HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Human Voice, The
Guns Akimbo
Being a Human Person
Giants and Toys
Millionaires Express
Bringing Up Baby
World to Come, The
Air Conditioner
Fear and Loathing in Aspen
Kandisha
Riders of Justice
Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki, The
For Those Who Think Young
Justice League: War
Fuzzy Pink Nightgown, The
Plurality
Scooby-Doo! Moon Monster Madness
Night of the Sharks
Werewolves Within
Honeymoon
King and Four Queens, The
Stray Dolls
Diana's Wedding
Deerskin
Toll, The
Two of Us
Nowhere Special
Rainbow Jacket, The
Crazy Samurai: 400 vs 1
First Cow
Undiscovered Tomb
Being Frank
Occupation: Rainfall
Jeanette: The Childhood of Joan of Arc
Pariah
Weapon, The
Godzilla vs. Kong
Love and Monsters
Tove
Young Wives' Tale
   
 
Newest Articles
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
   
 
  Sin of Harold Diddlebock, The Chances Are
Year: 1947
Director: Preston Sturges
Stars: Harold Lloyd, Jimmy Conlin, Frances Ramsden, Raymond Walburn, Rudy Vallee, Edgar Kennedy, Arline Judge, Franklin Pangborn, Lionel Stander, Margaret Hamilton, Jack Norton, Robert Dudley, Arthur Hoyt, Julius Tannen, Al Bridge, Robert Grieg, Torben Meyer
Genre: ComedyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: Back in 1923, Harold Diddlebock (Harold Lloyd) was a college student who enthusiastically joined in with the football team, even if he was only meant to be the waterboy rather than the star player he dreamed of being. But on the day of the big game, Harold proved himself capable of great things when he scored the winning touchdown, an act that was noticed by one Mr E.J. Waggleberry (Raymond Walburn), a wealthy head of a successful advertising agency. When Harold left college, he went to see him hoping for a post, and that is what he got: a dead end job for twenty-two years with no use for his ideas...

An infamous disaster in its day, The Sin of Harold Diddlebock was available in two versions, this one and a recut, shorter verison that producer Howard Hughes took care of; neither went down in history as a financial or artistic success. It doesn't sound half bad, though, and indeed its reputation has grown over the years as an underrated cult item, so how does it stand up today? Beginning with the final reel of Lloyd's silent classic The Freshman was a nice reminder of the comic's heyday, and it's remarkable how well preserved he was, playing 22 while in his fifties, but alas it was all downhill from there.

For much of the film's first half the tone is not so much amusing as depressing, with Harold beaten down by a life that went nowhere, reduced to admiring the love(s) of his life from afar and suffering from an altogether complete lack of prospects. To top it all, when we catch up with him in the forties, he is in the process of losing his job, as if it couldn't get any worse: often with the works of writer and director Preston Sturges his lead character's luck will change abruptly, but here he appears to have lost his sense of a good story and the forlorn Harold here will prompt few to recall the go-getter of the twenties.

After bidding farewell to co-worker Miss Otis (Frances Ramsden, whose film career pretty much began and ended with this), who he had fallen for but done nothing about, Harold takes his final paycheque and winds up chatting to Wormy (Jimmy Conlin) who persuades him to join him at a bar for a drink - that Harold will pay for, naturally. This gives us the opportunity to meet another priceless character actor in Edgar Kennedy, playing the barman who invents a new cocktail in honour of Harold having never partaken of alcohol before. This is the life-changing moment as our hero gets drunk, then wakes up two days later - so what happened on Wednesday?

As usual, Sturges amassed a terrific supporting cast, so cult actor spotters will gladly recognise the likes of Margaret Hamilton as Harold's sister (she wears glasses, too), Lionel Stander as a bookie, and Franklin Pangborn as a tailor. But even with this support, the film never takes off and flies, even when Lloyd begins to find his previous form and we recognise aspects - a facial expression, an attitude - from when he was a megastar twenty years before. He was a brilliant physical comedian, but here Sturges prefers to offer him long, overwritten speeches instead and the sole action sequence, with Lloyd hanging off a building attached to a lion, drags on with no real payoff. So this film is more of an unsatisfying curio than a buried treasure, a chance to see one of the screen's great mirthmakers for the last time; for Sturges, there was a return to his previous high quality with Unfaithfully Yours, but he was already slipping, his brief rise and fall spanning one short decade. Music by Werner R. Heymann.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3312 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: