After matching The Artist (2011) and Harold Lloyd in a prior post, how about pairing Harold and Adam Sandler for an encore? I haven’t seen many of Sandler’s films, but once I realized Big Daddy was shot on location in New York, it didn’t take long to discover Sandler had crossed paths with Lloyd’s 1928 production of Speedy. Lloyd filmed so filmed extensively in Manhattan that there are likely common locations between Speedy and nearly every New York-based film succeeding it. You can see Speedy in person when I present it at 3:10 pm on Sunday, October 21, 2012, and at 7:30 pm on Monday, October 22, at Film Forum, 209 West Houston Street, New York, NY 10014.
During the climatic race home in Speedy, Harold charges a horse-drawn trolley across Manhattan, from Grove Street and 4th Street, past the Christopher Street Sheridan Square subway entrance, towards 7th Avenue. I write about this in greater detail in a prior post. Big Daddy used the same setting, above, for a scene where Sandler’s character impresses his friends by demonstrating that the young foster child in his care can dangle a loogie nearly all the way to the ground before sucking it back up into his mouth. [Update: the subway entrance appears again in the recent film Inside Llewyn Davis (below)].
Harold continues his race home in Speedy along the south end of Bowling Green Park, beside the former U.S. Customs House, now the home of the Smithsonian Institute’s National Museum of the American Indian. In Big Daddy, Sandler uses a phone booth at Bowling Green to call his father for advice. The four allegorical sculptural groups in front of the museum, representing the Four Continents; Asia, America, Europe, and Africa, were created by artist Daniel Chester French between 1903-1907.
Above, Harold races through the archway at Washington Square Park. The Washington Memorial Arch was fashioned after the Arc de Triomphe in Paris by Gilded-Age architect Stanford White, and was dedicated in 1895. Vehicular traffic along 5th Avenue was permitted through the arch, and across the park, until the 1960s. Sandler used the park to film a scene where he allows the foster child in his care to change his name from Julian to Frankenstein.
You can read all about Harold Lloyd filming Speedy in Manhattan, and Coney Island, and Brooklyn (and in downtown Los Angeles) in my book Silent Visions. The section on Speedy is nearly 100 pages long, and is filled with wonderful vintage photos of New York.
My blog also has several other Lloyd-Manhattan posts, including a tour of Brooklyn locations in Speedy, an overview of Speedy Manhattan locations, including three annotated Google maps, a post showing where Lloyd and Buster Keaton crossed paths in New York, and posts about Babe Ruth AND Lou Gehrig’s cameo appearances in Speedy.
For more New York locations appearing in Big Daddy, check out these websites: http://onthesetofnewyork.com/bigdaddy.html and http://www.themoviemap.com/film-locations/bb/big-daddy-1999/
HAROLD LLOYD images and the names of Mr. Lloyd’s films are all trademarks and/or service marks of Harold Lloyd Entertainment Inc. Images and movie frame images reproduced courtesy of The Harold Lloyd Trust and Harold Lloyd Entertainment Inc. Big Daddy (C) 1999 Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc.