Never Weaken (1921) 720p

Movie Poster
Never Weaken (1921) - Movie Poster
Comedy | Thriller
Frame Rate:
23.976 fps
No linguistic content 2.0  
Run Time:
19 min
IMDB Rating:
7.5 / 10 
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Directors: Fred C. Newmeyer [Director] ,

Movie Description:
Our hero (Lloyd) is infatuated with a girl in the next office. In order to drum up business for her boss, an osteopath, he gets an actor friend to pretend injuries that the doctor "cures", thereby building a reputation. When he hears that his girl is marrying another, he decides to commit suicide and spends the bulk of the film in thrilling, failed attempts.


  • Never Weaken (1921) - Movie Scene 1
  • Never Weaken (1921) - Movie Scene 2
  • Never Weaken (1921) - Movie Scene 1

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early Harold Lloyd

The Boy (Harold Lloyd) flirts with The Girl in a neighboring office. She becomes distraught when her boss informs her of them moving due to a lack of patients. The Boy causes mayhem in the streets as he tries to drum up business for her. A misunderstanding leaves him suicidal as he comically tries and fails to kill himself.

This early Harold Lloyd has his every man character and his sky high stunts. This 29 minutes short has all of the Harold Lloyd comedic concepts. The I-beam reminds me of an old cartoon. The sequence needs a little more work. This is a good starting point for early Harold Lloyd.

Bravery and commitment to the highest degree as Lloyd goes out with a bang for the silent short era of his career

Harold Lloyd's Never Weaken finds itself notable for several reasons, more than just being Lloyd's final silent short before moving on to strictly feature-length productions. For one, the short was a pioneer of the silent genre known as "thrill-comedy," which blended the elements of slapstick and humor with aspects of a thriller, giving audiences moments to laugh and moments to gasp which, if done right, could give off complex feelings. Furthermore, a good chunk of this short features Lloyd atop a large construction sight, balancing on long, metal pillars, struggling to stay on, and hanging on for dear life in, which only proves more tantalizing when one realizes that Lloyd did all his own stunts for this short, refusing to wear a wire or a harness to further ensure safety and support.

The film stars Lloyd as an office-worker, who plans to wed the beautiful Mildred (Mildred Davis), whom has been his girlfriend for a long time now. However, after hearing a man say to her "of course I will marry you," without any context, the man becomes distraught, emotionally upset, and decides to commit suicide by blindfolding himself and rigging a gun to fire when he pulls a string that is tied to the trigger. After an odd and nearly unexplainable series of events, with the bullet hitting the light next to him, the man finds himself high above the city, atop a construction site, all of a sudden struggling to hold on for dear life.

Never Weaken illustrates the age-old idea of a misunderstanding, which has been put to great effect in comedy films and, as we see, even the early days of silent filmmaking. Being brewed from the classic misrepresentation makes for cute innovation, for the time, as we find ourselves one step ahead of the character with each turn, right from the core misunderstanding in the very beginning. Throw in Lloyd's incredible facial acting and unbelievably talented physical comedy, and this is a conglomeration of true talent and innovation you can't help but cheer on through and through.

Starring: Harold Lloyd and Mildred Davis. Directed by: Fred Newmeyer and Sam Taylor.

Sometimes Killing Yourself Is Just So Difficult

The title doesn't make any sense, but otherwise this is a terrific Harold Lloyd short that demonstrates why Lloyd was so beloved.

I watched this shortly after watching another Lloyd short, "Haunted Spooks" (mostly because they come together on the same DVD), and it's very similar in premise to the first half of "Spooks." Lloyd plays a young man who thinks the love of his life is in love with someone else, and he decides to commit suicide. Of course, he's Harold Lloyd, so things don't go as planned, and he instead finds himself dangling above New York city from a construction site. These scenes are real nail biters, as one thing after another threatens to send him plummeting, and Lloyd showcases the dare-devilry that was so common to silent comedy actors from that time.

Grade: A
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