The Golden Age of Hollywood

Harold Lloyd's World of Comedy

Information

Harold Lloyd's World of Comedy

A celebration of the life and work of the silent comedian who was one of the biggest stars of the 1920s.

Members: 28
Latest Activity: Aug 15, 2013

Introduction

Hi and a warm welcome to my first group dedicated to a solo performer. I feel I can do real justice to a few great performers easier than a lot of performers in the more general
groups I've set up before.

Harold Lloyd will always occupy a special place in my heart. It was the TV series Harold Lloyd's World of Comedy, along with the other silent clowns, Laurel and Hardy and the cliffhanger serials that really got me interested in classic movies. So I owe Harold a debt I can never repay and continue to enjoy his films to this day, he always cheers me up when I'm down.

Brief biography by Classic Movie Man

Harold Lloyd (1893-1971)



Sadly Harold Lloyd's films are nowhere near as well known as his rivals Chaplin and Keaton. Lloyd himself rarely reissued his work and since his death the films have been seen very rarely on TV and video compared with all the other film comedy greats.

Hopefully this state of affairs has been at least partially reversed since his films were issued on DVD late in 2005 and Lloyd will at last get some recognition for his genius as both a comedian and auteur. In the Twenties he was more consistently popular than Chaplin or Keaton and his films are funnier too. Although he never took the credit he could have claimed to be the director of all his silent features, this side to him, his domination of his work has become obscured by time, limited exposure and his own innate modesty.

Lloyd began his film career as a Chaplin imitator first as a character called Willie Work later as Lonesome Luke. He took a long time to find his feet as a film comedian, learning his craft the hard way. He probably made around 100 shorts before the results were any better than not bad but when he hit on the glasses character he struck a nerve with the audiences of the time.

Lloyd's first notable film is the two reeler Bumping Into Broadway (1919) and his rarely seen shorts include some gems like An Eastern Westerner (1920), I Do (1921), Never Weaken (1921) and Now or Never (1921). During the filming of Haunted Spooks (1920) he posed with a fake bomb for publicity photographs but the bomb went off causing him to lose the thumb and forefinger of his right hand, after that he wore a special glove to conceal his disability.

Lloyd is most famous today for his so-called thrill pictures in which he climbed buildings but he only made five of these out of an output of well over 100 films. The most well known image of Harold is of him hanging from the clock in Safety Last! (1923) one of his best films. A few of his early features like A Sailor Made Man (1921) and Doctor Jack (1922) are more flimsy in their premises than the three reel shorts though all his films had very funny moments. Lloyd was a master of sight gags and as a laugh provoker had no rivals. Grandma's Boy (1922) added an extra dimension to his comedy by incorporating character into the gag framework. The timid young man who becomes a hero was to be a common Lloyd theme that he was to return to in his best films like The Freshman (1925) and The Kid Brother (1927).


Some sequences in the Lloyd silents are among the most exciting and funniest in film history such as the final chases in Girl Shy (1924) and Speedy (1928) and the collapsing tuxedo in The Freshman (1925). Occasionally though Lloyd reverted to his earlier feature work in films which had incredibly funny sequences but lacked dramatic unity such as Hot Water (1924) and For Heaven's Sake (1926).

Unfortunately he never quite got a hang of the talkies despite some reasonable attempts Lloyd's go-getting character didn't really work in the world of sound and seemed indelibly linked to the roaring 20s. Sound appeared to emphasise the character's defects but also Lloyd increasingly abandoned the style of hilarious gag sequences for comedy founded on dialogue.

After his final disappointing attempt at a comeback under the direction of Preston Sturges (The Sin of Harold Dibblebock (1946)) he retired to his Green Acres mansion. Having kept control of almost all his films he was a very rich man.

Through neglect Lloyd's film-making genius has been forgotten certainly among general film critics and the general public but he remains one of the funniest men ever to walk in front of a camera.

Discussion Forum

Harold's Sound Films : what do you think of them and why weren't they more successful ?

Started by Classic Movie Man. Last reply by Robert S. Birchard Nov 3, 2010. 2 Replies

Harold Lloyd was basically a silent comedian, his forte was the visual gag often the surprise gag which topped another one. Probably nobody had as many visual jokes in their films. I think this is…Continue

JOBYNA RALSTON

Started by diane. Last reply by The Giant Nov 2, 2010. 4 Replies

I have only recently started viewing Harold Lloyd's films but the ones I have seenso far feature the beautiful Jobyna Ralston as "the girl". She complimented himso beautifully - she seemed just the…Continue

FAVOURITE HAROLD LLOYD FILM?

Started by diane May 22, 2010. 0 Replies

I just watched "The Kid Brother" and, even though I haven't seen that manyof his films, I didn't find it as "snappy" as the others I have seen. I knowit is supposed to be his best but I found it a…Continue

Grandma's Boy (1922)

Started by Classic Movie Man. Last reply by MothGirl Wings Mar 3, 2010. 1 Reply

Grandma's Boy (1922) was a milestone in Harold Lloyd's career. It was the first film he called a "character" comedy in which the development of character was more important than the comedy.  Possibly…Continue

Comment Wall

Comment

You need to be a member of Harold Lloyd's World of Comedy to add comments!

Comment by The Giant on November 18, 2012 at 4:35pm

Comment by The Giant on July 15, 2012 at 4:42pm

THE FRESHMAN Comic-Strip!

Comment by The Giant on July 15, 2012 at 4:42pm

http://api.ning.com/files/YOPmHzcpd2ihjcgdG9pskybWMR2WEwGOnQO1Uykb2VJHFjQVe-9gSOgp*bLYmo5Jcer5j1janPw*v6CUh8dkoQ__/FreshmanComicStrip1copy.jpg

Comment by Robin on July 7, 2012 at 8:52pm

I love the colourized photos, because we all know what Harold and co looked like in black and white, so to see them in colour adds a new dimension to it all.

Comment by The Giant on March 20, 2012 at 1:08am

Comment by The Giant on March 20, 2012 at 1:06am

Image

Comment by The Giant on January 20, 2012 at 6:57pm


Ed,

You will love this. Better listen now. Post might be removed tomorrow. This song written and published in 1923 about Bebe Daniels.

Comment by Edward Gielty on January 20, 2012 at 6:47pm

Hi Giant, I am sorry to hear about your bad experience with YouTube. It's a real own goal for them as I love to trawl through the silent content and see interviews or clips I haven't seen before and they are losing a valued contributor and real fan in yourself. I agree on some of the plain offensive postings - I don't know why this tripe is tolerated. At least the good people of this forum know a good thing when we see it Giant. I find the informed comment and upbeat community here refreshing and grat to connect with, to say the very least.   

Comment by The Giant on January 20, 2012 at 6:44pm

Thanks for the Kudos. Some people love my colorized photos, others hate them. But they misunderstand. Trade Ad's, Lobby-cards, posters, Magazine covers back in the day were all rarely in Black and White. Even the films were seldom in Monochrome, they were tinted. I am not a proponent of colorizing movies. But colored postcards go back to the very invention of photography.

Comment by The Giant on January 20, 2012 at 6:40pm

Ed,

It's a dark day. My second Youtube account was suspended today for no reason. Considering I have not uploaded anything in at least 5 or 6 months, I feel that I am being unfairly targeted. Why don't they suspend 75% of the people for being foul mouthed jerks? My previous account was disabled with zero reason given as well. I am very upset because all my contacts are broken.

 

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