Professor Beware (1938)

Passed   |    |  Comedy


Professor Beware (1938) Poster

Egyptologist, Dean Lambert (Lloyd), accused of car-theft, skips bail and begins a cross-country trek to join a group in New York headed for Egypt. With the police close on his trail he gets... See full summary »


6.6/10
152

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18 May 2020 | MartinHafer
5
| I'm surprised Lloyd didn't hold out for a better script.
During the 1920s, Harold Lloyd was box office gold. You might be surprised to hear that his comedies outdrew those of Keaton or Chaplin during that era and he was the most popular silent comedian on the planet. So, with this amazing reputation, it's quite surprising that several of his sound comedies were relative duds....pleasant enough to watch but far less well written than his earlier efforts. A few were really good ("Movie Crazy" is a great sound comedy) but most were contrived and difficult to love. "Mad Wednesday" and "Professor Beware" both are among the difficult to love movies.

The story is about Professor Dean Lambert (Lloyd), a world famous Egyptologist. One night, he comes upon a damsel in distress and unquestioningly helps her....but it really makes no sense. After all, she wants him to change clothes with a drunk guy and wait out in the car....for a woman he just met! Soon, the police arrive and see the Professor in his underwear and they arrest him! Suddenly, he finds himself in the newspapers...and without a job.

Later, the woman he helped returns. Now you'd THINK he'd take her to explain the situation to the judge or prosecutor. Instead, he runs to New York because he is about to go on an expedition to Egypt. So, in other words, he fleas the state and risks a very long prison sentence AND loss of his reputation instead of staying in California to straighten out the problems. And, to get to New York, he soon finds himself bumming rides and riding the rails!! Oh, and did I mention that the Professor just happens to think he is the reincarnation of a 3000 dead Egyptian...and the lady who asked for his help was his lover 3000 years ago?!

Does ANY of this make any sense? Of course not!! Is it funny...sometimes. But at least Lloyd is likable in this film...and there are a few cute moments here and there. But on balance, it's definitely a sub-par Lloyd outing....and this would explain why it was a decade later when he made his next (and final) film.

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