Harold Lloyd in “Movie Crazy”

Movie-Crazy-Poster

The Harold Lloyd talking feature Movie Crazy was released on April 201932.

I think this is a terrific movie, as good as Lloyd’s best silents. Movie Crazy casts Harold as a boy who spends all his time dreaming about being in the movies (much of it seems lifted from Mabel Normand’s The Extra Girl). Due to a mix-up, a major producer actually summons him to Hollywood for a screen test. After a disastrous first encounter a beautiful young starlet (Constance Cummings) falls for him; he’s the only man she’s ever met who’s too goofy to be on the make for her. The movie is chock full of great gag sequences, many of them reminiscent of the silent days. In one, hired as an extra, he spoils every single shot the director tries to take. In another he loses his shoe in a torrential downpour and follows it down the street, which has now become a river. (I would be very surprised to learn both of these scenes didn’t inspire similar ones in Blake Edwards’ The Party). Probably the most famous scene in the film is when Harold goes to a social function and causes all kinds of havoc when he accidentally puts on a magician’s coat, leaving eggs, a rabbit, doves, and white mice all over the place. This scene would be much imitated by the Columbia shorts department in years to come.

To learn more about comedy film history, including films of Harold Lloyd and classics like “Movie Crazy”  please check out my book: Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube

 

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