Saturday, July 11, 2009

Movie Review: The Sin of Harold Diddlebock

I have a season pass on my TiVo for all Harold Lloyd films. On June 11th it recorded from TCM, The Sin of Harold Diddlebock and I finally watched it this morning. It's Lloyds last film, made in 1947 and has all the quintessential Lloyd elements.

It opens with a football game which is actual scenes from Lloyd's classic, The Freshman. Then he works in an office starting off enthusiastic and ending up broken down and fired. Then he talks to a woman co-worker and describes a lifetime of lost love. Then we get to this scene and I was hooked:

"It ain't as if anyone ever drank a Diddlebock before, you can't tell what it'll do to you!" It just gets wackier. It ends with another archetypal Lloydism, with him dangling from a building ledge. Oddly, that was the low point of the film for me, it was no Safety Last.

After the above bar scene I looked up the film on imdb and found it was written and directed by Preston Sturges. Well that explains it. In fact, Sturges wrote the film to bring Lloyd out of retirement, it had been 9 years since his last film.

The supporting cast was a lot of fun too. The sidekick is Sturges regular Jimmy Conlin. The bartender in the above clip is Edgar Kennedy, famous for his slow burn and listed in imdb as appearing in over 400 movies. I also recognized Lionel Stander and Margaret Hamilton (the Wicked Witch of the West).

If you like screwball comedies of the 40s and Sturges or Lloyd, you'lll enjoy The Sin of Harold Diddlebock.

1 comment:

Irina said...

This was very good. Will definitely watch it. Thank you!