662 Safety Last!

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by Criterion and the films on them. If it's got a spine number, it's in here. Threads may contain spoilers.
Post Reply
Message
Author
User avatar
swo17
Bloodthirsty Butcher
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 10:25 am
Location: SLC, UT

662 Safety Last!

#1 Post by swo17 » Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:25 pm

Safety Last!

Image Image

The comic genius of silent star Harold Lloyd is eternal. Chaplin was the sweet innocent, Keaton the stoic outsider, but Lloyd—the modern guy striving for success—is us. And with its torrent of perfectly executed gags and astonishing stunts, Safety Last! is the perfect introduction to him. Lloyd plays a small-town bumpkin trying to make it in the big city, who finds employment as a lowly department-store clerk. He comes up with a wild publicity stunt to draw attention to the store, resulting in an incredible feat of derring-do on his part that gets him started on the climb to success. Laugh-out-loud funny and jaw-dropping in equal measure, Safety Last! is a movie experience par excellence, anchored by a genuine legend.

SPECIAL FEATURES

• New 2K digital film restoration
• Musical score by composer Carl Davis from 1989, synchronized and restored under his supervision and presented in uncompressed stereo on the Blu-ray edition
• Alternate score by organist Gaylord Carter from the late 1960s, presented in uncompressed monaural on the Blu-ray edition
• Audio commentary featuring film critic Leonard Maltin and director and Harold Lloyd archivist Richard Correll
• Introduction by Suzanne Lloyd, Lloyd’s granddaughter and president of Harold Lloyd Entertainment
Harold Lloyd: The Third Genius, a 104-minute documentary from 1989
• Three newly restored Lloyd shorts: Take a Chance (1918), Young Mr. Jazz (1919), and His Royal Slyness (1920), with commentary by Correll and film writer John Bengtson
Locations and Effects, a new documentary featuring Bengtson and special effects expert Craig Barron
• New interview with Davis
• PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Ed Park

User avatar
Tommaso
Joined: Fri May 19, 2006 10:09 am

Re: 662 Safety Last!

#2 Post by Tommaso » Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:34 pm

If this was rumoured/announced before, I must have ignored it completely. A nice surprise for me, good to see Lloyd enter the collection and of course another silent getting the full treatment. Even though this one's universally known, I think.
Last edited by Tommaso on Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
knives
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm

Re: 662 Safety Last!

#3 Post by knives » Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:34 pm

Where's Keaton at?

User avatar
The Masked Marvel
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 11:47 am

Re: 662 Safety Last!

#4 Post by The Masked Marvel » Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:36 pm

Whoa. Keaton AND Lloyd in the same movie?!

Sign me up!

:wink:

User avatar
Ashirg
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 9:10 am
Location: Atlanta

Re: 662 Safety Last!

#5 Post by Ashirg » Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:37 pm

He is one of the passerbys on the sidewalk, if you look closely...

User avatar
Tommaso
Joined: Fri May 19, 2006 10:09 am

Re: 662 Safety Last!

#6 Post by Tommaso » Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:41 pm

](*,) :oops: :oops:

All right, I corrected that one...

User avatar
swo17
Bloodthirsty Butcher
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 10:25 am
Location: SLC, UT

Re: 662 Safety Last!

#7 Post by swo17 » Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:50 pm

Never Weaken would have made a lot of sense to include as a bonus here though presumably they'll still get to that one eventually?

jheez
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 12:17 pm

Re: 662 Safety Last!

#8 Post by jheez » Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:51 pm

Wow, this release looks definitive. I'm extremely happy to see the two scores, as well as The Third Genius documentary. It's been unavailable for awhile (through legal means), and is a great piece on Lloyd. I hope we see more of Lloyd's catalog sooner rather than later.

User avatar
Minkin
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2009 11:13 pm

Re: 662 Safety Last!

#9 Post by Minkin » Mon Mar 18, 2013 7:31 pm

Amazing! I still can't believe that Criterion has the Lloyd films (or that they have Chaplin and Lloyd).

Strange that Never Weaken wasn't one of the three shorts chosen to accompany this release. Though, the inclusion of these three shorts (2 unreleased, 1 by Kino) makes me think that Criterion essentially have everything from Lloyd to play with. Hopefully they'll include some accompanying material with the shorts (commentaries, in this case) when they are included with a feature or released on their own. Something like the BFI booklets would be ideal (detailed information about the shorts, and some analysis).

I wonder when or if the two 1960s compilations films will show up? I know that Harold Lloyd's Funny Side of Life is mostly taken from clips from The Freshman. If they are at all interested, I guess they'll probably include Harold Lloyd's World of Comedy (1963) with a lesser feature film.

