HAROLD LLOYD'S WORLD OF COMEDY by William Cahn

HAROLD LLOYD'S WORLD OF COMEDY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Building the cumulative, visual joke is a dying art that enjoyed rude health in the era of silent movies. The recognized master of the technique was Harold Lloyd, whose superb pantomime and refinement of slapstick brought to the screen some of its finest comic moments. His ordinary young man in glasses was a carefully thought out figure that brought Lloyd world fame, a fortune and an enduring place in the history of motion pictures. (Lloyd is one of the happy few who managed to hang on to all three.) In 1962, an anthology of clips from his most famous one and two reelers was shown to critical acclaim both here and abroad proving that the carefully built and timed sight gag still has the power to leave audiences helpless with laughter. It is an expensive proposition, and, when sound was introduced, producers found it cheaper to rely on the humor of dialogue rather than action. The author describes Lloyd's method with comparisons and contrasts to the methods of other greats -- Chaplin, Laurel and Hardy, Keaton and Sennett. This is a valuable gathering of scattered references. The bibliography is a complete source list for information on comic acting. The audience for the book will be found among those who are actively engaged with acting and directing.

Publisher: Duell, Sloan & Pearce