Professor Beware


1h 35m 1938

Brief Synopsis

Egyptologist, Dean Lambert (Lloyd), accused of car-theft, skips bail and begins a cross-country trek to join a group in New York headed for Egypt. With the police close on his trail he gets in and out of scrapes along the way.

Film Details

Release Date
Jun 20, 1938
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Harold Lloyd Corp.
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 35m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
10 reels

Synopsis

In ancient Egypt, Neferus is buried alive after his lover Anebi, the pharoah's daughter, causes his downfall. Three thousand years later at Olympia Museum in Los Angeles, Professor Dean Lambert, who happens to be the spit and image of Neferus, studies the sarcophagus of his double, translating his history tablet by tablet. Dean is convinced that falling in love will ruin him as it did Neferus. Then he meets aspiring actress and heiress Jane Van Buren and exchanges clothes with her drunk audition partner, Snoop Donlan. Dean is arrested for stinking of liquor. His arrest makes the papers and he is asked to resign from the museum staff. Dean has ten days to join an expedition leaving for Egypt from New York and becomes a stowaway in the trailer of a pair of newlyweds bound for Niagara Falls. Snoop then accuses Dean of stealing his watch and clothes. Jane, meanwhile, follows the trailer in order to return Dean's clothes and the museum's car. The newlyweds kick Dean out, while the police trail him on suspicion of robbery and jumping bail. Jane then finds Dean and urges him to clear himself, but he insists on continuing toward New York and she agrees to drive him. While fleeing the police, Jane and Dean camp in the desert, and he falls in love and kisses her. The kiss causes a storm to break, just like the story of Neferus and Anebi. Dean is struck by lightning and begins speaking in a strange language. The next day, he leaves Jane a note saying that "Death lies ahead" if they continue their romance. After many adventures, Sheriff Sweat of Springville, Pennsylvania, finally apprehends Dean, but Jane picks him up in the museum car, which is discovered by the police. A chase ensues. While hiding in the woods, the couple discusses the eighth tablet of Neferus, which says "marriage." After hopping a refrigerator car, the couple is brought before a kindly judge, who dismisses the charges brought against them so that they can marry. The papers print that Jane is to marry a hobo. Although reluctant to make his bad luck worse, Dean marries Jane in New York, but then must face her father, who accuses him of being a fortune hunter. Dr. Ellison, head of the expedition, gives Dean a fake missing fragment of the ninth and last tablet for a wedding present, which Jane has inscribed with the story of Neferus saving Anebi from her father, who has abducted her. Dean boards what he believes is the Van Burens' yacht and fights for his bride, destroying the yacht, to the delight of Van Buren, who now accepts him. Jane then realizes Dean fought for her knowing the tablet was fake. The couple is united and, years later, as an old man, Dean finally finds the real ninth tablet, which assures him he is not going to die tomorrow.

Film Details

Release Date
Jun 20, 1938
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Harold Lloyd Corp.
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 35m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
10 reels

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

According to a January 12, 1938 news item in Hollywood Reporter, yacht exteriors for this film were shot on location at San Pedro, CA for ten days. This was the first picture that Harold Lloyd made after a two-year absence from the screen. Film Daily includes adaptors Jack Cunningham and Clyde Bruckman in the original story credit along with Crampton Harris and Francis and Marian Cockrell. A modern source states that Bruckman was paid for twelve weeks as co-director and twenty-three weeks as writer on this film. The modern source also lists Gaylord Lloyd as business manager. An undated, but contemporary Los Angeles Times news item indicates that Virginia Dabney appeared, or was to appear, in the film, but this has not been confirmed.