Thursday, December 22, 2011

Safety Last!

A country boy leaves for the big city, leaving his sweetheart behind and promising to send for her as soon as he makes it big. While finding a job as a clerk in a department store, he begins to lavish her with extravagant gifts among claims that he is now the department manager. While going hungry and working himself to the bone to keep up his ruse, things get even more complicated when his love decides to come out herself and shows up at the office to greet him! "Safety Last!" is the essential film from Harold Lloyd, the top silent era screen star following Chaplin and Keaton. Legendary producer Hal Roach's film is quite brilliant in the way in plays out, and in the number of sticky scenarios in which it places its bespectacled star from which he must extricate himself from. All roads in the film lead up to, again quite ingeniously, to Lloyd's famed scaling of the department store building with his acrobatic act as he dangles from the clock that rests atop it. It is a monumental scene in a congenial, funny, and well-realized film.