A SAILOR-MADE MAN(director: Fred C. Newmeyer; screenwriters: Hal Roach/Jean Havez/Sam Taylor/H.M. Walker; cinematographer: Walter Lundin; editor: T.J.Crizer; music: Robert Israel; cast: Harold Lloyd (The Boy), Mildred Davis (The Girl), Noah Young (Rough-House O’Rafferty), Dick Sutherland (Maharajah), Leo Willis (Recruiting Officer), Gus Leonard (Lawyer); Runtime: 47; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Hal Roach; Pathe/New Line Home Video; 1921-silent)
“Plenty of pratfalls and sight gags keep this Harold Lloyd first feature-length film afloat.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Plenty of pratfalls and sight gags keep this Harold Lloyd first feature-length film afloat. It was a big box office hit, as viewers were taken with Lloyd’s glasses-wearing character that gave him the “everyman” appeal. Fred C. Newmeyer (“The Freshman”/”Why Worry?”/”Girl Shy”) directs while producer Hal Roach heads a team of writers in coming up with the screenplay.

Lloyd plays a rich idler hanging around a country club (shot on location at the lavish Beverly Hills Hotel) who asks the popular society girl Mildred Davis (Lloyd’s girlfriend and soon to be wife) to be his wife. She tells him to ask her dad. He tells Harold to do something worthwhile before he’s granted permission, like get a job. Harold joins the Navy, while Mildred goes on a cruise on her father’s yacht. Harold dreams of being an admiral but in reality he’s a lowly sailor on the ship (filmed on the U.S.S. Fredrick) kept busy swabbing the deck. By coincidence, both Harold and Mildred reach Khairpura-Bhandanna at the same time. While on shore leave with his rough-house buddy O’Rafferty, Harold daringly rescues Mildred from being kidnapped by the evil rajah in his posh palace (Roach’s sound stages at Culver City) by pole vaulting into the castle. This time when Harold proposes, Mildred accepts.

The film is really a glorified short that became a full-length feature by accident when Lloyd and Roach kept adding gags and weren’t too concerned with the story line becoming muddled


Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”