Harold Lloyd was not one to leave much to chance, in his films or in his career. A hardworking, industrious filmmaker, Lloyd described himself as “more of a comic actor than a comedian”. He drew upon his normal appearance to create a character that jazz-age America could empathize with, a decent young man who had to live by his wits to get ahead. Ambition paid off handsomely for Harold Lloyd off-screen. Next to Charlie Chaplin, who made fewer films, Harold Lloyd was the most financially successful silent comedian.

Though Lloyd’s superlative comedies included only a handful in which he clung from tall buildings, he is remembered today mainly as a stunt comedian. He hated heights, which was why he set about making these pictures, reasoning that audiences would find them as frightening as he did. A good athlete, Lloyd did many of his own stunts, employing doubles only for the hardest work.