Animation re-enactment of how the clock sequence was shot in “Safety Last” (1923), using a platform, prop clock face and set facade on top of the actual building located at 908 S. Broadway, in downtown Los Angeles. There was a mattress below, but as you can see, no guard rails. The building is 9 stories high and is still extant today.
Screen stills from “Locations and Effects” documentary clip included in the Criterion release of “Safety Last” (1923)
During the famous clock tower stunt, Harold Lloyd is not as far from the ground as he appears. The building on which he climbs was actually a fake wall constructed on the roof of an actual skyscraper and skillfully photographed to maintain the illusion.