Milky Way, The (1936)

“I’m just as surprised as you are — I could swear I missed him!”

Milky Way Poster

Synopsis:
When a timid milkman (Harold Lloyd) accidentally knocks out a prize fighter (William Gargan), a corrupt manager (Adolph Menjou) hires him for a series of fixed fights, and he soon develops an enormous ego — much to the distress of his new girlfriend (Dorothy Wilson) and his sister (Helen Mack).

Genres:

Review:
Widely considered the best of Harold Lloyd’s talkies, this enjoyable adaptation of Lynn Root and Harry Clork’s Broadway play offers Lloyd a plum opportunity to further milk (sorry) his iconic comedic persona as a bespectacled, “resourceful, success-seeking go-getter”. The storyline is rather silly, but it does allow us to watch Lloyd engaging in plenty of delightful pseudo-boxing — including a classic scene in which he teaches said moves to an enthused society woman (Marjorie Gateson). Dorothy Wilson is appropriately sweet and unassuming as Lloyd’s new girlfriend, and Adolph Menjou is perfectly cast as Lloyd’s sleazy new manager. Somewhat notoriously, The Milky Way almost didn’t survive for modern audiences to enjoy: when producer Samuel Goldwyn decided to remake the film with Danny Kaye in 1946 (as The Kid From Brooklyn), he ordered all negatives of the original to be burned; fortunately, Lloyd had his own pristine copy squirreled away, and the rest is history.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Harold Lloyd as Burleigh Sullivan
    Milky Way Harold Lloyd
  • Burleigh teaching a society woman how to “dance” in the ring
    Milky Way Dancing

Must See?
No, but it’s certainly recommended, and a definite must for Lloyd fans.

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One Response to “Milky Way, The (1936)”

  1. Not a must.

    ~it’s actually forgettable as you’re watching it. Basically, comedy with a short shelf-life.

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