Friday, 8 April 2016
Ask Father (1919)
I'll admit to not much liking the only Harold Lloyd short I've seen previously but this was genuinely funny and, like all silent comedy shorts, a huge and obvious influence on Warner Bros cartoon shorts and the like. Harold Lloyd has an amazing propensity for physical comedy and the conceit- Lloyd faces increasingly absurd obstacles in getting to see his intended's father to ask for her hand- is a good one. The ending is funny too- when his second choice for fiancée says that her father died many years ago he is overjoyed!
I suppose this is typical of a good silent comedy short, but what surprised me was a short sequence in which he scales a building from the outside, a harbinger of the much longer scene in Safety Last.
Like all films of this age it is pleasingly free of copyright and there to see on YouTube (other media are available). It's only thirteen minutes long. Why don't you watch it now?