msrowleys

The Glasses Characters

“The glasses would serve as my trade-mark and at the same time would suggest the character – quiet, normal, boyish, clean, sympathetic, not impossible to romance. I would need no eccentric make-up, ‘mo’ or funny clothes. I would be an average recognizable American youth and let the situations take care of the comedy. The comedy should be better for not depending upon a putty nose or its equivalent and the situations should be better for not being tied to low-comedy coat tails…Exaggeration is the breath of picture comedies, and obviously they cannot be true to life, but they can be recognizably related to life.”

“Whereas my character was always the boy with the glasses, and whereas he was always fighting odds, fighting the big fellows, still his attitude of thinking was entirely different from one character role to another – not that we didn’t occasionally repeat the same type…Sometimes he was rich, sometimes he was poor, sometimes he was a sophisticate, sometimes he was a dreamer, and each quality would motivate a lot of gags we’d do.”

It was this variance of personality traits, this change of motivation, that so endeared the Lloyd films to the public imagination. With each release of a Harold Lloyd comedy, a new Glass Character emerged. And, a new faction of Lloyd’s audience would see itself represented.

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