A SAILOR-MADE MAN
Harold Lloyd and Mildred Davis
November 25, 1921
Harold Lloyd's new four-reeler release date and distribution plan not yet announced by Pathé. The story is by Hal Roach and Sam Taylor and the direction was in the hands of Fred Newmeyer; titles by Harley M. Walker.
The picture has plenty of laughs, all in the familiar Lloyd vein of comedy, and some good human touches, but the comedy does not compare with Lloyd's best. The comedian appears to be in the process of changing the spirit of his appeal. The transition so far is faint and scarcely discernible, but it is in the wrong direction.
Specifically, Lloyd is turning his characterization from the "boob" to the "wise guy." Instead of being always the victim of the joke, he is the perpetrator. Instead of falling into the banana peel trap, he sets the trap for somebody else, losing sight of the fundamental that the laugh goes to the banana peel victim and not to the joker.
In so far as the new picture obeys this rule, it is funny, and at all times the surprises are ingenious. Of course, the comedy punch is an elaborate chase. Picture making has not yet developed any substitute for this sure-fire device. The whirlwind climax is neatly led p to and is smoothly dovetailed with an amusing love story.
Lloyd is the rich boy. The Girl won't have him unless he "does something worth while." He goes into the navy. As a gob, he goes to sleep and dreams he is an admiral. This is only an incident. The dream causes a fight with the ship's bully, a capital chapter, leading to the cementing of a firm friendship between the Boy and the Bully.
The ship anchors in an Oriental port and the Girl, on a yachting cruise with her father, comes to the same place. Girl goes ashore sightseeing, as gob also goes on shore leave. The Rajah sees the American girl and kidnaps her. The Boy and his matey go to the palace in pursuit. Here begins the wild chase with a rich fund of comic detail. The Boy takes refuge in the bath of the harem, staying under water and breathing through the stem of an Oriental water pipe, which the Rajah lights so that smoke bubbles rise from the water. There is knockabout and roughhouse in abundance, ending in a carnival of clubbing and, of course, the rescue of the American girl.
The naval stuff aboard the warship is amusing and the chase is uproarious. The business on shipboard is said to be strictly according to Hoyle. Regular service men were employed for the scenes.
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