- My favorite Lloyd so far... 2/28/2003 12:00:00 AM by plaidpotato
I saw this film at the Silent Movie Theater when I was in Los Angeles last summer. It was my first Lloyd. Three quarters of the film was as funny as any Buster Keaton film I've ever seen, and funnier than any Chaplin. I tend to be more of a smiler than a laugh-out-louder, but the first chase scene in this film gave me abdominal cramps. It brought the house down. I don't think I've ever heard such raucous laughter in a movie theater before. It was a great, great chase scene. And it was a great experience being in a theater packed with people, even little kids, fully enjoying a 75+ year old film.
I've since seen two more Lloyd features, Hot Water and Speedy, but For Heaven's Sake is my favorite so far. If it weren't for a long and kinda unfunny sequence toward the late middle of the film, with Harold herding a pack of drunks, it would probably be my favorite silent comedy, period--my current favorite is Keaton's The Cameraman, incidentally.
The announcer guy at the theater claimed the print of For Heaven's Sake they were screening was the only one in existence. I don't know if it was an original nitrate print or what. I think I remember that it looked fairly pristine. I hope the film makes it to DVD soon, lest something unfortunate happen to the print, especially if they're going to take chances screening it publicly.
- An Utter Delight From Mr. Lloyd 8/9/2003 12:00:00 AM by Ron Oliver
Uptown millionaire J. Harold Manners leads a life insulated by his immense wealth until he meets a very pretty young lady working with her father in a Downtown skid row mission.
Comic genius Harold Lloyd had another tremendous success with FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE, a silent film very simple of plot but wildly delirious in terms of hilarious detail & inspiration. Harold had the enviable knack of making an audience like him immediately and empathize with his tribulations. They entered into and became a part of his gags, watching them build and grow, until the final explosion of laughter and the immediate start of his next comedic onslaught.
Here, Harold has two of his finest sequences, two very different extended chases which illustrate his visual wizardry and perfect timing. In the first, Harold infuriates a growing crowd of enraged hoodlums, crooks and ne'er-do-wells into chasing him into the mission, so as to please the sweet young lady. In the second, which climaxes the movie, Harold races to his own delayed wedding, through crowded New York streets (actually filmed in Los Angeles), while shepherding five very friendly and extremely intoxicated bums, culminating in a wild ride atop a runaway double-decker bus. Through it all, Harold exhibits his magnificent athletic ability, putting himself in real danger, a self-imposed peril made even more remarkable by the fact that he was missing half of his right hand.
The production values in the film are absolutely first rate, even down to casting the ?faces,' wistful & careworn, seen in the mission scenes. The logistics involved in filming the action sequences on actual city streets, involving crowds of extras and split-second precision timing for the stunts, is beyond merely impressive. Lloyd, who fathered the idea, put the film through five previews until he was sure he had it perfect.
Jobyna Ralston once again amply fills the role of the girl of Harold's dreams. Diminutive Paul Weigel exudes saintly goodness as her father. Noah Young brings bullish bluster to his role of a tough gangster tamed by Mr. Lloyd.
Robert Israel has composed an excellent film score which perfectly complements Harold's antics on the screen.
- Impossible to Describe the Gags - You Must See It!!!! 5/4/2010 12:00:00 AM by kidboots
Six months ago I had barely seen a Harold LLoyd feature (except "The Kid Brother" 35 years ago) - now I know that whenever I feel down I can put on a Harold Lloyd movie and laugh myself silly from start to finish!! It is such a comforting feeling. This is not a typical Harold Lloyd comedy and I was a bit concerned initially - instead of the poor boy who makes good or the eager, hopeful go-getter who by the film's end is everyone's hero, this movie has Lloyd as J. Harold Manners, an idle rich boy who accidentally becomes the patron of a mission for down and outs.
There are two fantastic chases in this movie - the first where Harold pledges to get the "Pool Hall Boys" to the Mission -he does (and a whole lot of other thugs as well) and by the time the police arrive they are all singing hymns and liking it!!! The other one is reminiscent of the hilarious chase in "Girl Shy" - in this chase he has been kidnapped by his well meaning rich friends, his "pool room" mates find him and then he has the job of getting himself and his inebriated friends to the church on time.
