charliechaplinfan wrote:I've never got Lloyd completely although I recognise many love him
charliechaplinfan wrote:after them there's Laurel & Hardy
intothenitrate wrote:From what little I've seen from that period, I was also surprised and impressed by the tendency towards surrealism that distinguishes the films from the work of the other comedians.
charliechaplinfan wrote:I do like some of his gags, my favorite film of his is Girl Shy, he's so sweet.
charliechaplinfan wrote:I think Chaplin and Lloyd have better opinions of women, I don't think Keaton holds them in esteem
charliechaplinfan wrote:I've read in many places that the only stunt that Keaton ever used a double for was the pole vaulting sequence in College, he tried but couldn't master it, the one and only time he'd been beaten.
Michigan J wrote:
My wife doesn't know it yet, but she kindly bought me The Laurel and Hardy Collection DVD set for Christmas ("Thanks, Hon!"), so I'll finally be able to see their silent shorts, of which I've only seen a few, but love.
charliechaplinfan wrote:I remember watching The Rough House and being astonished at the dance of the rolls because it is held up as a moment of perfection in Chaplin comedy, the dance of the rolls isn't a Chaplin momemt that marks him as a great comedian for me, I was shocked to see him being credit for something that was filmed for someone else first.
movieman1957 wrote: I have what reports to be a complete collection of his solo shorts but nothing with him and Arbuckle.
movieman1957 wrote:I love their silents too and wish they would be shown more often. When is the party?
movieman1957 wrote:If you don't have many of the sound films on January 11(late) TCM has 24 hours of Stan and Ollie. I'm there.
charliechaplinfan wrote:I liked some of Hot Water and like Safety Last, who couldn't appreciate Safety Last?
Lloyd had an understanding of gags, and the physical prowess to pull them off, but his character, despite his innocent look, was opportunistic and lacking the moral weight of Chaplin or Keaton.
In "Safety Last," Lloyd plays a young man who is leaving for the big city to make it big; his girlfriend, played by his wife Mildred Davis, has told him that she expects him to become successful. Upon arrival, he writes daily letters home telling her of his big business deals. In the meantime, he is ducking the landlady (the scene where he and his roommate hide from her was great) and slaving as a lowly department store clerk. The gags in the store, where he hides his late arrival from his boss and deals with a mob of ladies attempting to buy fabric, are actually the funniest part of the film.
Eventually his girlfriend shows up in town unannounced, and he is forced to play the part of the big shot while hiding his lowly position from her. In an attempt to get the money he needs to buy a house, he ends up climbing a 12 story building, dealing with pigeons, police and gunfire along the way.
There are some very funny moments in the film, but Lloyd's lack of a moral center keep it from achieving true greatness. In one scene, he slips a dollar into a trash can as a bribe to an office boy to play along with his big-shot deception; a second later, he steals it back. It's a funny gag, but compare it to Keaton's "Sherlock Jr.," where he not only returns a lost dollar but ends up giving away his own money to a second woman looking for a lost bill. Keaton manages to be funny and create sympathy for his character simultaneously.
This lack of sympathy works against Lloyd in the film's climax, when he makes his climb up the building. What should be breathtakingly suspenseful, with the gags serving as a tension-breaker, comes off as merely mechanical. Because there has been no connection with the audience, the possibility of him falling almost seems like a just reward for his lying and opportunism. When Keaton finds himself in danger, as in the spectacular waterfall scene in "Our Hospitality," his basic decency adds moral weight to the suspense that's totally lacking from Lloyd's work.
In all, while Lloyd manages to be funny and entertaining, it's impossible to love him. He has a real understanding of pulling off a gag, but almost none of making a movie work.
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