Harold Lloyd - Rotten Tomatoes

Harold Lloyd

Highest Rated:   97% Safety Last! (1923)
Lowest Rated:   89% Sin of Harold Diddlebock (1947)
Birthday:  
Birthplace:   Burchard, Nebraska, USA
An all-American boy with an all-American childhood, comedian Harold Lloyd became entranced with amateur dramatic productions through odd jobs as a theatre usher, call boy, and stage hand. After working in a stock company where he specialized in intricate character make-up, Lloyd moved from Nebraska to California, where there was more theatrical work. While assisting at a San Diego dramatic school, Lloyd took extra work in several of the silent film companies operating up the coast in Los Angeles. One of his fellow extras was Hal Roach, who had plans to become a film producer. One small inheritance later, Roach set up his own movie company and hired Lloyd as his comedy star. Lloyd's first film character, Willie Work, didn't work, though it enabled him to teach himself the skills of film comedy from the ground up. Leaving Roach briefly for bit work at Mack Sennett's Keystone studios, Lloyd returned to Roach and developed a new characterization, Lonesome Luke -- which frankly wasn't new at all but a direct steal of Charlie Chaplin's "tramp." Be that as it may, Roach and Lloyd's "Lonesome Luke" two-reelers, which co-starred Bebe Daniels, were very popular, but Lloyd got sick of the imitation and set about creating a more original character. In later years, both Lloyd and Roach took separate credit for coming up with the "glasses" character -- a handsome, normal looking youth who wore horned-rimmed glasses. Whoever thought it up, it was manna from heaven for Lloyd, whose star ascended once he got away from heavy character make-up and silly costumes and concentrated on playing a comic variation on the "average guy". Determining to be funny at all times on screen, Lloyd surrounded himself with a crack team of gagmen, who came up with endless comic bits of business for his new character. With their two-reelers doing terrific business, Lloyd and Roach began working their way towards feature films, which would bring in even more revenue. Lloyd's first feature, Grandma's Boy (1922), set the tone for his subsequent films: he played a character who "grew" either in strength or integrity as the film progressed. The film itself had a strong plotline to support his character, and the gags flowed freely and naturally from the action, instead of being inserted for their own sake, as often happened in silent film comedy. Though Lloyd would vary his "glasses" character from film to film -- a spoiled rich lad in one picture, a humble clerk in the next -- he never strayed far from the likeable boy-next-door that he'd established in his short subjects. Lloyd left Hal Roach to form his own production company in 1924, and the annual feature releases which followed -- most especially The Freshman (1925) -- established Harold as the top moneymaking comedian in the movies. "As rich as Croesus," to quote film critic Andrew Sarris, Lloyd invested his savings in a huge Beverly Hills estate, Greenacres, where he would live the rest of his life with his wife (and former co-star) Mildred Davis and their children. Uniquely attuned to the optimistic 1920s, Harold's go-getting screen character had trouble surviving the Depression-era 1930s; though he made a successful transition to sound with 1929's Welcome Danger, each of Lloyd's subsequent talking features grossed less than the previous one at the box office. He took up to two years to produce a film, and was more careful than ever to maintain his high standards, but despite excellent films like Movie Crazy (1932) and The Milky Way (1936), Lloyd's jazz-age character seemed out of step and anachronistic in more desperate times. He left films as an actor in 1938, dabbling briefly as a producer for RKO in the early 1940s and working on occasion in radio. When time seemed ripe for a screen comeback in 1946, it was with The Sin of Harold Diddlebock, which might have been a better film had not Lloyd clashed so vehemently with his director, eccentric genius Preston Sturges. A still fabulously wealthy Beverly Hills

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
No Score Yet The Mack Sennett Collection: Volume One
  • Actor
2014
No Score Yet My Favorite Spy
  • Producer
2013
No Score Yet Funny Side Of Life
  • Actor
  • Producer
2012
No Score Yet The Forgotten Films of Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle
  • Actor
2005
No Score Yet Harold Lloyd: The Third Genius
  • Actor
1989
No Score Yet Harold Lloyd's World of Comedy
  • Producer
  • Director
  • Actor
1962
No Score Yet Mad Wednesday
  • Harold Diddlebock
1951
89% Sin of Harold Diddlebock
  • Harold Diddlebock
1947
No Score Yet A Girl, a Guy and a Gob
  • Producer
1941
No Score Yet Professor Beware
  • Producer
  • Professor Dean Lambert
1938
No Score Yet The Milky Way
  • Burleigh "Tiger" Sullivan
1936
No Score Yet The Cat's Paw
  • Ezekiel Cobb
  • Producer
1934
No Score Yet Movie Crazy
  • Producer
  • Harold Hall/Trouble
1932
No Score Yet Feet First
  • Producer
  • Harold Horne
1930
No Score Yet Welcome Danger
  • Producer
  • Harold Bledsoe
1929
No Score Yet Speedy
  • Harold "Speedy" Swift
  • Producer
1928
No Score Yet The Kid Brother
  • Harold Hickory
  • Producer
1927
No Score Yet For Heaven's Sake
  • The Uptown Boy
  • Producer
1926
93% The Freshman (College Days)
  • Producer
  • Harold Lamb
1925
No Score Yet Hot Water
  • Hubby
  • Producer
1924
No Score Yet Girl Shy
  • Harold Meadows the Poor Boy
  • Producer
1924
97% Safety Last!
  • The Boy
1923
No Score Yet Why Worry?
  • Harold Van Pelham
1923
No Score Yet Dr. Jack
  • Dr. Jackson
1922
No Score Yet Grandma's Boy
  • Grandma's Boy
  • Screenwriter
1922
No Score Yet Never Weaken
  • The Boy
1921
No Score Yet I Do
  • The Boy
1921
No Score Yet Among Those Present
  • O'Reilly
1921
No Score Yet A Sailor-Made Man
  • The Boy
1921
No Score Yet Now Or Never
  • Harold
1921
No Score Yet Number, Please?
  • The Boy
1920
No Score Yet High and Dizzy
  • The Boy
1920
No Score Yet Get Out and Get Under
  • The Boy
1920
No Score Yet An Eastern Westerner
  • Actor
1920
No Score Yet Haunted Spooks
  • The Boy
1920
No Score Yet His Royal Slyness
  • Director
  • The American Boy
1920
No Score Yet From Hand to Mouth
  • The Boy
1919
No Score Yet Bumping into Broadway
  • The Boy
1919
No Score Yet Just Neighbors
  • The Boy
  • Director
1919
No Score Yet Billy Blazes, Esq.
  • Actor
1919
No Score Yet Ask Father
  • Actor
1919
No Score Yet I'm on My Way
  • Actor
1919
No Score Yet Don't Shove
  • Actor
1919
No Score Yet All Aboard
  • The Boy
1917
No Score Yet American Slapstick
  • Actor
1915
No Score Yet Luke's Shattered Sleep
  • Actor
No Score Yet Luke's Movie Muddle
  • Actor
No Score Yet Mirthquake Part Two
  • Director
No Score Yet Mirthquake Part One
  • Director

Quotes from Harold Lloyd's Characters

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