Jobyna Ralston, as Hope, can't be over-estimated. Even though her role is usually "the girl", either rich girl, poor girl or working girl, she compliments Harold Lloyd so much and brings so much to his movies on her own, it would be hard for me to imagine any other actress in the role. Noah Young also adds immensely to the laughs as the leader of the thugs. And three cheers for the wonderful Robert Israel and his Orchestra - if only he could score the music for all the silent movies that are available.
Highly, Highly Recommended.
- FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE (Sam Taylor, 1926) ***1/2 1/2/2007 12:00:00 AM by Bunuel1976
This is one of Harold Lloyd's least-known films and, consequently, perhaps his most underrated feature; I was first made aware of this factor by Leonard Maltin's awarding it the full **** rating in his Film Guide and, ever since that time, I've been pining to catch up with it!
Now that I've watched it for myself, I can say that the film is an undoubted classic (certainly among Lloyd's best work) and the only reason that I didn't quite go all the way with my own rating is the fact that, even for its brief 58-minute running-time, the plot line is somewhat thin:
Harold is a millionaire who becomes the unwitting benefactor of a modest mission; believing himself to have been conned into such a position, he determines to put a stop to it - that is, until he meets and falls for pretty missionary's daughter Jobyna Ralston. Then, he resolves to attract customers to the joint - which, considering that the neighborhood is filled with tough guys and gangsters, this will take considerable resource on his part. Nevertheless, he succeeds and the men eventually become fond of him so that, when Lloyd's impending marriage to Ralston is announced in the papers and his rich society-pals decide to 'save' him from such a fate, the gang take action to bring the couple back together again.
While clearly reminiscent of what is perhaps Charlie Chaplin's greatest short, EASY STREET (1917), the film's level of gags and the star's typical ingenuity is extremely high - with only the gangsters' drunken havoc during its last third overstaying its welcome; this section, however, leads to one of Lloyd's most hair-raising stunts - actually inspired by similar scenes in both GET OUT AND GET UNDER (1920) and GIRL SHY (1924) - as a double-decker bus (with atop it the star and his 'flock') races driverless along busy city streets on its way to Harold's wedding. Other hilarious highlights include: the early destruction of two cars owned by our reckless hero - the first happens because of a crate of cat food in the middle of the street, which the black chauffeur mistakes for the real thing and tries to avoid but ends up slamming straight into another car, while the second contrives to run out of gas on a railway track and is summarily scuttled by an oncoming train; as well as another re-used (this time from GRANDMA'S BOY ) but undeniably irresistible routine involving the indigestible 'cakes' which Lloyd is made to eat by his beloved at the mission.
- Fast moving Harold Lloyd comedy full of energy and sight gags... 4/20/2009 12:00:00 AM by Doylenf
There's a non-stop orgy of sight gags and pratfalls throughout this Harold Lloyd comedy, FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE. Lloyd is a carefree millionaire who is dazzled by a pretty mission girl from the other side of the tracks. Once they connect, it's love at first sight and from then on Lloyd tries to please the girl and her missionary father by bringing as many new clients to their sermons as he can.
He visits the local pool hall to round up a bunch of toughs by making them chase him through the streets. This leads to one of the wildest scenes in the movie as the foot chase is full of inventive gags. He succeeds in rounding up enough hooligans to fill the mission just as police arrive on the scene looking for stolen jewelry. Again, the situations are all played for broad comedy and most of it works.
The climactic chase aboard a double decker bus is wildly choreographed for maximum comic effect--but truth be told, by this time the slapstick has been piled on so thick that the final chase seems anticlimactic.
By the time it's all over, you realize that Lloyd has told a story with very little plotting involved. It's a thin yarn stretched out over a series of sight gags--all of which he executes with perfect timing. But enough is enough. It gets a bit wearisome before it's all over and boy ends up with mission girl. The End.