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

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.

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:
0715515106610
Original Release:
1923
Source:
Criterion
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[B&W]
Sound:
[silent]
Time:
1:13:00
Sales rank:
6,776

Special Features

Disc one: ; New, restored 2K digital film transfer; Musical score by composer Carl Davis from 1989, synchronized and restored under his supervision; Alternate score by organist Gaylord Carter from the 1960s; 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; 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; ; Disc two:; Harold Lloyd: The Third Genius, a 108-minute documentary from 1989; 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

Cast & Crew

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Safety Last!
1. The Boy and the Girl [7:50]
2. Running Late [8:10]
3. Payday [3:21]
4. Cops and Climbing [4:03]
5. Lunchtime [3:27]
6. Boy in Trouble [8:53]
7. The General Manager [5:56]
8. Sensational Idea [6:11]
9. Kick the Cop [5:02]
10. The Mystery Man [6:56]
11. Higher and Higher [2:27]
12. The Big Clock [5:47]
13. On the Edge [2:31]
14. Success at Last [3:04]
1. Color Bars [:20]
Disc #2 -- Safety Last!
1. Being a Genius [8:23]
2. Hal Roach [7:55]
3. Lonesome Luke with Glasses [4:40]
4. Leading Ladies [5:30]
5. Perfect Comedy [12:36]
6. The Thrill Pictures [12:42]
1. The Need to Succeed [8:00]
2. New Leading Lady [10:41]
3. A Rural Idyll [8:32]
4. Sound [10:00]
5. Losing Control [9:24]
6. A New Career [9:24]

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Safety Last 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I first saw this film on TCM, then I saw it referenced in the movie Hugo. Harold Lloyd's glasses character is funny and lovable. It is a very funny film, and it embodies the silent film comedy era perfectly. If you are a fan of Buster Ketene and/or Charlie Chaplin, then you with love this film. Harold Lloyd is one of the greats right along with them.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I give safety last 3 1/2 stars----If your reading this than you've never seen the film and/or are wondering if the criterion transfer is any good---- I'm no ocd cinefile but I have not run into a criterion in the last several years that was edgy and this ones no exception. If your looking for funny gags and that sort of atmosphere I would get Modern Times with Charlie chaplain if you don't already have it.------If your rounding out your collection safety last has some things that were never done by anyone else and the film is quite enjoyable. Interestingly I REALLY liked the included short----"Take a chance"----It it quite hilarious and there is another included short that is funny but not as good as "Take a chance".-----Anyway to sum things up----A worthwhile purchase. If you want to have a strong bare bones collection of silent movies you have to have Either "Safety Last " or "The Freshman" by Harold Lloyd --------"The General" by Buster Keaton------And Either "Modern Times"---"City Lights" or Goldrush By Charlie Chaplin---So have fun adding to your collection.