Wednesday, July 6, 2011
The One Handed Man (my review on the Harold lloyd boxset)
If you live in the UK and remember Harold Lloyd, it's probably through the old TV compilations that had the song 'Hooray for Harold Lloyd' and the excitable cheesy voice over saying thinks like 'Oh no, what will Harold do now!!!'
When I bought the boxiest, I thought I would be getting those old shows. I remembered watching them as a kid, and didn't know they were just compilations from his films.
To be honest, they were very good and I was almost disappointed I didn't get that…then you watch the films.
They are some of the most amazing slapstick comedy films I've ever seen. At times I had my hands in front of my face saying NO! as he climbs a skyscraper, in one film with his feet stuck on a painters tresslle.
There are Talkies too! I've never seen these before. they are a lot different to the silents, and I think I prefer the silents. There is so much more visual comedy, whereas the talkies seem to be story lead. Feet First is probably the most hybrid of these talkies.
But…despite all these incredible stunts, what makes it even more incredible is he did it with nearly only 1 hand!
I didn't know this until recently, and I heard an interview on the radio with his daughter, who told the story.
In those old silent comedies, where you would have a big fat baddy with a big black moustache tying some maiden to a rail track whilst holding a big bomb, that said BOMB on the side, those bombs were made of paper. The idea being that when they exploded the effect looked impressive on screen. Anyway, apparently one of these bomb's went off whilst Harold was holding it, taking with it a few of his fingers. They thought his career was over, but instead Lloyd had a false hand made, it's very difficult to see at times, but in some scenes of his movies, usually when he's just sitting down, you can see his right hand makes no movements and looks slightly odd. You'd never notice though unless you knew about it, and it was kept a big secret.
Now, rematch one of his films and realise that these breathtaking stunts are not only being done by a real person, but a real 1 handed person!
Amazing set. Buy it.