Harold Clayton Lloyd was born in Nebraska in 1893 and at the age of 12 he began to engage in school theatrical performances. Harold Lloyd, a comedian who has never acquired the reputation and prestige of Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin, but which has received similar (but delayed) recognition over the years. Lloyd originally portrayed a completely different hero, the man with the glasses in over 70 short films. Later he saw a film where the hero wears his glasses after a scene of action. That’s how he adopted the glasses, an accessory that “makes the person separate, but not noticeable in the way that makes him the dreamlike look of Keaton and the mustache of Chaplin,” as noted by film critic Roger Imbert. Lloyd, became very popular in the 1920s “Girl Shy”, 1924, “The Freshman”, 1925, etc.).
At the age of 12 he began to work with the theater, taking part in performances of the school.
A few years later actor John Lennon Connor asked Lloyd to accompany him to San Diego.
There, Edison asked Connors comrades, which led to Lloyd’s first appearance on the big screen in The Old Monk’s Tale (1913).
That same year, Lloyd participated as an assistant actor in a movie called Rory’o The Bogs, where he met another stunt man, Hal Roach.
In 1915 Roach founded a new cinema company and invited Lloyd to make his own comic series.
Lloyd’s first character was called Willie Warwick (later changed to Lonsome Luck), which was a copy of the character of the little tramp invented by Chaplin.
Eventually, in 1917, Lloyd formed a new Persona, simply called “Glasses”. Lloyd directed the first of the films, but later realized that it was difficult to play his role and direct at the same time. In 1921, Lloyd starred in his first feature-length A Sailor-Made Man, which was a great success. It was followed by Grandma’s Boy (1922), Doctor Jack (1922) and the most spectacular of his films, Safety Last (1923).
At the end of 1923, Lloyd founded his own cinematographic company and for the first two years he distributed his films through Pathe and later Paramount. In 1928, Lloyd had already written his autobiography titled
“An American Comedy,” while in the same year he starred in his latest obsession with Speedy.
The most interesting element of “Safety last” is the huge clock at the top of a skyscraper. Is Harold Lloyd the one we see hanging from the index? We are talking about 1923 when the special effects were not exactly the trumpet of the cinema.
The choice of dramatic angles makes the height seem excessive and Lloyd himself said there was a platform of two or three floors below him. The fact remains, however, that many of the shots were true. After his death in 1971, according to critic Dennis Schwarz, “it was finally revealed that climbing in the twelve-story building was carried out with the help of a stuntman.” The clock number was inspired by a show of the stuntman Bill Stromter, which Lloyd saw randomly on the street.
After the sweeping turn of the talk, Harold Lloyd was forgotten. In 1947 Preston Stertzas wanted to make a tribute to Lloyd’s career and the film “The Sin of Harold Diddlebock” that failed. Three years later, producer Howard Hughes re-published her under the title “Mad Wednesday”. Again a failure, with only profit, Lloyd’s nomination for the Golden Globe Best Actress. In 1953 he received an Academy Award and in 1971 he died at the age of 78.