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Harold Lloyd Today

Suzanne Lloyd was raised by her grandparents, Harold and Mildred Lloyd, at their home Greenacres. As a teenager, she attended Lloyd film tributes, listened to her grandfather speak at colleges, and even helped rewind nitrate prints.


Harold recognized Suzanne's aptitude for business and left specific provisions in his will that she would be the family representative working on all matters related to his films, his image and his legacy. He died in 1971 leaving his 19 year-old granddaughter one of three trustees to his film library.

The Harold Lloyd Trust licensed edited versions of the films to Time Life and later films to Thames Television. The deals were not what her grandfather would have wanted, but Suzanne was out voted. “He had very specific wishes for his films.” Lloyd remembers. “He felt that commercials broke up the rhythm of the comedy; and he disliked piano scores. The films were never shown that way originally.”

In the 1990’s, Suzanne petitioned the court and became the sole trustee of her grandfather’s legacy. Finally, in 2001 the entire library, 85 surviving titles, came back under her control. She created Harold Lloyd Entertainment, Inc. to license the films as her grandfather would have wished.

Lloyd approached over 15 studios and DVD producers and was met with the same response. “They either wanted to cherry pick titles like the Thames deal, or they weren’t willing to
pay for the restoration and orchestral scores that the movies needed.” recalls Lloyd.

The Harold Lloyd library is one of the largest privately held film libraries devoted to one performer. The films, many of them 80 years old, were in need of restoration, a daunting project for any individual to undertake. With the help of UCLA and the Packard Humanties Foundation, Lloyd began the arduous task of restoring the classic films. To preserve them for a new generation, the original nitrate negatives were digitally restored and new orchestral scores were composed.

In 2002, the comedy of Harold Lloyd was reintroduced to the United States when Turner Classic Movies stepped forward and licensed the newly remastered films for their cable channel.

 

Jeff Blake at Sony saw the films on TCM and offered to release the Lloyd films theatrically. In April 2005, Sony Pictures Releasing premiered newly restored prints at the Film Forum in New York. Currently, the films are touring the country and playing in theaters for the first time in over 50 years.With all the major titles preserved, Lloyd was ready to once again pursue a DVD deal.

Guy Stodel at New Line became a fan of Harold Lloyd after seeing the Time Life versions as a child. He introduced Suzanne Lloyd to New Line in 2004. “New Line understood everything I wanted for these films,” says Lloyd. “They have gone out of their way to include the most incredible special features on their 28 title box set.”

Ron Halpern at Studio Canal has since optioned the library for French release: TV, DVD, and theatrical. Universal will distribute DVDs internationally. “We’re still looking to sell international TV and theatrical,” says Lloyd. “Then we can restore the remaining 50 titles.”

Helping Lloyd the last five years is writer/producer Chuck Johnson. Together they’ve pitched Harold Lloyd remakes to some of the major producers in town. Last year, SONY optioned the rights to SAFETY LAST! with producer Mark Gordon. A director is currently being sought.

“Harold has the perfect image for merchandising,” says Johnson. “The commercial possibilities are endless.” The Trust controls over 4000 production stills some of which have recently been displayed at gallery showings in London and Los Angeles.

Then there are the 3d slides -- close to 300,000. Harold traveled the world with his 3D camera. “Harold photographed Marilyn Monroe in the early 50s.” says Johnson. “Limited edition prints were introduced with great enthusiasm at the Monroe auction in June,2005.”

The website TheHaroldLloydCollection.com showcases the photography of Harold Lloyd. It includes the Monroe photographs along with pinup icon Bettie Page. Harold’s travel photography and stills from his films are also featured.

In 2004, with Johnson’s help, Lloyd released the pinup book, HAROLD LLOYD’S HOLLYWOOD NUDES IN 3D. (Black Dog and Leventhal). Her previous books include3-D HOLLYWOOD (Simon and Schuster) and HAROLD LLOYD MASTER COMEDIAN, (Abrams).

During the 1920’s Harold Lloyd was one of the world’s most successful film stars. When he died, an important film legacy was bestowed upon his granddaughter. Suzanne Lloyd considers it an honor, “When I see these films introduced to a new generation, families, little kids laughing at the guy in the glasses, I know Harold would be so pleased.”

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