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Harold Lloyd




Pathé, 1923.  Directed by Fred Newmeyer, Sam Taylor.  Camera:  Walter Lundin.  With Harold Lloyd, Jobyna Ralston, John Aasen, Leo White, James Mason, Wallace Howe, Lee Phelps, Gaylord Lloyd.

Harold Van Pelham is a rich hypochondriac who pops pills with ease, and takes delight in discovering new symptoms for himself.  The newspapers are observant, and in the local country club, the members read the latest, "Young millionaire seeks health in the quiet seclusion of tropics."  Harold, equipped with nurse and valet, arrives in Paradiso in style:  via ambulance, propped in bed, dressed in fashion, with cigarette in mouth.  His health is obvious to all around him, but not to him.  His nurse is very attentive to his needs, yet wistfully dreams of him in a romantic way.

Paradiso, a normally "drowsy " island, is besieged by a turbulent attempt at governmental overthrow by an American renegade.  Amidst the gunfire and carnage, Harold walks through the streets, seeing the corpses as locals on siesta, and thinking that drooping bodies are bowing to him.  He tries to find the hotel, and asks for help from the Renegade, who thinks that Harold is the enemy.  The Renegade offers Harold a military escort (to Van Pelham's delight), instructing "Poner el perro en carrel," ( "Put the dog in jail").

The visitor is jailed, along with "Colosso, that wild hermit from the mountains who almost wrecked our army."  Colosso is an eight-foot, nine-and-a-half-inch giant, whose toothache lowered his resistance to arrest.  Harold suggests that the two break out of the cell.  Colosso breaks a hole in the stone walls, letting Harold out first.  The two escape, and Harold makes a lifelong friend when, after several attempts, he succeeds in removing Colosso' s aching tooth.

Harold and Colosso now set out to curb the revolution ("...they'll have to stop it immediately.  I came down here for a rest"), and Colosso uses his immense strength to overpower every target.  "Well, that's done.  Now we've just time to dress for dinner."

The nurse, meanwhile, disguised as a local peasant, has been found by the Renegade, who makes unwanted advances towards her.  Harold is incensed, and is determined to protect her.  He uses surprising athletics to rescue her from kidnapping and, with Colosso ' s help, defeats the revolution.  It is after all this, that Harold realizes that all his ills are imaginary, and that he loves his nurse ("Why didn't you tell me I love you?").

In epilogue fashion, a year later, Harold gets the news that his baby has been born. joyously, he runs into the street, amidst the midday traffic, to tell the traffic cop, Colosso.

The Harold Lloyd Encyclopedia,
by Annette D'Agostino Lloyd
McFarland & Company, Inc.,
Jefferson, NC and London, 2004

Additional detailed information about this film is available from
the AFI Catalog of Feature Films at
AFI.com, or by clicking here.


Additional photos courtesy of Karl