Harold Lloyd

(Copyright © 1999-2024 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )

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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 dinamismo.

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).

(Copyright © 2003 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
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