Monday, December 31, 2018

Rick Parker: Harold Lloyd

Time's almost up! As we count down the hours and minutes to the the start of 2019, I'd like for us momentarily to put aside our contemporary watches and smart phones and to recall instead the iconic image of Harold Lloyd hanging from the clock face in the 1923 silent classic "Safety Last!" This comes, of course, from the climactic scene in which Harold—the character shares Lloyd's full name—is forced to climb a skyscraper as a publicity stunt. The colorful image shown here this New Year's Eve is an interpretation by Rick Parker.

Rick Parker
Harold Lloyd

The striking thing is that the famous shot doesn't seem to occur in the film.
Video Still 1:04:06

See for yourself, starting at around 1:03:00.
Harold Lloyd
"Safety Last!" (1923)

The iconic view we are all familiar with is evidently a publicity still:
Publicity Still

It becomes apparent that the camera angle in this publicity still is different from that in the film. We can see more of the adjacent window and it is here fully closed. The word Majestic is visible just to the right of the clock, while we don't even see that near corner of that building during the clock business in the actual film. There is an awful lot of sleight of hand that went into the filming of the movie's thrilling final scene, and that trickery evidently  extended into the shooting of the publicity still as well. Note that Rick Parker, in creating his image, had to deal with Lloyd's blurry feet in the photo. He opted to clarify their outlines.

Note:  Thanks to Rick Parker for providing his wonderful image just in time to welcome in the new year. This is Rick's first appearance on Attempted Bloggery. Happy New Year, Rick! 

And a Happy New Year to all!

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