Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Milky Way

Aivotärähdys / Folkets jubel. US (c) 1936 Paramount. D: Leo McCarey. Starring Harold Lloyd (Burleigh Sullivan), Adolphe Menjou (Gabby Sloan), Helen Mack (Mae Sullivan), Dorothy Wilson (Polly Pringle), George Barbier (Wilbur Austin), Lionel Stander (Spider Schultz), Bonita (landlady). 92 min. A Harold Lloyd Entertainment print. Viewed at Cinema Orion, 10 March 2009. - A good, clean print but not brilliant [a victim of Paramount's negative-burning?]. - Revisited: most of this very good comedy, which I last saw last year on dvd. - This film may not have the same excellent reputation as the Harold Lloyd 1920s masterpieces, but it is a perfectly enjoyable comedy with so many delicious touches that the film is worth revisiting every now and then. A great difference to the 1920s films that the women are now more independent, and even more charming. Helen Mack portrays Harold's sister, and Dorothy Wilson his girlfriend, who distances herself from him when his personality changes as a result of his phony boxing success. - There are psychological depths in the Harold Lloyd comedies: big themes of self-esteem, self-image, illusion vs. reality, self-awareness, self-confidence. This film is rich with them.

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