“I’d give a thousand dollars — to anyone — for a new idea — one that would attract an enormous crowd to our store.”
A poor country boy (Harold Lloyd) moves to the city and becomes a lowly clerk at a department store, but tells his girlfriend back home (Mildred Davis) that he’s much more successful. When she pays him a surprise visit, he must scramble to save face.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Harold Lloyd Films
- Mistaken or Hidden Identities
- Silent Films
Response to Peary’s Review:
Peary accurately notes that this “Harold Lloyd silent classic” possesses a “splendid mix of genteel character comedy, sight gags, slapstick comic routines, and what [Lloyd] called ‘thrill’ comedy”. Peary points out that while this film is “most remembered for [the] thrilling moment [when] Lloyd hangs from the arms of a large clock” — indeed, this is often cited as the single most famous shot in all of silent cinema — the entire “elaborate”, “cleverly… filmed” final sequence is “impressive”, given that “there is a new adventure on every floor”. Meanwhile, as Peary notes, this breathtaking sequence “shouldn’t make us overlook [the] simpler comedy that takes place earlier”; he enjoins viewers to “watch how [Lloyd] hides from his rent-seeking landlady by hanging with his coat on a hook” (a truly hilarious scene), or “grapples with rampaging women who see there’s a sale at his counter” (note the creative way in which he’s able to temporarily clear his view in the room). Peary is right to call this an “excellent introduction to Lloyd”; it’s a consistently clever delight.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Numerous hilarious sight gags
- The justifiably renowned final building-climbing sequence
Yes, as a genuine comedic classic.