Hal Roach lanciò Harold Lloyd nel ruolo di Lonesome Luke ("solitario
fortunato"), un tipo che, contraddicendo il proprio soprannome, era perseguitato dalla sfortuna.
Lentamente il personaggio venne arricchito dal punto di vista psicologico e, spinto da Hal Roach (che
voleva adeguarsi ai film d'avventura di Douglas Fairbanks e che doveva controbattere le torte in faccia di
Sennett con qualcosa di ancor più catastrofico), Lloyd si venne caratterizzando per uno spericolato
Lo yankee con gli occhiali, cravatta e paglietta, bravo, incosciente ed ottimista,
non era una caricatura del borghese qualunque, benché molto somigliante: era la versione terra
terra del romantico Fairbanks, trasportato in America fra commessi e studenti tormentati dai guai invece
che fra corsari e giustizieri votati a imprese eroiche. Per scatenare la risata sovente faceva ricorso ad
acrobazie ed equilibrismi da trattenere il fiato. In
Safety Last (1923) pende da un grattacielo a cavalcioni
di un'asta; in Why Worry (1923)
capita in mezzo alla rivoluzione messicana;
Harold is a young millionaire and an imaginary sick man. He decides to take
off for the remote island of Paradiso, where he hopes to rest. He boards the
ship with his nurse, who is in love with him, and his valet. Unbeknownst to
him, a USA crook, Jim, is planning to overthrow the government of Paradiso.
Mistaken for the agent sent to restore order, Harold is escorted by Jim's
soldiers to the "hotel", which is actually the government's jail. Thinking
that he is signing in at the hotel, he signs
the register of the people sentenced to death. He is then thrown in the same
jail with a dangerous criminal who suffers from a terrible toothache.
They easily escape and Harold gains the bandit's gratitude by removing his
aching tooth. Then he uses the bandit to restore order in town. And, forgetting
that he is supposed to be a sick man, he personally fights Jim and then an
entire platoon of soldiers. When the cavalry arrives, Jim and the nurse
outsmart them and send them packing. Back to civilization,
Jim, cured of his imaginary diseases,
marries the nurse, while the bandit becomes a traffic guard.
in "The Freshman" (1925)
è uno studente suo malgrado giocatore di football americano.
Nel 1922 superò Chaplin nei favori del pubblico e contribuì a
fare degli studios di Roach l'epicentro delle comiche di Hollywood.
Bumping Into Broadway (1919) a young playwright spends his last cent to pay the rent of a struggling actress.
Haunted Spooks (1920) a woman must marry and live in a seemingly haunted house to collect her inheritance.
Number Please? (1920) A young man chases his girlfriend's dog around a seaside resort.
An Eastern Westerner (1920) a pampered East Coat lad is sent west to be toughened up.
Now or Never (1921) a young man deals with escorting a child on a train trip.
A Sailor-Made Man (1921) a feckless young man joins the Navy to prove himself worthy of the girl he loves.
Among Those Present (1921) an ambitious young man poses as an English lord.
Grandma's Boy (1922) a young coward thinks a magical charm can make him a hero.
Hot Water (1924)
is a satire of married life.
Harold is best man to a groom who is running to the wrong church and on his way
is struck by the eyes of a girl whom he decides to marry.
Married life is not heaven. He comes home full of goods that his wife wanted
to find his petulant mother-in-law, his annoying
big brother-in-law Charley and his terrible
little brother-in-law Bobby.
He has a surprise for his wife: he bought their first car. They all get on
the car but Harold obviously doesn't know how to drive. He causes traffic
jams, an accident, is chased by a speed cop (who ends up in a river because
Harold doesn't stop) and hits a traffic guard. Finally Harold's car is run
over by a tram and the family has to be towed back home. A neighbor advises
Harold to take a stand against the mother-in-law and offers his a strong drink.
It turns out that his mother-in-law is the president of an anti-alcoholic
league. She did not appreciate his behavior at dinner. He accidentally gives
her chloroformium and, when she falls asleep, he think she has died of it.
Feeling that he is a murderer, he is terrified when a police officer knocks
at the door (the cop just wants him to park the car properly) and starts
running away, eventually hiding in his mother-in-law's room.
She happens to be a sleepwalkier and he thinks she's a ghost. She chases
him around the house until she falls and wakes up. But then he is wrapped
in a white sheet and she now thinks that he is a ghost. Having realized that
she is not dead after all, Harold takes advantage of the situation and scares
the family away. His wife though figures out the trick and hits him on the head.
Harold finally regains control of the wheel, and stops the tram. A police officer on a motorcycle gives him a fine for all the traffic violations,
but Harold manages to elope on a horse carriage and reach the church in time
for the wedding ceremony.
For Heaven's Sake (1926)
Later films include:
Feet First (1930),
Movie Crazy (1932),
The Cat's Paw (1934),
The Milky Way (1936),
The Sin Of Harold Diddlebock (1947).
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