Harold Lloyd in “Look Out Below”

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Today marks the anniversary of the release date of Look Out Below (1919), the first of Harold Lloyd’s many so-called “thrill comedies”, co-starring Snub Pollard and Bebe Daniels.

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While Lloyd is the comedian most identified with this peculiar comedy sub-genre in which the hero is trapped at the top of a skyscraper — on the outside — he did not invent it. Larry Semon had made several comedies in this vein as early as 1917. But Semon went off in other directions (I associate him primarily with massive TNT explosions). Lloyd periodically revisited the heights, in High and Dizzy (1920), Never Weaken (1921), Safety Last (1923), Feet First (1930) and The Sin of Harold Diddlebock (1947).

For more on comedy film history see my new book Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, just released by Bear Manor Media, also available from amazon.com etc etc etc. For more on show biz historyconsult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.

 

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