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Safety Last

  • Directed by Fred Newmeyer and Sam Taylor
  • Starring Harold Lloyd, Mildred Davis and Bill Stroth

Harold Lloyd's search for a character that could capture the American public's imagination resulted in 'the Boy', a bespectacled, straw-hatted and aspiring young man typical of his generation.

Safety Last is the classic thrill picture, inspired by the 'human fly' phenomenon of the time when men climbed sky-scrapers unaided as publicity stunts.

Lloyd plays the Boy, who comes to the big city and wins his fortune and his girl by becoming a human fly.

The orchestration of Davis's score is based on the line-up of the Paul Whiteman Band, and is inspired by the popular music of the Twenties.  The two-reeler An Eastern Westerner has the same orchestration so that the two films can be run as a double bill.

Production Company: Hal Roach Studios USA, 1923

Duration: 74 minutes

Film Print: 35mm, DigiBeta, DVD, Blu-Ray (Criterion version) and DCP B&W print available from Harold Lloyd Entertainment Inc

(Film Speed: 20-22 frames per second)

Premiere with Davis's score: 1989, London

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Quotes

"It is a fast, brash and hilarious film and Davis, once again conducting his own music from podium, created a colourful score to accompany the hectic action."
The Scotsman, 1993
"More than just a fitting score, it was a musical tribute to Lloyd."
Santa Monica Evening Outlook, 1993

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Silent Movies