Thursday, September 14, 2006

For Heaven's Sake (1926)

Moderately funny Harold Lloyd feature finds him playing a super-rich fella (when he wrecks a car, he simply walks to a dealer and pays cash for another) who, pretty much by accident, transforms into a model of charity and goodness when he sponsors a mission house. Not up to the level of something like Safety Last!, but still quite a fine entertainment, and it boasts an incomparable centerpiece in which Lloyd convinces all the roghnecks and roustabouts in the poor neighborhood around the mission house by kicking their asses and daring them to chase him down. Also of note is the class subtext, as Lloyd explicitly posits an up-down dichotomy where the lower class, though comprised of thugs and thieves, is reformable while the upper class is comprised mainly of irredeemable jackoffs. Lloyd including himself among the upper class at the start, though, muddies the black-n-white nature of the argument a bit. I'll bet this somehow ties into how Lloyd's characters are always more interesting when they're flat broke...

Grade: B


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