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Film / A Sailor Made Man

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A Sailor-Made Man is a 1921 feature film (barely, 47 minutes) directed by Fred Newmeyer, starring Harold Lloyd.

Harold is a callow rich boy with a massive sense of entitlement. While relaxing at a fancy resort he sees a pretty blonde girl (Mildred Davis) and decides immediately to marry her. Her father, appalled at Harold's laziness and entitlement, demands that he "GET A JOB."

Harold goes off looking for work, and, more or less at random, joins the Navy. He doesn't care for it very much, but a random shore leave at a port somewhere in the Islamic world provides him with a chance at heroism and character growth, when 1) he runs into Mildred again and 2) she is kidnapped by the Maharajah, who wants to add her to his harem.

Originally planned as a two-reeler, but turned out so well that it was released as four reels and thus became Lloyd's first feature film.

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Tropes:

  • Contrived Coincidence: Harold going on shore leave in some Islamic principate and finding Mildred.
  • Crashing Through the Harem: At one point while fleeing from the Maharajah's goons, Harold crashes through the harem, with the girls scattering in panic.
  • Everything's Better with Monkeys: Harold is the commander of his ship, greeting a visiting princess, who strokes his hair. Then he wakes up to find that the hair-stroking is being done by a mischevious monkey.
  • Gentlemen Rankers: Harold, who is filthy rich, enlists as a common sailor. Of course, it was basically a random choice to prove he could hold a job.
  • Idle Rich: Harold is the "heir to twenty millions", and so entitled and thoughtless that he thinks nothing of dabbing on an artist's painting or sitting on a resort guest's chair the instant the guest rises to greet a friend.
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  • Literal Ass-Kicking: Harold delivers a kick right to the Maharajah's backside when rescuing Mildred.
  • Nameless Narrative: As usual in Harold Lloyd films.
  • Qurac: Harold's boat takes shore leave in Agar Shahar Khairpura, the "City of a Thousand Rascals", in the country of Khairpura-Bhandanna.
  • Where Da White Women At?: Some pretty racist humor involving the Maharajah, who is pretty dark-skinned, and his fellow dark-skinned Arabs kidnapping the white girl into the harem.
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