Classic Movie Legend Tribute: Harold Lloyd

Happy Birthday to Classic Movie Legend Harold Lloyd, born April 20th, 1893!

Harold Lloyd in Safety Last (1923, Fred C. NewMeyer director)

You see that still frame above you? The only one that’s there? With Harold Lloyd? Well,  in my opinion, that still frame is the embodiment of the silent era comedy. Everything from the form to the aesthetics, from the content to the performer all capture the best of what our silent stars had to offer. It acts as both a testament to the simplistic genius of the times as well as a time capsule for a bygone era. For me, that is the power and importance of the one simple frame.

When we look at this picture, what do we see? A street, a clock, and a dangling comedian. Now look closer. We see a writer, a stunt man, no nets, so safety. We see the dare devil comedy that could only exist in an age where the phrase “we’ll fix it post” wasn’t invented and computers were still referred to as the abacus. It was simpler, in that what we watched was pure performance, but also becomes that much more visceral when you realize this performer literally risked life and limb for the sake of your laughter. Although Harold Lloyd’s persona lacks the modern following his peers Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton may enjoy, no one else captured the zeitgeist of silent comedy in one simple frame as much as he did.

Harold Lloyd. The Man. The Legend.


Minoo Allen for Classic Movie Hub

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