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"The other great silent comics defined their own worlds;
Lloyd lives dangerously in ours."
- Dave Kehr
"THIRD GENIUS" OF SILENT COMEDY
Mondays (and selected Sundays) at Film Forum
August 27 – November 5
All 35mm Prints!
Featuring Live Piano Accompaniment By Steve Sterner
A weekly festival of the films of HAROLD LLOYD, "one of the three supreme masters of the comedy film" (Kevin Brownlow), will run consecutive Mondays (and selected Sundays) at Film Forum from August 27 through November 5. The series features live piano accompaniment by Steve Sterner with all silent features.
Remembered as The Man On The Clock – who performed his stunts minus his right thumb and forefinger (lost in a freak accident) – Harold Lloyd's (1893-1971) legendary "thrill pictures" were but a small part of his extraordinary work. From a Tom Sawyeresque childhood, Lloyd rose to become a true icon of the 20s, in his time making more films than Chaplin and Keaton combined, and outpacing both at the box office. And as for gags and laughs, James Agee once noted, "If plain laughter is any criterion, few people have equaled him, and nobody has ever beaten him."
The festival opens Monday, August 27 with Hot Water: Morning, afternoon and evening of "one of those days" – Harold, with an armful of packages and a live turkey in a jam-packed streetcar; first spin in the new Butterfly 6, with back-seat-driving from the front seat by Mother-in-Law-from-Hell; and the dinnertime chloroform mickey that goes awry. Suzanne Lloyd, the comedian's granddaughter, who was raised by him and his wife Mildred on their famous Greenacres estate in Beverly Hills, will introduce the 7:00 show of Hot Water.
Hot Water will be shown with Movie Crazy, described by The Los Angeles Times as "Lloyd's top talkie... a film with impeccable timing, incredibly mobile camera work and highly distinctive and intricately choreographed long takes," starring Lloyd as a small town boy who tries to break into the movies.
Screening Labor Day weekend (Sunday/Monday, September 2/3 and Monday October 1) is probably Lloyd's most famous film (it was both excerpted and homaged in Scorsese's Hugo): Safety Last. Salesclerk Harold's "human fly" publicity stunt goes sour when, with the real climber on the lam from a cop, he gets stuck climbing the building himself. Shot without trick photography on rooftop sets, the oft-excerpted skyscraper climb/clock-hanging sequence is a deserved legend – one of the most indelible images in film history – but only the topper to a relentless succession of priceless laughs. Historian David Shipman wrote of Safety Last: "To see it today with an audience alternately roaring with laughter and gasping is one of the greatest experiences of cinema."
Also showing in the festival is Grandma's Boy, Lloyd's personal favorite, with the comedian as a coward inspired by his grandmother's magic talisman and "hero" Civil War granddad (September 10); Why Worry?, with hypochondriac Lloyd on a health cruise that includes a saunter into a Latin American revolution (September 17); For Heaven's Sake, with Lloyd as a zillionaire playboy who, for love, proves an effective recruiter for a slum mission (September 24); The Freshman, Lloyd's blockbuster hit satire of 20s college and football mania, with eager-to-please frosh Harold finally getting his chance at popularity at the Big Game (Sunday/Monday, October 7/8); Dr. Jack, starring Lloyd as a country doctor who releases "Sick-Little-Well-Girl" Mildred Davis from the clutches of a quack (October 15); The Kid Brother, an unsung masterpiece, with mild-mannered Harold at last winning his sheriff father's respect, after a hair-raising battle aboard a derelict ship (Sunday/Monday, October 28/29); and yet another masterpiece, Girl Shy, with Harold, author of the how-to lovemaking guide The Boob's Diary, desperately trying to reach his girl's marriage to a bigamist via car, truck, police car, fire truck, trolley, motorcycle, horsewagon, etc. (Richard Schickel called this "the greatest chase in film history" – it was pretty much lifted for the ending of The Graduate). All features will be shown in 35mm. Lloyd shorts will be screened with selected films. See below for complete schedule & showtimes.
HAROLD LLOYD Special Events
AUGUST 27 at 7:00
Suzanne Lloyd, Lloyd's granddaughter, will introduce the opening night show of Hot Water.
OCTOBER 21 at 3:10 & OCTOBER 22 at 7:30
HAROLD LLOYD ON LOCATION IN NEW YORK WITH "SPEEDY"
John Bengston, author of Silent Visions, will introduce the screenings of Speedy, the 1928 Lloyd feature shot on location in New York City. Highlighting visions of a bygone age preserved in the background of Harold Lloyd's films, Silent Visions explores the urban landscapes of Hollywood, Los Angeles, and New York – popular settings for his films – through archival photographs, vintage maps, and scores of then-and-now photographs. Speedy features extensive New York locations (including a chase through Washington Square Arch) and a guest appearance by Babe Ruth – the 1920s version of the Beatles meeting Muhammed Ali.
Public Screening Schedule
August 27 (2 Films for 1 Admission)
HOT WATER (1924)
MOVIE CRAZY (1932)
September 2/3 SUN/MON
SAFETY LAST (1923)
SUN: 3:00 MON: 7:00
GRANDMA'S BOY (1922)
WHY WORRY? (1923)
FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE (1926)
SAFETY LAST (1923)
October 7/8 SUN/MON
THE FRESHMAN (1925)
SUN: 3:10 MON: 7:30
DR. JACK (1922)
October 21/22 SUN/MON
SUN: 3:10 MON: 7:30
October 28/29 SUN/MON
THE KID BROTHER (1927)
SUN: 2:40 MON: 7:10
November 4/5 SUN/MON
GIRL SHY (1924)
SUN: 3:25 MON: 7:35
HAROLD LLOYD has been programmed by Bruce Goldstein,
Film Forum's Director of Repertory Programming.
For more information, links and showtimes, visit www.filmforum.org.
If this page does not display correctly, it is available online at http://newsletter.filmforum.org/haroldlloydpr.html