SAFETY LAST CRITERION COLLECTION BLU RAY REVIEW

Silent comedy cinema has a few stand out hits. Many have been around the circuit and some are so well known that they draw despair from the film fans. Often due to the quality of the stock and little more. SAFETY LAST is a mix of both of these. A well known film which has been seen, extensively and for the better part, well liked. But after it entered into the public domain it was treated so badly that the version seen drew despair.

SAFETY LAST, the film best known for Harold Lloyd climbing the face of a building and then dangling from a clock, is a work that undeniably topped off his near 200 films as his best. It blends pathos, humour, prat falls, slapstick, romance and at the end of it all, a lovely pay off. Public Domain can be and often is a horrible thing for quality and art. This was seen with Chaplin and Keaton (both of whose works have been saved by various publishing houses), their work was horribly devastated by age and print quality.

We really need to talk about quality and clarity in this release. Criterion collection had saved SPEEDY, a previous Lloyd feature they released. The print was lovely, the tones, sharp and short. There was no heavy colour or light hues issues. And again they have done so with SAFETY LAST. This is the exact same version that the US Criterion released, so we expected something good. And we got it.

DISC

2 K restoration has given time to a film that desperately needed it. Neigh it desperately deserved this. If you want to see how great the work is, view the YouTube copy of SAFETY LAST. I have to commend the film restoration as a work of art. Brilliant. Simple.

EXTRAS

Ok. The scores are interesting. Carter is my preferred but little to choose. The Audio Commentary is slightly imbalanced. Maltin is the critical voice but Correll really give us the man, work and the magic. Also included is the reveal of the secrets that might change your mind about the brilliance of the climb… I loved Harold Lloyd: The Third Genius. I feel I have seen it before but, yes, it is very good. It is the work Kevin Brownlow and he is a master historian.

 

  • New, restored 2K digital film restoration
  • Musical score by composer Carl Davis from 1989, synchronized and restored under his supervision and presented in uncompressed stereo
  • Alternate score by organist Gaylord Carter from the late 1960s, presented in uncompressed monaural
  • 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 108-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 2013 documentary featuring Bengtson and special effects expert Craig Barron
  • 2013 interview with Davis P
  • LUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Ed Park

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