Safety Last! (1923) - Rotten Tomatoes

Safety Last! (1923)

Safety Last! (1923)

Safety Last!




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Safety Last! Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

After Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton, the silent film era's "third genius" was Harold Lloyd, who stars in this Horatio Alger-style story of an average country boy trying to make good in the big city. The Boy (Lloyd) leaves his sweetheart, The Girl (Mildred Davis, later the real-life Mrs. Lloyd) in Great Bend while he pursues his fortune in a teeming metropolis. The Boy lands a job as a clerk at a fabric counter of DeVore's, a huge department store, but he lies in his letters home to his beloved, pretending to be the store's manager and spending his earnings on lavish gifts. The Boy's roommate, The Pal (Bill Strother) makes money as a "human fly," performing attention-getting stunts. Promised $1,000 by DeVore's real manager if he can devise a publicity gimmick, The Boy convinces his friend to climb the 12-story establishment and split the winnings with him. On the day of the event, however, The Pal is busy dodging The Law (Noah Young), forcing The Boy to make the arduous climb solo. Dodging a variety of obstacles, The Boy climbs higher and higher, eventually dangling from the store's clock tower, in the film's most memorable image. ~ Karl Williams, Rovimore
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Action & Adventure, Classics, Comedy
Directed By: ,
Written By: Hal Roach
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jun 18, 2013
Criterion Collection


Harold Lloyd
as The Boy
Mildred Davis
as The Girl
W.B. Clarke
as The Floorwalker
Mrs. Anna Townsend
as The Grandma
Gus Leonard
as Office worker
Charles Stevenson
as Ambulance attendant
Helen Gilmore
as Customer
Charles E. Stevenson
as Ambulance attendant
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Safety Last!

Critic Reviews for Safety Last!

All Critics (29) | Top Critics (5)

This Harold Lloyd high-class low comedy has thrills as well as guffaws.

Full Review… | March 11, 2009
Top Critic

The clock-hanging climax that caps this generally charming tale of a country boy out to make his fortune in the big city is a superb example of his ability to mix suspense and slapstick.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

The Glasses character in Safety Last would have blended with the background of the department store where he worked if it had not been for action imposed upon him. But what action!

Full Review… | January 20, 2006
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

The other great silent comics defined their own worlds; Lloyd lives dangerously in ours.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

... the most famous of Harold Lloyd's silent comedies and first of his "thrill pictures," films that he built around slapstick ingenuity in the midst of daredevil stunts. This one has a doozy...

Full Review… | April 22, 2016 of Lloyd's best films, combining a touching romantic plot with some amazing stunt work.

Full Review… | December 27, 2015

Audience Reviews for Safety Last!


harold lloyd is so cute :)

Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer


Enjoyable slapstick comedy with a lot of inventiveness that still impresses. Simple shots such as the hiding on the coat hanger scene are still great to watch and it is the idea that amazes more than the stunt itself. The first shot was genuinely laugh out loud funny, and many moments after continued to bring a grin. If you are in the mood for a live action Looney Tune then this could be it. Suffers from a climax that is overlong and it is disappointing to see such a strong film lose the comedy towards the end.

Luke Baldock

Super Reviewer

Brilliant, perhaps the finest and most famous of the silent-era comedies. Technically amazing, and hilarious to boot.

Daniel Hetteix

Super Reviewer

Safety Last! Quotes

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