Title: ‘Safety Last!’
Director: Fred C. Newmeyer & Sam Taylor
Cast: Harold Lloyd, Mildred Davis
A poor store clerk organizes a publicity stunt that should earn him the money to finally marry the girl of his dreams. But when the day comes for his friend Bill to climb a 12-stories building in front of a huge crowd, things don’t go as planned, and the man is forced to carry out the stunt himself.
This is the second silent movie I have ever watched. And I really enjoyed it. ‘Safety Last!’ is a delightful and entertaining comedy relying entirely on the fantastic comedic talents of its protagonist, Harold Lloyd. It’s astonishing how a film produced in 1923 can still be so fresh and basically unaffected in its creativity by the passing of time. The different set of acting skills that were required to convey emotions with absolutely no words whatsoever makes for a fascinating spectacle (in case anyone had doubts that “acting is doing”).
Another element that caught me completely by surprise were the climbing stunts performed by Mr. Lloyd. Once again, we are talking about a 1923’s movie, but the climb looks as scarily realistic as it gets!
If I were to point out a flaw, it’d be the occasional racism in the portrayal of minorities like black people and Jews. But I guess that – unfortunately – it must have been an integral part of the societal culture of those times.
I had a good time with ‘Safety Last!’, and I’ll definitely be checking out more films like it!