Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Tuesday, February 16, 2021


 Harold Lloyd stars as Harold Diddlebock, the hero of his 1928 film The Freshman.  It's 20 years later and Harold has been fired from the job he has held since his college days.  Depressed, and wandering the streets, he goes into a bar and has the first drink of his life.  Wackiness (and a lion) ensue.

This was Lloyd's last film and his first in nine years.  Written and directed by Preston Sturges, a later version of the movie was cut and edited by Howard Hughes, Sturges' partner at the time, and released as Mad Wednesday (1950).

Also featuring Jimmy Conlin, Raymond Walburn, Rudy Vallee, Edgar Kennedy, Arline Judge, Franklin Pangborn, Lionel Stander, Margaret Hamilton, Jack Norton, Robert Dudley, Arthur Hoyt, Julius Tannen, Al Bridge, Robert Greig, Georgia Caine, Torben Meyer, Vic Potel, Jackie the lion, and "for the first time a young girl called Frances Ramsden playing the youngest Miss Otis."  (Ramsden was a former model who was romantically linked to Sturges, who cast the inexperienced actress in the film.  She had earlier appeared in juncredited roles in two films three hyears earlier.  This was Ramsden's only credited role, whereupon she retired to a life of golf and reading.  She reportedly could play a mean piano.)

The film is a mixed bag.  Lloyd was getting too old for the type of comedy for which he had been known, but it is still great to see him once again.

What do you think?

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