Teens dating 1920 s
Marcel L’Herbier’s silent masterpiece about rival bankers circles in on two dangerous obsessions of the années folles – aviation and high finance – as an avaricious tycoon attempts to boost his stock by speculating on a transatlantic flight.Having been thwarted by studio bean-counters on previous projects, the director channelled his disdain for money into this acidic modernisation of the Emile Zola novel.Here, the city is a playground, and a land of opportunity for rich and poor.While we’re rooting for Pop and his tram vs the money-men, Lloyd’s ultimate aim is not to preserve the rickety old bus but to get a better payout for his girlfriend’s grandfather so he can retire and they can set up home together. (1923), the bespectacled boy-next-door takes on the bewildering big city and triumphs.
In truth, NYC’s last horse-drawn tram trundled down Bleecker Street in 1917, but in Harold Lloyd’s late-20s comedy Speedy, the service is still rolling on in “an old-fashioned corner of the city – a section that had never acquired the pace of the rest of New York”.As both layabout and gadabout, Chaplin’s off-kilter aristocratic air is a deadpan delight.And if you’re a fan of roaring 20s fashion, Purviance’s wardrobe is a thing of splendour – a pair of art deco-embellished stockings among its highlights.L’Argent is famed for its technical innovations and jaw-dropping art deco extravagance – gaze at opulent, oversized sets, captured in deep-focus photography, with Brigitte Helm shimmering in golden satin at the centre.
The location scenes filmed at the Paris stock exchange during a bank holiday marshalled 1,500 extras, shot by 18 cameramen, and feature a spectacularly nauseous ‘plunge’ shot from the ceiling.
As luck would have it, it falls to our hero, Pop (played by Lloyd), to keep it running one more time, and defeat the grasping railroad developers.