Cover image for Harold Lloyd : master comedian
Harold Lloyd : master comedian
Vance, Jeffrey, 1970-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Harry N. Abrams, 2002.
Physical Description:
239 pages : illustrations ; 31 cm
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PN2287.L5 V36 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize

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Harold Lloyd (1893-1971), the famous Man Hanging from the Clockface, is, with Keaton and Chaplin, one of three geniuses of silent film comedy. With his trademark glasses, toothy grin, and character that vividly reflected the era of the 20s, Lloyd became the most popular comedian on the screen, producing more movies than Keaton and Chaplin combined. He created the language of thrill comedy, influencing not only his contemporaries, but also modern directors and writers as well - his race-to-the-rescue scene in Girl Shy was the model for the final sequence of The Graduate. This book is a vivid, behind-the-scenes account of Lloyd's movie making - the innovative techniques, the development of the elaborate and thrilling comic sequences, and the idea process - from his early days in silent film through his work in talking pictures. With glorious, never-before-published photographs, film stills from the archives of the Harold Lloyd Estate and Film Trust, and a text by film historian Jeffrey Vance and Lloyd's granddaughter Suzanne, the book paints a portrait of a master filmmaker and comedian.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Vance follows his posthumous collaboration with Buster Keaton's widow, Buster Keaton Remembered (2001), with a partnership with the granddaughter of Keaton's great contemporary film comedian, Harold Lloyd (1893^-1971). The results are less lively, though Suzanne Lloyd is very much alive. Whereas Vance completed a text Eleanor Keaton had prepared, here he is the principal writer. Suzanne's worthiest contribution is a memoir of growing up in her grandparents' palatial home, Greenacres. The text about Lloyd's life and films leaves minor questions unanswered and smothers Lloyd's genius in bland froth. On the other hand, the master speaks powerfully for himself in a hefty excerpt from an American Film Institute Master Seminar and overwhelmingly in the 225 photographs of his life and work that make this one of the best-looking film books ever. An enthusiastic photographer, Lloyd amassed an enormous collection of his films and the still photographs made during their production. Every page attests that these pictures were brilliantly fashioned to begin with and then kept in pristine condition. --Ray Olson

Library Journal Review

One of the most famous images of silent film is a man in a straw hat with glasses hanging on the hands of a giant clock high above city streets. The actor was Harold Lloyd, and the movie was Safety Last. While Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton are the more recognizable names of the silent era, Lloyd, sometimes known as "the third genius," also had quite a career. Vance (Buster Keaton Remembered) and Lloyd (the actor's granddaughter) present an exquisite tribute to a neglected artist. Individual profiles of his feature films containing background information and a short biographical section, a remembrance by his granddaughter, and 225 beautiful duotone photographs grace these pages. There is also an excerpt from an American Film Institute seminar with Harold Lloyd. This book coincides with the release of videos and DVDs of Lloyd's major works and a film retrospective at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in July. A really gorgeous book and fitting tribute, this is essential for silent cinema fans. Recommended for larger public libraries and academic libraries with film collections. Barbara Kundanis, Batavia P.L., IL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

In the tradition of his earlier collaborative Buster Keaton Remembered, written in conjunction with Eleanor Keaton (CH, Nov'01), Vance's co-presentation with Harold Lloyd's granddaughter is another work of exquisite and overwhelming beauty, memory, and insight. Though the book covers all Lloyd's films, from the one-reel Lonesome Luke imitations of Chaplin to his sound features, it rightly showcases the silent film classics of the 1920s such as Safety Last and The Freshman. The book's purpose is to celebrate and highlight the vibrant but neglected artistry of one of the funniest comic geniuses in film history. Including tributes from historian Kevin Brownlow and actor Jack Lemmon, an in-depth interview with the American Film Institute, and miscellaneous other resources, Vance and Lloyd provide a stunning biographical presentation of the wonderful horn-rimmed-glassed character who charmed and thrilled American moviegoers in the silent film era. Like other lavishly illustrated tomes from Abrams, this magnificent volume lays out an eye-stopping gallery; here one finds vintage prints and archival images of Lloyd, his family, his Greenacres home, and his delightful movies. And his granddaughter's remembrances cap off one of the most precious and desirable books of the season. Enthusiastically recommended for all readers. T. Lindvall Regent University