Friday, October 21, 2011

Haunted Spooks (1920)

Haunted Spooks is directed by Hal Roach, and stars Harold Lloyd as the boy, Mildred Davis as the girl, and Wallace Howe as the uncle.  It also has some beautiful title card artwork by Harley Walker and the music is composed, arranged, and conducted by Robert Israel and performed by The Robert Israel Orchestra (Europe). 

In the story a Southern gentleman has died "for the first time", and his estate goes to his grand-daughter and her husband provided they live in the family mansion for one year. Otherwise the girl's uncle inherits everything. There's only one problem - the girl isn't married. This already sounds like a recipe for disaster.  There aren't many chills but plenty of laughs when you throw Harold Lloyd into the mix in this classic short by one of the silent era's comedy masters. 

According to the commentary by Suzanne Lloyd, Annette D'Agostino Lloyd, and Richard Correll this short was filmed from August 19th through August 23rd 1919, and then from January 5th through January 25th 1920, because of an accident Harold Lloyd had during filming.  The accident with a bomb mistaken for a prop resulted in the loss of the thumb and index finger of his right hand and some serious burns to his face and right eye.  This is the first short in which you'll notice Lloyd uses a prosthetic right hand due to some of the scenes being filmed before and then after his accident.

There is some political incorrectness that some viewers might take exception to, but as always these shorts need to be viewed in the context of the times they were produced in. 

No comments:

Post a Comment