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Safety Last! (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]

4.8 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews

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(Jun 18, 2013)
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Editorial Reviews

The comic genius of silent star Harold Lloyd is eternal. Chaplin was the sweet innocent, Keaton the stoic outsider, but Lloyd—the modern guy striving for success—is us. And with its torrent of perfectly executed gags and astonishing stunts, Safety Last! is the perfect introduction to him. Lloyd plays a small-town bumpkin trying to make it in the big city, who finds employment as a lowly department-store clerk. He comes up with a wild publicity stunt to draw attention to the store, resulting in an incredible feat of derring-do on his part that gets him started on the climb to success. Laugh-out-loud funny and jaw-dropping in equal measure, Safety Last! is a movie experience par excellence, anchored by a genuine legend.

Special Features

  • New 2K digital film restoration
  • Musical score by composer Carl Davis from 1989, synchronized and restored under his supervision and presented in uncompressed stereo
  • Alternate score by organist Gaylord Carter from the late 1960s, presented in uncompressed monaural
  • Audio commentary featuring film critic Leonard Maltin and director and Harold Lloyd archivist Richard Correll
  • Introduction by Suzanne Lloyd, Lloyd’s granddaughter and president of Harold Lloyd Entertainment
  • Harold Lloyd: The Third Genius, a 104-minute documentary from 1989
  • Three newly restored Lloyd shorts: Take a Chance (1918), Young Mr. Jazz (1919), and His Royal Slyness (1920), with commentary by Correll and film writer John Bengtson
  • Locations and Effects, a new documentary featuring Bengtson and special effects expert Craig Barron
  • New interview with Davis
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Ed Park

  • Product Details

    • Actors: Harold Lloyd, Mildred Davis
    • Directors: Harold Lloyd
    • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Black & White, NTSC, Silent, Widescreen
    • Language: English
    • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
    • Number of discs: 1
    • Rated:
      Not Rated
    • Studio: Criterion Collection
    • DVD Release Date: June 18, 2013
    • Run Time: 74 minutes
    • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: B00BX49C3S
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #34,570 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

    Customer Reviews

    Top Customer Reviews

    By [KNDY] Dennis A. Amith TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 4, 2013
    Format: Blu-ray
    Many silent comedy fans consider Harold Lloyd as one of the three silent film comedy kings of the silent era alongside notable names such as Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton. Lloyd's comedies were enjoyable and similar to Keaton, Lloyd had the flair of doing his own stuntwork and when one is to watch his films today, there were a few that literally makes people gasp.

    But the difference between these three men is that Harold Lloyd is not as well-known because unlike the other two, he wanted complete ownership of his films and if they were to be re-released or shown on television, he set the price high because he did not want TV commercials interrupting his film. While, some appreciate Lloyd's business-sense at the time to have complete ownership but also to be one of the first who looked into preserving his films, the unfortunate aspect is that unlike Chaplin or Keaton, his name would not be as well-known to the general public.

    Of course, times have changed as more and more people are becoming fans of silent cinema, especially comedies, because they quickly learn that there are three men who earned a lot of money through the box office and were successful. And for Harold Lloyd, one can only be thrilled that this wonderful filmmaker has been acknowledged by the Criterion Collection and his most popular film, "Safety Last!", would be released by the Criterion Collection, in HD on Blu-ray!

    One such film was "Safety Last!", a silent film from 1923 and one of the many films included in the Harold Lloyd Comedy Collection box set. An impressive box set featuring over 25 classic comedies including well-known Lloyd films such as "Safety Last!", "The Freshman", "Speedy!" and many more.
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    Format: VHS Tape
    Although he is generally considered the equal of Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd's films are much less widely available--with the exception of SAFETY LAST, which turns up with great regularity at film festivals and on cable television. Like most of his films, SAFETY LAST finds Lloyd struggling to make good in order to win the girl of his dreams (in this case his actual wife, actress Mildred Davis)--and when the big boss offers a thousand dollars for a promotional idea that will draw hundreds to the store, Lloyd suggests a human fly act... but at the last minute circumstances go awry, leaving Lloyd to make the climb himself.
    While the first half of the film abounds in brilliant, hilarious sight gags, it is Lloyd's climb up the skyscraper that is best remembered: attacked by pigeons, entangled in a net, running afoul of a mouse, and ultimately hanging from the hands of a clock face hundreds of feet above a cheering crowd. Filmed without stunt-doubles or such devices as rear-screen projection, the squirm effect of the sequence is still tremendous--and the film is all the funnier for it. Always wearing his signature straw hat and round-frame glasses, Lloyd's eager optimism personified the go-getter mentality of the 1920s, when the sky seemed the limit and progress hadn't yet gone on too long. If you are a fan of silent film but have not yet encountered Harold Lloyd, SAFETY LAST is the perfect introduction--and an essential for your collection.
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    Format: Blu-ray
    The LA Conservancy has a great pdf document on how SAFETY LAST was filmed. It was very clever how perspective tricks were used to make it look like Lloyd was actually dangling over a downtown LA street (you knew he wasn't really...). Google "laconservancy.org/tours/HaroldLloyd" and you'll be rewarded with photos of the locations as they look today, plus fascinating information on the filming of this comedy classic. Pages 7 and 8 show specifically how the clock scene was shot. Makes a terrific addition to this film.
    1 Comment 22 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
    This is a wonderful release from Criterion. They did a great job here. This is the most beautiful looking version of Harold Lloyd's 1923 feature "Safety Last" I have seen to date. Except for some minor wear, a missing frame or two, and some flicker, this transfer is perfect. You won't believe the sharpness and all the details you will see, and for a 90 year old film, you just won't believe your eyes. This is also Harold Lloyd's most famous film of all the 200 shorts and features that he made. Hysterically funny, perfect timing and gags, and of course the part of the movie climbing the side of the building. It is still incredible that he was able to do it so flawlessly. And with all the new details and sharpness, the tension is even more gripping. At times, the nausea may creep in. 3 audio tracks included- Stereo orchestral, a monaural organ, plus a excellent commentary. Also 3 restored shorts by Harold, not as in great shape as Safety Last, but still very enjoyable. An intro by Harold's granddaughter Susan, some location spots where the movie was filmed. And a nice BBC documentary, feature length, that was released in 1989. It is a very thorough and informative program on Harold's life with many clips and interviews with people that knew and worked with him. This is a complete package that should be in every collectors library. Harold has been mostly forgotten behind Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton, but this is a great introduction for anyone interested in starting to learn about Harold Lloyd. A absolute must and highly recommended.
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