|FEET FIRST (directors/writers: Clyde Bruckman/Harold Lloyd; screenwriters: Paul Gerard Smith/Lex Neal/Felix Adler/story by John Grey & Alfred Cohn; cinematographers: Henry Kohler/Walter Lundin; editor: Bernard Burton; music: Claude Lapham; cast: Willie Best (Janitor, Sleep 'n' Eat), Harold Lloyd (Harold Horne), Noah Young (Sailor), Barbara Kent (Mary), Robert McWade (John Quincy Tanner), Lillianne Leighton (Mrs. Tanner), Alec Francis (Old Timer, Mr. Garson); Runtime: 70; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Harold Lloyd; Paramount; 1930)|
Harold Lloyd, in his second talkie, again
dangling from a skyscraper like in Safety Last
(1923) but this time it doesn't quite work
by Dennis Schwartz
comedy. It has Harold Lloyd, in his second talkie,
again dangling from a skyscraper like in Safety Last
(1923) but this time it doesn't quite work with sound.
In this episodic comedy, Lloyd sounds strident, the
rehashed gags don't always work and the comedy is
lame. Director Clyde Bruckman ("The
General"/"Horse Shoes"/"Movie Crazy"), who would
commit suicide later on when his career turned sour
and he was broke, directs this unappealing Lloyd
vehicle. It's based on a story by John Grey
& Alfred Cohn, and written by Bruckman, Lloyd, Adler,
Paul Gerard Smith and Lex Neal.
1930, in Honolulu, an apprentice shoe store
clerk, Harold Horne (Harold Lloyd),
aspires to be a shoe salesman and signs up for a
motivational correspondence course to
rise in the John Tanner company. When waiting on Mrs.
Tanner (Lillianne Leighton), the
wife of the company boss, Harold is attracted to her
companion named Mary (Barbara Kent),
whom he assumes is her daughter, and while eying the
pretty Mary screws up serving Mrs. Tanner leaving her
mad at his impertinence. The store manager has Harold
leave early to deliver shoes to a departing ocean
liner and when meeting Mr Tanner (Robert
McWade), his wife and Mary on the liner, Harold
can't leave before it departs for LA and becomes a
stowaway. Harold learns that Mary is really the boss's
secretary when she's abruptly fired by the irate boss
for supposedly not getting an army contract in the
mail on time. Harold then promises the boss to deliver
it on time.
bore till Lloyd gets trapped in a mail bag and is
flown with the ship's mail to LA, where he gets
trapped on the ledge of a skyscraper and then dangles
from a painter's scaffold. In a vile racial
stereotyped scene, Willie Best plays the slow talking
dumb building janitor helping him. In conclusion
Harold mails the letter in time saving Mary's job and
gets himself a promotion to a management position.
This film turned out to be more disappointing than Lloyd's first talkie Welcome Danger (1929).
REVIEWED ON 4/29/2014 GRADE: C+
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