The Sins of Harold Diddlebock

Easily the worst reputation of any Sturges or Lloyd film, this is surprisingly engaging. Lloyd and Sturges aren't the most obvious choice in the world to mix--Sturges with his crisply witty dialogue, Lloyd with his freewheeling slapstick, and it's significant that Howard Hughes, who was responsible for most of the worst films of the period was producer. But there are moments--the bartender building a drink before Harold's eyes, for one--where Lloyd manages to build a vocal rhythm, and other moments--the lion up the building, for another--where Sturges approaches Lloyd's level of visual humor (many of the jokes in this final sequence, however, are modeled from Lloyd's great Safety Last). Sturges and Lloyd went too far in this film, but at the same time, I do think that for minutes at a time they achieved something neither was able to do before. Interesting.

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