Monday, 14 February 2011

Girl Shy (1924) - Fred C. Newmeyer, Sam Taylor

This is one of those Harold Lloyd films that despite being a little run of the mill to start with, pays dividends if you stick with it to the end. Lloyd plays a chronically shy stuttering around the ladies, innocent virgin type of guy. Using his imagination he writes a book about how to score with women, which he hopes to get published. On the train journey to the big smoke to meet the publisher he meets a rich socialite and they fall for each other. Ah, how sweet. Which would be fine but she's about to married off to someone she doesn't love. Boo. What will happen? Will there be loads of stunts that look like health and safety hadn't yet been thought of in Hollywood? Will Harold get the girl and live happily ever after?

Well of course he will, but not after an epic chase scene which sees HL commandeer pretty much every mode of transport you can think of, from horse draw carriage to a tram. All just so that he can make it to the church on time and stop the wedding. It's by far and away the best moment of the whole picture, and the real reason for sitting through the rather clunky first half of the film. This end scene is precisely what one expects from a Harold Lloyd film, it's chock full of enough ideas and stunts to please even the most unimpressed member of the family. What more could one ask for?

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