Wow! Criterion includes a Gaylord Carter score! He is by far my favorite silent film composer (yes, I love organs). I do hope this brings some attention to Carter's scores and that he will be more available (he is essentially how everyone heard silent film scores until the 90s).

I'm also ecstatic that they are including a location tour - which is my favorite kind of supplement (it means I get to have a fun day-trip around LA to see these). I don't think Criterion has included a location tour since Kiss me Deadly - hope more will be on their way.

Either way, this is an essential package. I know it gets thrown around so often that its lost all meaning, but this is certainly the release of the year (at least for me it is). Now to go calm down.

Tuco
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2010 4:57 pm
Location: Twin Cities, MN

Re: 662 Safety Last!

#10 Post by Tuco » Mon Mar 18, 2013 11:35 pm

Saw Gaylord Carter play for GRANDMA'S BOY at the LA County Museum of Art when I was about 14. Marvelous experience! Bravo (again) Criterion!

Brianruns10
Joined: Sun Jul 02, 2006 10:48 am

Re: 662 Safety Last!

#11 Post by Brianruns10 » Wed Mar 27, 2013 2:50 pm

knives wrote:Where's Keaton at?
Pretty much all of his classic stuff, and even the not so classic like his Educational Films period, are licensed to Kino, or are being putout by Rohauer. Chances are pretty slim of CC ever laying hands on one of those.

The best thing we can hope for, is a Criterion release of "The Cameraman." It's Keaton's last masterpiece, and it's overt cinephilia is the kind of thing CC would gobble up. That and being a Warner property, and given their waning interest in blu-ray releases of silent titles in the recession, and given their growing relationship with CC, I think there could be more than an outside chance of that title joining the collection.

I hope so, it would be truly fitting to have each of the Big Three represented in the Collection.

User avatar
swo17
Bloodthirsty Butcher
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 10:25 am
Location: SLC, UT

Re: 662 Safety Last!

#12 Post by swo17 » Wed Mar 27, 2013 3:37 pm

I resent the implication that there is not a Big Four that also includes Charley Bowers.

User avatar
zedz
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 7:24 pm

Re: 662 Safety Last!

#13 Post by zedz » Wed Mar 27, 2013 3:44 pm

You're going to lead us into a period of Weimaresque Clown Inflation, swo, when Fatty Arbuckle, Charley Chase, Max Davidson and all their crazy pals come crashing through the door.

User avatar
Ashirg
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 9:10 am
Location: Atlanta

Re: 662 Safety Last!

#14 Post by Ashirg » Wed Mar 27, 2013 3:49 pm

I thought the fourth one is Harry Langdon...

User avatar
knives
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm

Re: 662 Safety Last!

#15 Post by knives » Wed Mar 27, 2013 5:33 pm

Just for the record my line was not an actual question, but light teasing of Tommaso who accidentally wrote Keaton instead of Lloyd originally.

User avatar
Professor Wagstaff
Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2010 11:27 pm

Re: 662 Safety Last!

#16 Post by Professor Wagstaff » Mon May 27, 2013 9:54 pm

Beaver review. What an improvement!

User avatar
Randall Maysin
Joined: Tue Apr 02, 2013 12:26 pm

Re: 662 Safety Last!

#17 Post by Randall Maysin » Mon May 27, 2013 10:51 pm

So they ported over the pre-existing commentary? I thought these were supposed to be not very good.

User avatar
manicsounds
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 10:58 pm
Location: Tokyo, Japan

Re: 662 Safety Last!

#18 Post by manicsounds » Mon May 27, 2013 11:30 pm

Although there's only 1 frame compared, it's pretty startling how different it looks to the DVD. And those DVDs looked quite good considering their age.

User avatar
zedz
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 7:24 pm

Re: 662 Safety Last!

#19 Post by zedz » Mon May 27, 2013 11:49 pm

That transfer is just spectacular!

Jonathan S
Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2008 3:31 am
Location: Somerset, England

Re: 662 Safety Last!

#20 Post by Jonathan S » Tue May 28, 2013 2:22 am

I'm not surprised at the huge improvement which is more than just a format upgrade. While most of the films in the Lloyd DVD set were sharp transfers, I was always disappointed with Safety Last, which actually looked considerably softer than my off-air VHS of the Photoplay version. (I suspected some sort of standards conversion, though the UK PAL edition was no better.)

User avatar
manicsounds
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 10:58 pm
Location: Tokyo, Japan

Re: 662 Safety Last!

#21 Post by manicsounds » Tue May 28, 2013 3:33 am

The brownish tint is completely gone, and the image is much more detailed.

