Safety Last

Safety Last

4.0 3
Director: Fred Newmeyer, Sam Taylor

Cast: Fred Newmeyer, Sam Taylor, Harold Lloyd, Mildred Davis

     
 

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After Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton, the silent film era's "third genius" was Harold Lloyd, who stars in this Horatio Alger-style story of an average country boy trying to make good in the big city. The Boy (Lloyd) leaves his sweetheart, The Girl (Mildred Davis, later the real-life Mrs. Lloyd) in Great Bend while he pursues his fortune in a teeming metropolis. The… See more details below

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Overview

After Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton, the silent film era's "third genius" was Harold Lloyd, who stars in this Horatio Alger-style story of an average country boy trying to make good in the big city. The Boy (Lloyd) leaves his sweetheart, The Girl (Mildred Davis, later the real-life Mrs. Lloyd) in Great Bend while he pursues his fortune in a teeming metropolis. The Boy lands a job as a clerk at a fabric counter of DeVore's, a huge department store, but he lies in his letters home to his beloved, pretending to be the store's manager and spending his earnings on lavish gifts. The Boy's roommate, The Pal (Bill Strother) makes money as a "human fly," performing attention-getting stunts. Promised $1,000 by DeVore's real manager if he can devise a publicity gimmick, The Boy convinces his friend to climb the 12-story establishment and split the winnings with him. On the day of the event, however, The Pal is busy dodging The Law (Noah Young), forcing The Boy to make the arduous climb solo. Dodging a variety of obstacles, The Boy climbs higher and higher, eventually dangling from the store's clock tower, in the film's most memorable image.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Lucia Bozzola
Safety Last (1923) pokes fun at the lengths that a 1920s man would go to to be a success, and it's also the movie in which Harold Lloyd's trademark "comedy of thrills" produced the timeless image of Lloyd's dangling precariously from a clock above a busy city street. A formidable athlete, Lloyd mined humor from a relentless series of situational and physical gags involving the efforts of his ambitious sales clerk to make it in the big city and impress his girlfriend back home. The famed climax arrives when Lloyd is forced to scale the high rise department store himself after his "human fly" publicity gambit goes awry. As he hangs off the clock 10 floors above the street, he encounters a new difficulty at every story, turning the climb into a hilarious and breathtaking physical feat. Lloyd performed most of the stunts himself (despite having lost his right thumb and forefinger in an accident) and without trick photography. One of a series of Lloyd feature hits, Safety Last helped him surpass fellow comics Buster Keaton and Charles Chaplin in box-office popularity and become a 1920s icon.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/18/2013
UPC:
0715515106511
Original Release:
1923
Source:
Criterion
Region Code:
A
Presentation:
[B&W]
Sound:
[silent]
Time:
1:13:00
Sales rank:
16,801

Special Features

New, restored 2K digital film transfer; Musical score by composer Carl Davis from 1989, synchronized and restored under his supervision and presented in uncompressed stereo; Alternate score by organist Gaylord Carter from the 1960s, presented in uncompressed monoaural; Audio commentary featuiring film critic Leonard Maltin and director and Harold Lloyd archivist Richard Correll; Introduction by Suzanne Lloyd, Lloyd's granddaughter and the president of Harold Lloyd Entertainment; Harold Lloyd: The Third Genius, a 108-minute documentary from 1989; Three newly restored Lloyd shorts: Take a Chance (1918), Young Mr. Jazz (1919), and His Royal Slyness (1920), with commentary by Correll and film writer John Bengtson; Locations and Effects, a new documentary Bengtson and visual-effects expert Craig Barron; New interview with Davis; ; Plus: ; A booklet featuring an essay by critic Ed Park

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