The Golden Age of Hollywood

Classic Movie Comedians

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Classic Movie Comedians

Covering the films and lives of the star comedians of the 20s, 30s and 40s including Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd, Laurel and Hardy,The Marx Brothers, W.C. Fields, Abbott and Costello,The Three Stooges,Bob Hope,Danny Kaye etc

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Latest Activity: Aug 10, 2013


It was the comedians that really first got me into classic film. Years ago the BBC used to show the serials, the Laurel and Hardy sound shorts and Harold Lloyd's Time Life series in the winter evenings. From then on I was hooked.

Discussion Forum

Your All-Time Favorite Classic Movie Comedians!

Started by Abdullah aka Chuck. Last reply by Kenzie Dec 16, 2011. 9 Replies

Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein

Started by Dave Miller. Last reply by deb gaudet Oct 30, 2010. 5 Replies

Hey! Here's a controversial Statement!

Started by Abdullah aka Chuck. Last reply by Christopher Apr 3, 2009. 16 Replies

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Comment by Classic Movie Man on January 9, 2010 at 8:09am
Nothing against Suzanne and she has indeed done a great deal in recent years though there was a lot of neglect for many years before that, not all down to the family true and its possibly a topic for another time.

Recognition of Lloyd (thanks mainly to the DVD set) is increasing and he definitely deserves it but still he's got a long way to go I feel to even reach Chaplin and Keaton level among film enthusiasts.

Despite the camera trickery yes it was still dangerous particularly with Lloyd's injury, there was no special effects back then so anything had to be done for real. Just saying that Lloyd didn't it all himself that would have been foolhardy for such a big star though he was a capable athlete and it is Harold on the clock face, he hung there for awhile to get the shot, to relieve pressure between shots he put special shoes(created for wire walkers) in the crevices.

As for the accident yes that might have been Lloyd's intention but the prosthetic is fairly obvious in quite a few shots and I've seen just about every film after it happened. My point was really Lloyd's technique is very much putting his character in jeopardy and getting his audience on the edge of their seats particularly in the thrill (climbing a building) pictures and a few others. The thrills are actually too much for some both today and back then and do kill the comedy. In my opinion it ended up being the fact Lloyd's films were so entertaining the damaged hand never became an issue, he certainly upped his game after the accident in terms of the comedy, thrills and above all quality of his productions.
Comment by MothGirl Wings on January 8, 2010 at 8:59pm
I think it's one thing to be concerned for someone because they're the underdog, and quite another if they are disabled - I'm also going by what his granddaughter Susan has said about it. She is really been instrumental in seeing to it that he get the recognition he deserves.
Comment by MothGirl Wings on January 8, 2010 at 8:31pm
Well, I was taking the bit about it being sort of glossed over from a couple of books I've recently read on him - he never mentions the incident in his autobiography either - personally, I think he didn't want his fans to know about or least he didn't want them to dwell on it. As to to nude photos, yes and they were in 3D, which was quite unusual - not to say anything disparaging about him, but he was quite, quite the lady's man too, all of his life. Enough said. The clock face was indeed on a mock up of a building, three strories high, and set on top of the actual building, a few feet in from the edge. There were matresses set below to catch him, should he fall. Still, it must have been a tad daunting to do, and especially with really the use of only one good hand - he wrenched one of his shoulders out of it's socket in the process.
Comment by Classic Movie Man on January 8, 2010 at 7:14pm
Lloyd was incredibly popular in the 20s though his most successful films didn't make as much as Chaplin's most successful he did make 11 classic comedy features to Charlie's 3 during the decade. So yes people kept coming back to see him so it could be argued he was the most popular.

In a sense the "bomb" accident was hushed up and yes Lloyd didn't want to draw attention to his disability. I think though it wasn't hushed up in that it was in the news and you could have found out fairly easily. Looking at the films now possibly helped by knowledge and good prints Lloyd's prosthetic hand is fairly obvious.

Yes he didn't want to draw attention to it but then a major part of Lloyd's comedy was being concerned for him. Lloyd makes stunts look difficult to increase tension. I think he might have worried more that it would have been distracting. Though audiences would probably be so caught up in his young man's adventures to really worry about it. I think it was more known than is generally supposed.

Important to note too that Lloyd didn't do all the stunts in Safety Last and was doubled in long shots by Bill Strother. He did hang from the clock but it wasn't as high as it seems in the movie, the illusion was created by very clever use of camera angles.
Comment by MothGirl Wings on January 8, 2010 at 7:49am
He felt tnat if his public knew of the injury/handicap, they'd be concerned for his safety, and not find the films funny, so it was hushed up for that reason.
Comment by MothGirl Wings on January 8, 2010 at 7:47am
Well wait, I'm wrong you can see the right hand here, but it's the prosthetic one.
Comment by MothGirl Wings on January 8, 2010 at 7:46am
Hahaha I just love him! Did you know that he did all that with a prosthetic hand on his right hand? Yes, he lost the thumb and index finger to his right hand during a freak accident with a "prop" bomb that blew up, almost blinded him, and put him in the hospital for some time - there was even concern he might lose the sight in both eyes, but thank God, he didn't. The issue of his hand being damaged was covered up, and he doesn't even mention it in his autobiography, but he adapted to having limited use of his right hand, and notice that in this shot, you can only really see his left hand - so he did all that stuff in SAFETY LAST with his one good hand, and the prosthetic one.
Comment by MothGirl Wings on January 7, 2010 at 11:28pm


Harold and Mildred Davis (by now Mrs. Harold Lloyd), in SAFETY LAST. Mr. Lloyd actually made more films than Mr. Chaplin, and also made a good deal more money from them, as well.
I think people are finally catching up in regards to him and his wonderful films, and whereas it used to be only Keaton and Chaplin who were well known to people, Mr. Lloyd was a huge star in his day (deservedly so), and his films are now beginning to be properly appreciated, too.
Comment by Roger L. Schoolcraft on December 14, 2009 at 9:54am
No, I don't think I've ever seen "Bennie and Joon".
Comment by MothGirl Wings on December 14, 2009 at 2:07am
Oooh thank you for the great photos of Green Acres, Tim! I'm reading two books on Harold Lloyd right now, and he's quickly becoming my favorite of the Silent Era comedians - you know, he kept that Christmas tree up year 'round and collected Christmas tree ornaments throughout the year for it. Every day was Christmas at Green Acres.
 

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