Image

As for the commentary, it's the same from the DVD, and it's not that bad. The commentary tracks on some of the other films are much worse though, especially the ones with his family just saying things like, "Look at Grandpa! "Look at Grandpa's fake hand!" or "There's Grandpa giving the middle finger, and the Hayes office didn't notice!"

User avatar
Roger Ryan
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 12:04 pm
Location: A Midland town spread and darkened into a city

Re: 662 Safety Last!

#22 Post by Roger Ryan » Tue May 28, 2013 8:29 am

Last week TCM ran an entire block of Lloyd features and shorts, and I was surprised when watching an early Lonesome Luke short entitled THE MESSENGER that the forced perspective conceit of the Hill Street location in downtown Los Angeles was actually revealed in one of the shots as the Luke character falls from the electrical pole (in a rather clumsy way that broke the continuity of the sequence). Of course, Lloyd would return to this location for the climatic scene in SAFETY LAST where he clings to the outside of the building. Keaton also used this location for THE THREE AGES as did Laurel & Hardy in their short LIBERTY. For those who always wondered how these daredevil stunts were done, a building facade would be constructed on on top of the Hill St. Tunnel; the facade would only need to be built ten to fifteen feet off the ground but, because of the tunnel's elevation in relation to the rest of Hill St., the performers would appear to be fifteen stories or more above street level.

lady wakasa
Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2006 10:26 pm
Location: Over Yonder
Contact:

Re: 662 Safety Last!

#23 Post by lady wakasa » Tue May 28, 2013 11:58 am

I picked up the Harold Lloyd box set - what, about seven years ago now? (I went through it while home on medical leave.) I appreciate what looks like a much clearer image in the Criterion (and a much better explanation of the climb in Safety Last! - the description I heard before sounded like the roof of a building, not the top of a tunnel), but - just from the DVD Beaver images, it looks like too *much* clarity: for example, you can pretty clearly see Harold's makeup line in the seventh screen cap. I don't remember that from before (and that's the kind of stuff I tend to pick up on). Can anyone who's seen the Criterion speak to that?

Am also surprised that Suzanne Lloyd allowed Criterion to put this out - she's pretty strict about control over her grandfather's legacy. Actually - can anyone speak to that?

Brianruns10
Joined: Sun Jul 02, 2006 10:48 am

Re: 662 Safety Last!

#24 Post by Brianruns10 » Tue May 28, 2013 5:45 pm

lady wakasa wrote:I picked up the Harold Lloyd box set - what, about seven years ago now? (I went through it while home on medical leave.) I appreciate what looks like a much clearer image in the Criterion (and a much better explanation of the climb in Safety Last! - the description I heard before sounded like the roof of a building, not the top of a tunnel), but - just from the DVD Beaver images, it looks like too *much* clarity: for example, you can pretty clearly see Harold's makeup line in the seventh screen cap. I don't remember that from before (and that's the kind of stuff I tend to pick up on). Can anyone who's seen the Criterion speak to that?

Am also surprised that Suzanne Lloyd allowed Criterion to put this out - she's pretty strict about control over her grandfather's legacy. Actually - can anyone speak to that?
As to the first point....it is a bad idea to make snap judgments from one frame. You've gotta see it in motion on a monitor that is properly calibrated. I have. Just yesterday in fact I saw a special screening of the new Criterion master, complete with their logo on the front. And it looked astounding. I can't say what the source material is, but I'd wager it's a fine grain master positive, which is one generation from the camera neg. In other words, pretty damned good. The makeup has always been there, and I've always been able to spot it in Keaton or Chaplin's films. It's not meant to be a realist makeup per-se, but stems partly from silent cinema's theatrical and vaudeville roots (just look at the makeup of the two thieves in "The Kid" and you'll see what I mean), and partly from the limitations of the camera stocks and its ability to "capture"color in gray scale.

As for the second point, as far as I know, the license with New Line expired, and Janus/Criterion picked up the rights. Why is it so strange to you that Criterion would be the one to distribute? They're pretty much the best in the biz, so who else would you have distribute Lloyd's work?

User avatar
Fred Holywell
Joined: Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:45 pm

Re: 662 Safety Last!

#25 Post by Fred Holywell » Tue May 28, 2013 11:56 pm

lady wakasa wrote:Am also surprised that Suzanne Lloyd allowed Criterion to put this out - she's pretty strict about control over her grandfather's legacy. Actually - can anyone speak to that?
Appearing on TCM recently, Suzanne Lloyd seemed pretty enthusiastic that Criterion was putting out some of her grandfather's films on DVD and BluRay. What better showcase for his work could she hope for, really?

Post Reply