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 »
Egyptologist, Dean Lambert (Lloyd), accused of car-theft, skips bail and begins a cross-country trek to join a group in New York headed for Egypt. With the police close on his trail he gets... See full summary »
Episodic look at married life and in-law problems. Adventures include a ride on a crowded trolley with a live turkey; a wild spin in a new auto with the in-laws in tow; and a sequence in ... See full summary »
Fred C. Newmeyer,
Country Doctor, Jack Jackson is called in to treat the Sick-Little-Well-Girl, who has been making Dr. Saulsbourg and is sanitarium very rich, after years of unsuccessful treatment. His ... See full summary »
Fred C. Newmeyer,
John T. Prince
After numerous failed attempts to commit suicide, our hero (Lloyd) runs into a lawyer who is looking for a stooge to stand in as a groom in order to secure an inheritance for his client (... 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
Between 1940 and 1944, Preston Sturges wrote and directed some of the best film comedy ever produced. His eight movies for that short period are all good, and it would not be an exaggeration to say that four of the eight have the touch of brilliance.
This sequence of movies came to an end when Sturges left Paramount following what he legitimately saw as increasing interference by studio bosses. His high stature at the studio hadn't prevented two of his movies from being taken out of his hands and re-cut against his wishes, one of which - The Great Moment - was never restored to the movie Sturges intended.
At this point, Sturges declined to join a rival studio, and instead formed a partnership with Howard Hughes, hoping to protect his future movies from the interference he could see was becoming more common within the studio system. However, for a combination of reasons, this partnership with Hughes was not a success, and the only film Sturges produces in that period - The Sin of Harold Diddlebock - shows a decline in his work.
The whole look and sound of the movie is inferior. It is impossible to know whether this decline was the result of an inevitable burn-out in his ability after such sustained success, or the absence of support and quality control that Paramount had applied to the benefit of the wonderful movies that had come before.
So... to "Diddlebock" itself! It is difficult to identify why it isn't as funny as we might expect. The film was created as a star vehicle for Harold Lloyd, and by all accounts his comedy instincts did not match those of Sturges. As much as Stuges tried, clearly such a big talent and personality as Lloyd was never going to completely submit to direction with which he didn't agree, and there must be some evidence of that in what we see on screen.
There is a complete lack of the 'sparkle' we have come to expect. The familiar faces around Lloyd remind us of the great Sturges movies, but to me this is like an inferior pastiche of a Sturges movie by a lesser hand, without such a reliable instinct for film comedy. But perhaps that describes what Preston Sturges had become in such a short time.
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