Ask Father (1919) - Rotten Tomatoes

Ask Father (1919)





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Movie Info

There are a huge number of great gags in this Harold Lloyd single-reeler. Lloyd was two-and-a-half years away from making features, but the infinite potential of his "glasses" character is already obvious here. He plays a boy who is in love with a bored, wealthy girl, showering her with dozens of bouquets and boxes of candy. But when he proposes, all she does is shrug, "Ask my father." This is easier said than done -- her father's schedule is so hectic that his office has bouncers. Lloyd nevertheless persists in his efforts to see him, no matter how many times he gets thrown out. Eventually a pretty, sympathetic secretary (Bebe Daniels) begins placing a pillow down on the spot where he's most likely to land. Lloyd tries everything to talk to the father, from donning costumes to prop guns to climbing a building (shades of Safety Last here). Then just as he gets his chance, the daughter runs off and marries someone else. But the secretary is still there, so he asks her, "Say -- how busy is YOUR father?" When she reveals that her father is dead, love blooms.


Critic Reviews for Ask Father

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Audience Reviews for Ask Father


The wooing, and the gags, are lightning quick in this lickety-split short. Lloyd looks damn spiffy in a suit of armor.

Martin Teller
Martin Teller

Seriously? I'm the only person to review this movie? Awesome. I didn't recommend that Flixster put it in. This is one of those titles that no one jumped aboard. I have another issue. This is one of those thirteen minute movies. Like the last Harold Lloyd movie I reviewed, this review is going to end up longer than the film itself. Consider this more of a commentary than a comedy. I actually really like this movie. Sure, it is short, similar to An Eastern Westerner, but it is signfiicantly more straightforward that Westerner. Westerner was really a shameless collection of jokes all strung together against a western backdrop. Really, Lloyd has one joke in mind and he just molds it into a perfect gag. In fact, what this is what SNL tries to do week in and week out. It's one idea, but unlike SNL's completely beating to death of a concept, this is more of a different look that gives the idea a sense of completeness. While SNL (and I'm sorry for bashing it so hard, but there are some serious issues with a lot of the comedy on the show), tries to milk the lifetime of an idea by repeating the same joke, this is a modeling that always throws a new curve at its audience while not being afraid to use callbacks to previous ideas. I do have to point out the fact that Harold Lloyd must really be an adept climber because he does a scene straight out of Safety Last by climbing the side of the building. I wouldn't even be surprised to hear if it was the same building, equipped with convienient ledges that double for handholds on the side of the building. I was amazed to see that the actor perhaps developed that concept years before during the shooting of this film to really bring about his opus. Storywise, there's not much to go on. This reminds me of the Pixar short before a Pixar movie. We have the general outline of a plot, which in this case, is very clear. The plot then abandons the movie, but still stays in the subconscious as you see the boy fight against what seems to be a brutal joining of science and nature take place. There's a certain amount of chivalry that happens this film. While in other films (and I'm not saying that this movie has that sense as well), you are more concerned with getting to the visual gags. This one's got a ton of visual gags, but you really want the Boy to succeed rather than simply get splattered by a rug treadmill. That takes something that can't normally be found in a lot of comedies. There's no reason you can't sit down and watch this movie. It isn't perfect, but it is thirteen minutes long and has the most heart that I've seen out of a Harold Lloyd movie so far.

Tim Hruszkewycz
Tim Hruszkewycz

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