ALIFFF 2018

Monday, 29 January 2007

Never Weaken (1921) Fred Newmeyer

Harold Lloyd and Mildred Davis are in love, as they so often were in the silent shorts. Unfortunately The Girl, as nobody had names in films this far back, is about to lose her job at a chiropractor's office because there aren't any patients. The Boy, ever resourceful, helps out by concocting all sorts of scams to drum up patients: initially by the use of an acrobat to fake accidents and then by causing real ones.

He then comes to the erroneous belief that The Girl is going to marry someone else and so attempts various forms of suicide, not being able to live without her. Luckily for us, he's as unsuccessful at this as he is successful gaining chiropractic patients. Both halves of the film are packed full of gags, sometimes highly dangerous ones or at least what seem to be highly dangerous ones and with Harold Lloyd you never know. Just like Safety Last, the most dangerous ones are the most funny, because we gasp with shock at the danger of it just as we laugh at the humour in it.

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