SAFETY LAST!
1923, Janus Films, 73 min, USA, Dir: Fred C. Newmeyer, Sam Taylor

The comic genius of silent star Harold Lloyd is eternal. Chaplin is 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 – a climb that results in one of the most iconic images in film history, as Lloyd dangles from a clock high above the streets of Los Angeles.


ST. MARTIN’S LANE
1938, Cohen Film, 83 min, UK, Dir: Tim Whelan

Street entertainer Charles Staggers (Charles Laughton) has eyes for beautiful pickpocket Libby (Vivien Leigh) and convinces her to work the crowd as a busker instead of a thief. But Charles realizes that the posh Harley Prentiss (Rex Harrison) can do a lot more for Libby than he can. Featuring three outstanding performances, this clever comedy was released in the U.S. as SIDEWALKS OF LONDON – after GONE WITH THE WIND had made Leigh a star.


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