Monday, July 31, 2017

Harold Lloyd: the lost tapes

I swear, I never thought I would get to see three seconds of the lost Harold Lloyd film, Professor Beware (1938). It was a movie that was shown maybe once on American TV, and then, for reasons unknown, buried.

Harold plays an Egyptologist who gets into all sorts of wacky situations, and the word is that he didn't like the movie very much and felt the gags were overly silly. Harold had a lot of pull with Howard Hughes in those days, not to mention William Randolph Hearst, the man who buried Citizen Kane, so if he wanted the movie pulled, it would be pulled.

That means that, in spite of a lot of promotional hoop-la, it was probably barely seen.

I have no idea where this snippet of video came from, and it seems to be part of a tribute to Sterling Holloway rather than Harold. It's a minute long, and doesn't tell me very much.

I've heard through the Rich Correll grapevine that Paramount owns Professor Beware now, but keeps it in a vault. Or maybe they destroyed it. I doubt I will ever get to see it, but then, a couple of years ago I came up completely dry, and now I have one minute of it!

The stills are magnificent, however. They are all I have.

(Nobody does dismay better than Harold Lloyd, and I notice in the stills that he's often slapping himself on the forehead, gasping and ducking his head. God, how I'd love to see this!)

Silver swan: a dream of Anna Pavlova

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Pop-outs and cut-ups

It takes a train to cry

Inexplicably, after nearly giving up my Harold Lloyd Facebook page (in fact, after nearly giving up, period: ever feel kinda suicidal?), I find myself back in a Harold phase. This IS a blog about Harold Lloyd, after all. Which is why it is called The Glass Character: Harold's eccentric name for his bespectacled alter ego. If it branches in a few other directions (old ads, old cars, weird videos, masses of gifs, and MANY handmade animations), it always homes back in on him eventually.

Harold's specialty was panic. Barely-controlled panic, or not controlled at all. Here he panics with a train. The movie is called Now or Never, and I haven't seen it in a while, but it's funny. I had only three frames to work with here, so the action isn't too smooth. I seldom have more than two photos with the same background. He runs away from trains, he runs on top of trains, he hangs on to the sides of trains. All very good stuff.

I find this insanely beautiful!

We are saved only by love: meditation in eight parts