to avoid but ends up slamming straight into another car, while the second contrives to run out of gas on a railway track and is summarily scuttled by an oncoming train; as well as another re-used (this time from GRANDMA'S BOY [1922]) but undeniably irresistible routine involving the indigestible 'cakes' which Lloyd is made to eat by his beloved at the mission.
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A Lesser-Known Harold Lloyd Gem
Snow Leopard20 February 2006
This lesser-known Harold Lloyd silent gem takes a very slight story and uses it as the basis for some entertaining and resourceful comedy. Noah Young also has a good role that gives him a more interesting character than he usually gets to play, and he gets some good moments of his own. The plot is fluffier than usual for a Lloyd feature, but the script is quite creative in using it for some sequences of classic Lloyd-style slapstick.

The setup has Lloyd as the kind of lackadaisical millionaire that he portrayed so well. His character accidentally donates the money to set up an inner-city mission, and becomes involved with the mission and with Jobyna Ralston, whose father runs it. There are a few slow stretches that are needed to advance the plot, but the story doesn't really ever try to carry the movie, leaving that instead to the imaginative comedy sequences.

This has the kind of madcap finale that characterized so many of Lloyd's movies, an interesting and entertaining variant on the race-against-time idea. But the best part of the movie actually comes earlier, when Lloyd's character sets out to round up the neighborhood roughnecks, followed by the scene of them suddenly finding themselves in the mission, and then Young, as the biggest of the bullies, confronting Lloyd. Three very funny sequences in a row, and they are pieced together with barely a pause.

Even by Lloyd's standards, this feature has some very good material. It's almost as good as the likes of "Safety Last", "The Kid Brother", and the rest of his very best movies.
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Why Nobody Goes To The Bowery Anymore.
rmax30482312 July 2015
Warning: Spoilers
There is no Bowerie in Los Angeles, of course, but the film uses the equally ill-sounding Slattery Square. It's here that Brother George runs a modest street stand offering free coffee to the bums. He's assisted by his cute daughter.

Harold Lloyd is a multi-milliaire who buys a new car when the ash trays are full on the old convertible. He off-handedly writes a check to Brother George and falls for the cute daughter. Brother George is now able to open a proper charity ward inside, complete with hymn books and organs, but few of the hoi polloi show up.

Most of the ruffians, those most in need of reforming, are down the corner -- "that pool hall gang." Lloyd fills up the charity with the pool hall gang by the simple expedient of insulting all of them and having them chase him inside. They are soon converted by Lloyd's charisma.

Lloyd's hoity-toity friends decide to prevent the forthcoming marriage by kidnapping him. The pool hall gang gets drunk and rescues him. Will they get him to the church on time? The final reel is a zany and precisely choreographed chase.

I found the first half studded with some clever gags but often a bit slow. I understand that there is very little character development in the film, but what there is, is interpolated into the opening scenes. Sometimes I'd rather have my funny bone tickled than my empathy provoked.

Another reviewer was irritated by the Christian subtext that, for the most part, eluded me. There is a hymn sung -- "Onward Christian Soldiers" -- but otherwise there is no religious iconography, no crucifixes or mentions of God or heaven or any of that. Of course the foundation of Brother George's charity is mercy and generosity, but I'd hate to think those were exclusively Christian traits.
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Fast moving Harold Lloyd comedy full of energy and sight gags...
Doylenf20 April 2009
There's a non-stop orgy of sight gags and pratfalls throughout this Harold Lloyd comedy, FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE. Lloyd is a carefree millionaire who is dazzled by a pretty mission girl from the other side of the tracks. Once they connect, it's love at first sight and from then on Lloyd tries to please the girl and her missionary father by bringing as many new clients to their sermons as he can.

He visits the local pool hall to round up a bunch of toughs by making them chase him through the streets. This leads to one of the wildest scenes in the movie as the foot chase is full of inventive gags. He succeeds in rounding up enough hooligans to fill the mission just as police arrive on the scene looking for stolen jewelry. Again, the situations are all played for broad comedy and most of it works.

The climactic chase aboard a double decker bus is wildly choreographed for maximum comic effect--but truth be told, by this time the slapstick has been piled on so thick that the final chase seems anticlimactic.

