By the time Harold Lloyd released his first two-reeler featuring his "glass" character (aka, the guy with the horn-rimmed glasses), he had roughly 170 shorts under his belt already. An astute and crafty filmmaker, Lloyd had introduced this character in one-reelers, interspersing them with two reel shots featuring his Chaplinesque derivative Lonesome Luke. His plan was to flood the market with the new character via quickly shot one-reelers while still providing audiences two-reelers featuring the popular Luke character. The plan worked beautifully, as people warmed up to and then began to love the new, more normal Harold.
Bumping Into Broadwayis a pleasant short that features Lloyd as a struggling writer hoping to sell a Broadway play, while also trying to keep his landlord from kicking him out of his shabby apartment. His neighbor, played by his current leading lady onscreen and in real life Bebe Daniels, is a young actress hoping to make it big on the stage. The scenes in the apartment building have lot of intricately choreographed running around, as Harold tries to evade the landlord and her thug (Noah Young - who else?) and the final four minutes contain a frenzied police raid inside a secret nightclub. Like just about everybody, Lloyd borrowed from Chaplin, who often featured chases and fights like these in his own films, but Lloyd's athleticism, a trait rarely if ever shown by Chaplin, stamp these sequences as his own.
The film itself was very popular in its time, and
Lloyd would remain playing the glass character for the rest of his
career. ½ - JB