© 1947 California Pictures

The Sin of Harold Diddlebock (1947)

Harold Lloyd was never my favorite silent film star. I always preferred Chaplin and Buster Keaton, as something about their small stature makes them sympathetic, while Lloyd always seemed rather average to me. So I was not expecting much from Lloyd in his last film, a talkie made after a hiatus of 9 years from the screen. But I would have expected a lot more from Preston Sturges. His trademark wit and rapid-fire dialogue seem to have been lost in this film. The story is about a staid office clerk who is fired after 22 years of service and has the first drink of his life, which prompts him to buy a circus lions and all. Although Lloyd reprises some of his trademark physical comedy, dangling upside down from a skyscraper by a rope that is held in the teeth of a lion, even this pales in comparison to his silent work.

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