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March 8th 1971 - the passing of a comic icon


JeanneCrain
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The weekly "almanac" short segment of the CBS News Sunday Morning featured Harold Lloyd who passed away 44 years ago…in addition, TCM aired several Lloyd movies - a couple nice tributes of recognition us Harold Lloyd fans appreciated.  :wub:

 

 

 

 

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I don't know if Harold was a fight fan, but he passed away on the same day as what may have been the most publicized sporting event in history - up until that point.

 

That was the first heavyweight boxing contest in history between two undefeated champions, with Joe Frazier defending his crown against Muhammad Ali, newly returned from retirement after being stripped of his crown. That was all the world was probably talking about that day as the two squared off in Madison Square Gardens that night for what turned out to be one of the most celebrated fights in the sport's history. Even Burt Lancaster was at ringside, giving commentary among the glittering crowd assembled that day.

 

I rather suspect that Harold's obituary the following day may have been on the back pages of newspapers.

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Lloyd's passing may have been "secondary news" at that time, but his legacy has endured and maybe even grown some.  Today most references to the early screen comic icons put Harold Lloyd on the same tier as Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton.  Kind of a comic Mount Rushmore (who would be the fourth guy, Fatty Aurbuckle ?)

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I don't know if Harold was a fight fan, but he passed away on the same day as what may have been the most publicized sporting event in history - up until that point.

 

That was the first heavyweight boxing contest in history between two undefeated champions, with Joe Frazier defending his crown against Muhammad Ali, newly returned from retirement after being stripped of his crown. That was all the world was probably talking about that day as the two squared off in Madison Square Gardens that night for what turned out to be one of the most celebrated fights in the sport's history. Even Burt Lancaster was at ringside, giving commentary among the glittering crowd assembled that day.

 

I rather suspect that Harold's obituary the following day may have been on the back pages of newspapers.

 

A friend of mine was a huge Ali fan at the time and proposed a "friendly" - that fight was HUGH and aptly popped my wagering cherry.

 

Thanks for the reminder but more importantly, the connection to Lloyd's passing - won one while losing two that day.

 

;)

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Lloyd's passing may have been "secondary news" at that time, but his legacy has endured and maybe even grown some.  Today most references to the early screen comic icons put Harold Lloyd on the same tier as Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton.  Kind of a comic Mount Rushmore (who would be the fourth guy, Fatty Aurbuckle ?)

Bob Hope :)

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I don't know if Harold was a fight fan, but he passed away on the same day as what may have been the most publicized sporting event in history - up until that point.

 

That was the first heavyweight boxing contest in history between two undefeated champions, with Joe Frazier defending his crown against Muhammad Ali, newly returned from retirement after being stripped of his crown. That was all the world was probably talking about that day as the two squared off in Madison Square Gardens that night for what turned out to be one of the most celebrated fights in the sport's history. Even Burt Lancaster was at ringside, giving commentary among the glittering crowd assembled that day.

 

I rather suspect that Harold's obituary the following day may have been on the back pages of newspapers.

I don't know if he was a fight fan, but he starred in one of the few boxing comedies, THE MILKY WAY.

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PS, not to turn this thread into a wrong direction but I wonder if Burt Lancaster yelled  "Down Goes Ali".

No, Burt didn't say anything, actually, when a tired Ali was knocked down in the last round. Muhammad was up at the count of "four," however, and gamely hung on to the end of the round, even throwing the last few punches in the fight. Frazier, who won the decision that night, later said of that left hook that put Ali on the canvas, words to the effect, "Lordy, I went back to the old hill country for that punch."

 

But here's a shot of Harold in his fighting prime in The Milky Way. Based on this image, I'm not certain that Joe Frazier would have to have travelled quite as far back as the old hill country to put this particular fighting machine down. But, then, again, I could be wrong. There might still have been a cry of "Down Goes Frazier" if they had met in the ring - from Joe's laughing so hard.

 

That Harold had guts. Not a lot of boxers wear glasses in the ring.

 

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Lloyd's passing may have been "secondary news" at that time, but his legacy has endured and maybe even grown some.  Today most references to the early screen comic icons put Harold Lloyd on the same tier as Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton. 

 

There is no question in my mind that Lloyd's stature has grown in the decades since his death. Even a sympathetic observer like Walter Kerr in The Silent Clowns (1975) dismissed him as ultimately superficial, ending his study with this comparison to Keaton and Chaplin (perhaps not verbatim, but close): "These days, we search for other, more complicated icons to lead us back to ourselves".

 

I think the increased availability of Lloyd's films in the last 20 or so years has made him much more visible to viewers who before had known him mostly by reputation and a few clips. I rank him second only to Keaton among the silent comedians. His best films show mastery of film technique (missing in Chaplin), a consistent character, and perhaps the strongest gags of any silent clown.

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No, Burt didn't say anything, actually, when a tired Ali was knocked down in the last round. Muhammad was up at the count of "four," however, and gamely hung on to the end of the round, even throwing the last few punches in the fight. Frazier, who won the decision that night, later said of that left hook that put Ali on the canvas, words to the effect, "Lordy, I went back to the old hill country for that punch."

 

But here's a shot of Harold in his fighting prime in The Milky Way. Based on this image, I'm not certain that Joe Frazier would have to have travelled quite as far back as the old hill country to put this particular fighting machine down. But, then, again, I could be wrong. There might still have been a cry of "Down Goes Frazier" if they had met in the ring - from Joe's laughing so hard.

 

That Harold had guts. Not a lot of boxers wear glasses in the ring.

 

a927e501-4c8c-43ba-9e85-e38e1ef6a029_zps

For those not in the know, it was Frazier's demolition by George Foreman 3 years later, in which he hit the canvas numerous times, which generated Howard Cosell's call of "Down Goes Frazier".

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