Harold Lloyd in “The Milky Way”

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Harold Lloyd’s The Milky Way was released on February 7, 1936.

The Milky Way was Lloyd’s last independent feature, and a very respectable one (i.e., funny!) at that. He plays a bungling milk man who is misunderstood by the press to have KO’d the world champion middleweight. What he is good at, however, is ducking, and that’s enough to secure him victories, and get the girl. Interestingly, this comedy finally allows Lloyd his take on that old slapstick staple, the comedy boxing match, which had already been nailed by Arbuckle (The Knockout, 1914), Chaplin (The Champion1915, and City Lights 1931), and Keaton (Battling Butler1926). Directed by the great Leo McCarey, this underrated classic features Adolph Menjou, Lionel Stander, Charles Lane et al, and featuring the first onscreen appearance of Anthony Quinn. It was later remade starring Danny Kaye as The Kid from Brooklyn (1946).

For more on silent and slapstick comedy film history, including great Harold Lloyd comedies like Harold Lloyd’s “The Milky Way” see my new book Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube

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