Harold Lloyd's ultimate romantic comedy, including one of the most famous images of the silent era.
Harold leaves his hometown to move to the big city and find a job there as a clerk in a department store, hoping to get a promotion soon, which never happens. For weeks he hid his small fortune from his girlfriend by sending her expensive gifts that he could barely afford, so she thinks he has managed to get promoted at the company. The mess begins when his girlfriend and mother show up unannounced at the department store where Harold works…
Lloyd hanging from a giant clock on the corner of a building became an iconic image for him, but it was achieved with a certain amount of film trickery. Lloyd performed most of his own stuntwork, but a circus performer and another professional stunt double were used in long shots. Many different buildings from 1st Street to 9th Street in downtown Los Angeles, all of different heights, were used, with sets built on their roofs to match the main building's facade.
The film was an absolute success. On a budget of $121,000, it managed to gross $1.5 million. The Library of Congress added Safety Last! to its National Film Registry in 1994. The American Film Institute nominated the film for both their 1998 and 2007 lists of “AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies”. It was also nominated for “AFI's 100 Years...100 Laughs”. It placed #97 on “AFI's 100 Years...100 Thrills.”
Lloyd performed most of his own stuntwork, but a circus performer and another professional stunt double were used in long shots.
Safety Last! was one of the first Caspervek soundtracks not initially written for the original band members. It was premiered at the RIR Comedy Film Festival in Allariz for a saxophone, violin, percussion, and piano line-up. Like other slapstick comedies scored by Caspervek, the music features elements of classical jazz and swing.
Fred C. Newmeyer
H. M. Walker