Many people, including Harold Lloyd
himself, consider the four-reel A SAILOR-MADE MAN to be the first Lloyd
feature film. I've always been on the fence, preferring to bestow
that title to the more cohesive and satisfying five reel GRANDMA'S BOY.
To my mind, there's not enough plot to call A SAILOR-MADE MAN a feature. In reel one, Harold falls in love and joins the Navy to impress the girl's father. After that, there are about two reels worth of gags aboard a ship, and then, in reel four, Harold has to rescue his girl from the palace of a wicked Rajah. It certainly plays like a film that was developed on the set as a short rather than as a premeditated feature. Lloyd himself admitted that they intended to cut it down, but previews proved it played fine at four reels. It is amusing throughout, and ends with a typically athletic Lloyd chase as he does indeed rescue his girl, but Lloyd has several shorts that are funnier, shorter and hang together better. The best element of the film is the friendship between Harold and Noah Young, a wonderful character actor who specialized in playing big dumb guys. - JB