Thursday, February 6, 2014

The unknown Harold Lloyd: Court House Crooks, 1915

I'd heard rumors, but I had never actually seen Harold Lloyd in a Mack Sennett comedy. He spent a year in the studio back in 1915, long before his heyday, taking minor roles while on strike from the Hal Roach studio, which refused to pay him $10 a week because they didn't feel his efforts were worth it. Seemed too good to be true at first, but the more you look at his character, the more you realize it couldn't be anyone else. It's a bit startling to see him without the glasses - he had wonderful eyes that were usually obscured, sexy eyes I always thought, a bit seductive - and to see him just so young, maybe 21 or 22. A boy. The extremely heavy white makeup is typical of the era when people's faces tended to disappear on film.

This wasn't all that easy to gif, and at first it wouldn't at all. He does appear in this picture a lot, but in snippets and little bursts of chase-scenes that last a couple of seconds. I'm having trouble setting up the Gifsforum with the bar, and you can't set exact coordinates or it doesn't work. My beloved old Y2GIF, the one I started on, doesn't work for me at all now.

So for now, this is the best I can do. Say good night, Harold.

Post-blog Notes. Yes, this is definitely Harold, though his face looks strange with no glasses and an inch of white makeup. The way he runs away is Harold-esque, the way he pulls the guy's hat down. . . His body language has that mercurial quality. Funny that he's buried in this, as he was in most of the Sennett comedies he made before ascending to greatness.

Got to start somewhere.


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