chapter  9
17 Pages

Slapstick skyscrapers: an architecture of attractions

The image of Harold Lloyd dangling from a clock attached to the face of a skyscraper is by general agreement the most famous shot of American silent comedy. According to Richard Schickel,

no illustrated history of the movies – indeed, of the social history of twentieth-century America – seemed complete without that famous still from Safety Last [1923] of Lloyd hanging from the hands of a clock, its face itself dangling from the huge timepiece’s mainspring, some twelve stories above a busy downtown street.1