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Harold Lloyd
Remind Me

Hot Water (1924)

Hot Water (1924) has some of the funniest sequences of Harold Lloyd's career, but they are usually seen only in comedy compilation and documentary films. TCM is proud to air a rare showing of the entire film.

It's not just for its humor that Hot Water is so often chopped up for other movies. Lloyd constructed this comedy in such a way that it could easily be taken apart if need be. Movie exhibitors had put Lloyd in hot water for his last film Girl Shy (1924). It was a big hit, but at 8,000 feet (almost two hours at silent speed) was deemed too long. Comedies then were seen as the appetizer to a dramatic film in a double feature, not as the main dish. To please the movie showmen, Lloyd built Hot Water as a series of sequences that could be easily shortened, all loosely linked as events in a day in the life of a newlywed husband.

The first section is one of the best and most famous sequences in Lloyd's movies. Sent off for groceries, he ends up winning a live turkey in a raffle. Walking the huge bird on a leash like a pet, Lloyd is forced to return home on a crowded trolley car. The second section sees Lloyd taking his wife and in-laws for a spin in his new car, a "Butterfly Six," and the last section has Harold pursued by his sleepwalking mother-in-law.

Much like the can-do character he played on screen, Lloyd and his film schema became a huge success. Variety noted, "At a hide-away showing [what we would now call an advance screening] there was no questioning the final result. They laughed plenty, often and loud." The Film Daily, then a magazine for exhibitors, also pounded the drum for Hot Water; "Boys, it's a short five reels and you can turn this over to a whale of a profit." That's exactly what exhibitors did. The film was Lloyd's biggest moneymaker to date earning $1,730,324 at the box office. The grateful exhibitors, in a poll taken in 1924, the year of the release of Hot Water, declared Harold Lloyd their number one draw.

Director: Fred C. Newmeyer, Sam Taylor
Screenplay: John Wesley Grey, Sam Taylor
Cinematography: Walter Lundin
Film Editing: Allen McNeil
Principal Cast: Harold Lloyd (Hubby), Jobyna Ralston (Wifey, Miss Stokes), Josephine Crowell (Mrs. Winnefred Ward Stokes).

by Brian Cady