By the time it's all over, you realize that Lloyd has told a story with very little plotting involved. It's a thin yarn stretched out over a series of sight gags--all of which he executes with perfect timing. But enough is enough. It gets a bit wearisome before it's all over and boy ends up with mission girl. The End.
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Why Worry?
sol-15 September 2017
As per 'Why Worry?', Harold Lloyd once again plays an eccentric millionaire here, though one without a worry in the world compared to his earlier hypochondriac. It is refreshing to see Lloyd as something other than his usual nebbish self and the film gets off to a strong start with Lloyd causing chaos everywhere while never being phased, not even when bandits are shooting at him from a speeding car. The plot soon veers in a very different direction though as Lloyd meets and falls in love with the daughter of a preacher who he accidentally donated to. It is a plot turn that comes without any character progression and it almost feels as two different films have been spliced together as Lloyd jumps from being cool and detached to energetically drumming up business for the preacher's mission 'Never Weaken' style. There is also a weird kidnapping subplot that comes out of nowhere and never quite feels right (despite leading to a good chase scene). Indeed, clocking in at under one hour, it feels as if a significant chunk of the film is missing - and according to some reports, Lloyd trimmed the movie himself after being dissatisfied with the final product. The film is not quite as poor as all that, but coming on the back of the well developed narrative comedy that 'The Freshman' was, this feels like a step back towards the skits-based plotting of his earlier works.
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Movie Odyssey Review #036: For Heaven's Sake
Cyke26 July 2006
Warning: Spoilers
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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excellent Lloyd film
MartinHafer15 May 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Okay, I'll admit that this isn't Harold Lloyd's best picture. However, even a second-rate Lloyd feature is still an excellent movie and well worth your time due to its excellent story telling and acting.

Harold is a young multi-millionaire who falls for the daughter of a social reformer in the poor part of town. Harold wants to help them--mostly because he finds Jobyna Ralston to be quite a hot tamale--something that seems to occur in all their films. At one point, to help her and her missionary father, Harold runs throughout the slums starting fights and irritating people in order to get them to chase him. Ultimately he leads these dozens of men into the mission where he is able to persuade them to stay and the mission is a success. This is a cute gag sequence.

What happens after this and the climatic chase sequence is certainly nothing new--it all reminds you of many other Lloyd films. But considering how well-made it is, this can be forgiven.
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The moving camera films and, having filmed, moves on
morrisonhimself13 July 2015
"For Heaven's Sake" was double-billed with "Grandma's Boy" on Turner Classic Movies' Silent Sunday, 12 July 2015, and it was a glorious pairing.

Harold Lloyd was working with Hal Roach for "GB" and was independent "For Heaven's Sake."

The first was, and was intended to be, more of a character study, as the alleged experts call it, while the second was more of a purely gag-filled romp.

"Sake" also had Lloyd's loveliest -- in my opinion -- co-star in the Tennessee girl, Jobyna Ralston, of South Pittsburg. (Some of her family is still there. I've tried, unsuccessfully, to talk the lifeless chamber of commerce into having a Jobyna Ralston film festival. It's a sad town but in a beautiful part of the country, not too far from Chattanooga. South Pittsburg is the home of the Cornbread Festival, featuring the Lodge iron skillets.)

"For Heaven's Sake" also has some wonderful stunts, with Lloyd's frequent foil Noah Young performing yeoman work, as do several excellent stunt performers.

It is, after all, Harold Lloyd, so you know there will be athletic performances and great sight gags, but the directing is quite an eye-opener, too, with that moving camera referred to in this review's title.

Both these films intrigued and delighted me with the moving camera, visually quite fascinating and very inventive and clever.

There is more story here than some supposed experts and even some reviewers here admit to and, combined with the sight humor, they make this a great movie, one I highly recommend.
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Not bad, but not excellent either.
Niffiwan20 November 2004
Harold Lloyd, the most popular comedian in the 20s (no, it wasn't Chaplin) made a lot of great silent films in the 20s, and many of his fans say that he never really made a bad film. That may be true, but frankly, this film is not one of his best. It "fails" (it's still not too bad of a film, though) because despite the occasional brilliant comedic scenes, the characters are completely cookie-cutter and unrealistic. This film stars Harold Lloyd as a filthy rich millionaire who "accidentally" establishes a missionary in a poor part of town and somehow falls in love with the daughter of the priest (this process is never really explored; they just "fall in love"; that's it). The rest of the film deals with attempts to convert the "rough life" of the town to Christianity, and to successfully marry the leading girl despite protests by Harold's other rich friends. A lot of fluff, really, tied together with some good comedy.

