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Written and directed by Preston Sturges
U.S., 1947
Starring Harold Lloyd, Frances Ramsden, Jimmy Conlin, Raymond Walburn, Rudy Vallée, Franklin Pangborn, Margaret Hamilton
Approx. 89 min. New 35mm restoration courtesy UCLA Film & Television Archive.

The sole product of Sturges’ partnership with Howard Hughes opens with the Big Game finale of Harold Lloyd’s 1925 THE FRESHMAN, then flashes forward 20 years to find former college football hero Harold (played by Lloyd, in his final role) stuck in the same deadend job. But when he tries his first cocktail (the chef d’oeuvre of bartender Edgar Kennedy), he suddenly goes “mad.” Success isn’t far behind. With an amazing array of Sturges’ character actors, including Jimmy Conlin, Raymond Walburn, Rudy Vallee, Franklin Pangborn, and, as Harold’s sister, Margaret Hamilton (THE WIZARD OF OZ's Wicked Witch of the West). Plus a frisky lion named Jackie.

Seen mostly in the badly-truncated re-release version titled MAD WEDNESDAY, this new 35mm print (the first since 1947!) from the UCLA Film & Television Archives restores Sturges' complete, uncut version for the first time in decades.


"Almost a slapstick equivalent of Death of a Salesman."
– Raymond Durgnat

Film Forum