The Sin of Harold Diddlebock is a 1947 in film comedy film written and directed by Preston Sturges, starring the silent film silent comedy Harold Lloyd, and featuring Jimmy Conlin, Raymond Walburn, Rudy Vallee, Arline Judge, Edgar Kennedy, Franklin Pangborn and Lionel Stander. The film's story is a continuation of The Freshman (1925 film), one of Lloyd's most successful movies.
The Sin of Harold Diddlebock was Sturges' first project after leaving Paramount Pictures, where he had made his best and most popular films, but the film was not successful in its initial release. It was quickly pulled from distribution by producer Howard Hughes who took almost four years to re-shoot some scenes and re-edit the film, Despite Sturges' later claim that the film "got the best reviews I ever received," the notices were mixed and commented on the unevenness of the comedy, perhaps the result of the falling out between Sturges and Lloyd. Sturges claimed that producer Howard Hughes used the reviews as an excuse to re-make the film.< name=tcmnotes />
In May, it was reported that Hughes was running a contest for his employees to find a shorter name for the film, with the winner to get $250; the next month, after it had only played in three cities, the film was pulled from circulation and its name changed to Mad Wednesday, because of concerns that the word "sin" in the title would hold back the film's box office from the "family trade". It was intended to return the film to distribution as soon as October, and a special effects crew was sent to San Francisco to film process shots to be used in the film's re-editing.< name=tcmnotes />
In the event, because of Hughes' re-editing of the film and re-shooting of some scenes – Sturges said that Hughes "[left] out all the parts I considered the best in the picture, and adding to its end a talking horse" – the film was not ready for re-release until 1950. United Artists backed out of their distribution deal with Hughes, so after Hughes bought RKO, he used his new studio to release the film, now cut from 89 to 76 minutes, on 28 October 1947. The total cost of the film was estimated to be $1,712,959.< name=imdbbiz />
Both versions of the film, as originally released and as altered by Hughes, still exist. The shorter version plays better for audiences, while the original is richer in its comic invention and characterizations.< name=amg />
Awards and honors
In 1951, Harold Lloyd received a Golden Globe nomination as "Best Motion Picture Actor - Musical/Comedy", and the film was nominated for Grand Prize at the Cannes Film Festival< name="festival-cannes.com"></> that same year.
Harold Lloyd filmography
Category:1940s comedy films
Category:Films directed by Preston Sturges
Category:RKO Pictures films
Category:United Artists films