It seems like it was made specifically for "church-going parents" as a morally-correct film. It doesn't succeed, though, because it's really more of a collection of gags with not a whole lot of story.

I suggest you see Harold's "Why Worry?" (a much better film which has him take the role of a millionaire) or "Safety Last" instead.

Grade: 6/10
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For Heaven's Sake review
JoeytheBrit30 June 2020
Harold Lloyd in his prime as a multi-millionaire who thinks nothing of buying - and trashing - two cars in one day, and who funds a mission for the poor without realising it. He wants nothing to do with it until he spies the minister's comely daughter (Jobyna Ralston). Some decent jokes, an hilarious chase sequence, and a hair-raising race to the altar on a driverless bus help place this, perhaps lesser-known entry, amongst the comedian's better works.
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Has its moments
gbill-7487725 September 2019
There are some nice stunts and bits of humor sprinkled throughout this film, but It's awkwardly constructed and lacking in charm. Lloyd's character is a millionaire who finds himself improbably attracted to the daughter of a mission worker (Jobyna Ralston), and abruptly goes from entitled asshole to helping her and the derelicts in her father's mission. Harold's shtick often involved hanging on to something precarious for dear life, and we see some of that here with a double-decker bus. The plot involves getting a bunch of drunks back to the mission, and at one point they're all pedaling madly on stationary bikes, which Harold gets them to dismount by putting a "Road Closed" sign in front of them. I chuckled in little moments like that, but was less enamored overall.
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A pure delight!
lkbradshaw97 August 2018
I just finished watching this on TCM. It is a fun filled action thriller. I couldn't take my eye's off the screen. So much fun to watch.
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good fun
SnoopyStyle4 June 2018
Callous millionaire playboy Harold Manners (Harold Lloyd) mistakenly burns down street preacher Brother Paul's coffee cart for the poor. He overpays a $1000 cheque and Paul builds a mission in his name. Harold's horrified to find his name associated with the do-gooder and intends to take down his name. Instead he falls for Paul's daughter Downtown Girl Hope and works to win her heart by creating a thriving mission. When their marriage is announced, his rich friends from the old days kidnap him for his own good.

The train running over his car is hilarious. Lloyd's unflinching deadpan delivery absolutely sells it. There are great comedy bits throughout. The romance isn't that bad either although it's pretty straight forward. There are a few big stunts but nothing as iconic as his building climb. The bus ride during the climax is impressive at times. This is good fun.
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Three rousing cheers for Harold!
JohnHowardReid27 August 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Producer: Harold Lloyd. Copyright 6 April 1926 by The Harold Lloyd Corporation, released through Paramount Pictures: 5 April 1926. New York opening at the Rialto: 4 April 1926. 6 reels. 5,356 feet. 58 minutes.

SYNOPSIS: Millionaire inadvertently helps out Mission and falls in love with the Good Samaritan's lovely daughter. His friends try to bring him to his senses.

COMMENT: I know it's hard to keep laughing heartily when you're balancing hard on the edge of your seat, but if you can manage that feat, "For Heaven's Sake" is right for you.

Another absolute delight from Lloyd, this entry features yet another hilariously spectacular variation on his famous street rescue climaxes.

Good to see Joby Ralston from "The Freshman" again essaying the enchanting heroine, and Noah Young, the cop-who-never-forgets from "Safety Last", this time as the bully of all bullies. And it's even better to find Lloyd himself playing so convincingly a character his own age.

The casting director deserves a special pat on the back for rounding up such a seedy-looking bunch of reprobates and down-and- outers for the Mission scenes. The incredibly sharp-paced sequence in which Lloyd manages to round up all these local toughs for the Mission, has to be seen to be believed.

Ralph Spence, the world's highest-paid title-writer ($5 a word), deserved every penny he received for his witty contributions. But the highest honors must go to producer-director-actor Harold Lloyd (who thought up the laugh-a-minute idea in the first place and also made his mark on the script).
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