“Safety Last” Silent Film

Safety Last! is a 1923 romantic comedy starring Harold Lloyd. It includes one of the most famous images from the silent film era: Lloyd clutching the hands of a large clock as he dangles from the outside of a twelve-storey building, high above moving traffic. The film was highly successful and critically hailed, and it cemented Lloyd’s status as a major figure in early motion pictures. It is still popular at revivals, and it is viewed today as one of the great film comedies.

It is by general agreement the most famous shot in silent comedy: a man in a straw hat and round horn-rim glasses, hanging from the minute hand of a clock 12 stories above the city street. Strange, that this shot occurs in a film few people have ever seen. Harold Lloyd’s ‘Safety Last’ (1923), like all of his films, was preserved by the comedian but rarely shown; having been through most of Charlie Chaplin and virtually everything by Buster Keaton, I viewed it for the first time last week, and it was my first Harold Lloyd. Others now have their chance, as a retrospective of Lloyd’s work, meticulously restored, tours the country in advance of a DVD package.
— Roger Ebert in a film review, July 3, 2005

Our Kingston Festival 2016 “I Feel the Winds” will open with a Sunday night pre-conference showing of “Safety Last!” in the second floor Gibraltar Room of the Four Points Sheraton Hotel, accompanied by Kingston’s own inimitable Spencer Evans. Tickets are $10 for Festival registrants, $15 for the general public.

The Festival organizers would like to especially extend our thanks to Sara Juarez and Suzanne Lloyd of the Harold Lloyd Foundation for their gracious help with the screening of this film classic. Suzanne told us an interesting fact about Harold Lloyd: the day after filming was finished for “Safety Last”, he married Mildred Davis, his co-star in the film...and as it turns out, they are Suzanne’s beloved grandparents, who raised her! For more information on Harold’s films, see Harold Lloyd Entertainment.

S5 Box