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The Sin of Harold Diddlebock

Preston Sturges, probably the wittiest writer and most nimble director of Hollywood's Golden Age of Comedy, gave us such Depression-era classics as Sullivan's Travels, The Great McGintyand The Lady Eve.Less well-known but just as uproarious, in its way, 1947's quirky The Sin of Harold Diddlebock stars an aging Harold Lloyd as a mild-mannered clerk who suddenly loses his job, goes into a saloon for the first time in his timid life and, once lubricated, undertakes a wild and hilarious rampage. An update on the characters Lloyd portrayed in his silent-comedy days, Harold Diddlebock captures not only Lloyd's essence, but Sturges's. Part wiseguy, part high intellect, this titan of screwball was so cleverly subversive that the studio moguls never knew when he was chiding them, which was most of the time. The conversation between Diddlebock and the bartender is one of the funniest pieces of Hollywood dialogue ever written -- in itself, reason enough to revisit this long-neglected Sturges gem. With Jimmy Conlin, Raymond Walburn and crooner Rudy Vallee. It will screen at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 29, at the Boulder Public Library, 1000 Canyon Boulevard. And guess what? Admission is free. For information, call 303-441-3197 or log on at www.boulder.lib.co.us/films. -- Bill Gallo

 
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