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Monday 23 April 2007

A Sailor-Made Man (1921) Fred Newmeyer

Abington Arms is an ultra fashionable summer resort populated by the ultra rich. One such playboy without a care in the world is Harold Lloyd in a bit of a departure for him, heir to $20m and an attitude to match. He decides to marry Mildred Davis, which of course he would do in real life soon enough, but her father, a steel magnate, wants him to prove himself by getting a job. So he joins the navy, just like that. Six months later his boat is off Khairpura-Bhandanna and so is that of the girl, who's now sailing the world with her foks. Of course she gets kinapped by the Maharajah and carried off to his harem, so it's up to Harold and his new found tough guy sailor buddy to save her.

This was Harold Lloyd's first feature length movie, even though it's only a whisker over three quarters of an hour long. Apparently it started out as just another short like his previous films but the gags kept coming and coming and so the film got longer and longer. Certainly that fits what I saw here because there's no let up at all. It's consistently funny from start to finish yet doesn't even feel like 45 minutes. In fact everything is so natural that it doesn't even feel like Lloyd is trying, he's just naturally funny and that's what every comedian has been aiming at since comedy began. I got to the end of this one, laughing all the way, and wanted to start over from scratch and watch it again. No wonder it made half a million at the box office and turned Harold Lloyd into a feature star.

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