Movie Crazy Film Details
Overview: After a mix-up with his application photograph, an aspiring actor is invited to a test screening and goes off to Hollywood.
Tagline: He’ll make you laugh! He’ll make you weep – but always makes you happy!
Review: I recently obtained and watched every film from the huge Harold Lloyd box set recently released by the Lloyd family. So, finally, I was able to watch Lloyd’s sound films along side his silents and compare and contrast them. In general, his sound films are far better than I had expected–for years, I only watched his silents as I incorrectly assumed his sound movies wouldn’t be very watchable–and in general, reviews for the sound versions of Lloyd and Keaton’s films are pretty poor. Of all the sound films, I think I disliked THE MILKY WAY the most–it was pretty dull stuff. However, FEET FIRST, THE CATS-PAW and this film were all quite entertaining and worth seeing–regardless of whether or not you are a fan of Lloyd’s silents. MOVIE CRAZY is a cute film about Harold wanting to become a movie star. He accidentally sends someone else’s photo to a Hollywood exec (Mr. O’Brien). Well, O’Brien sees the picture and decides to offer him a screen test based only on the picture. But, when Harold comes to the studio he makes a mess of everything–and really annoys O’Brien by accidentally destroying his hat and smashing his glass doors! Despite this, through some silly mistakes (brilliantly executed by the way), Harold is told to still take the screen test. He is horrible, but everyone tells him he was great as sort of a practical joke. Harold then meets a sexy Spanish lady on one of the sets and he mistakenly thinks she loves him. Then, shortly after this, he meets another actress and creates so much havoc helping her that she nicknames him “trouble”–and he is like a walking disaster waiting to happen. Harold likes this other lady as well and doesn’t realize she IS the Spanish actress–just without all the makeup and accent. It’s extremely funny when he tries to juggle BOTH ladies–seeing one without telling the other! This actually works because they really did look like two different women plus the actress (Constance Cummings) did a really good job in the two roles. Unfortunately, this cute ruse gets out of hand and the lady becomes jealous of “the other woman” (which is herself) and she tells Harold to get out of her life forever. He doesn’t realize she told him to get lost because she wrote him a note on the first piece of paper she could find–the back of an invitation to a fancy party. He thinks he’s been invited and shows up to meet her. In the process, she accidentally switches jackets with a magician and this results in a wonderful scene where he is dancing and rabbits, pigeons, etc. keep popping out of his coat! It is simply hilarious and strongly reminiscent of the falling apart suit in THE FRESHMAN (which he made several years earlier)–but different enough that it doesn’t feel like a cheep knockoff (like the climbing scene in FEET FIRST–it was a cheap effort to re-create the the movie WELCOME DANGER). Well, this time, after he makes a total fool of himself at this swank party, she tells him off for good–but you can see she still feels for him. He admits his defeat and promises to leave her alone once and for all. However, throughout the film, a nasty drunk actor had been threatening Harold and telling him NEVER to see this actress. Now, the jerk of an actor doesn’t know Harold has agreed never to see her again. And, the jerk actor beats up Harold and tells him “I’d rather kill her than have her see another man”. Harold, after he awakens, responds in his very typical way by rising to the occasion and using both brawn and his brain to teach this guy a lesson. The problem is, all of this is accidentally filmed (the director gets knocked out so no one tells the cameramen to stop filming and Harold doesn’t know he’s on film). It’s a very rousing and fun extended fight scene–one of the best of the era. Later, the studio head sees the fight scene and incorrectly assumes it was all staged. He thinks the scene is great and very funny so he offers Harold a contract. Harold, not wanting to be dishonest (like he had been with his ex-girlfriend), admits it was NOT staged and refuses the big contract. In doing so, he endears himself to Ms. Cummings who now is totally smitten with him after she also finds out WHY he fought with the other actor. In addition, the studio head STILL insists that Harold signs the contract and everyone lives happily ever after (except the director who HATES Harold and the jerk actor who is beaten up). The movie strongly excels at plot development and depth in the characterizations. In this sense, it’s really better than his silent films. I also loved how so often little mistakes or misunderstanding snowballed to amazing proportions! However, a drawback (and not a big one at that) was that Harold’s character, at times, was too clumsy to be believable. I don’t really know why this film hasn’t gotten more attention–it IS one of Lloyd’s best films and stands up well against any comedy of the age–including Chaplin’s. I would go so far to say that although the movie wasn’t as technically brilliant as Chaplin’s MODERN TIMES or CITY LIGHTS, it was more entertaining and made me laugh more. An undiscovered film and wonderful insight behind the scenes at the studios.
Duration: 84 min
Genre: Comedy, Family, Romance
Also known as: Der Kinonarr,Filmihullu,Follie del cinema,Filmtosset,Filmflugan,Movie Crazy,Le roi des cinglés,Безумное кино,Filmverrückt,ロイドの活動狂,Moziőrült,Kinomaniak,Silence… on tourne!,Cinemaníaco,Siopi, to gyrisma arhizei,Cinemanía,Louco Pelo Cinema,Filmikärpänen