Action / Comedy / Family

Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 88%
IMDb Rating 7.7 10 2514


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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by ccthemovieman-1 9 / 10

New York City, Harold & The Babe In Their Prime

For a number of people, this is their Harold Lloyd film, especially if they are from New York City. I can understand that, as it's a funny movie and has great shots of what it looked like in NYC in 1927. (The film was released in 1928). It also is famous for having a 5-minute guest appearance by Babe Ruth.

My vote still goes to "The Freshman," as Lloyd's best but that's all subjective. This is a solid entry and if nothing, else it's a great showcase to see what The Big Apple looked like 80 years ago.

This gets off to good start, too, unlike a number of silent comedies. Harold's ice- cream parlor antics, as a soda jerk, are a lot of fun to watch. I loved the way he signaled his co-workers on how his beloved home team, the Yankees, were doing inning-by-inning. After Harold loses that job, he winds up driving a cab and then, at the end trying to help his girlfriend's father. The elderly man drives the last horse-trolley in the city and is being threatened by someone who wants to buy him out, and Harold comes to the rescue with a dramatic race to beat the clock in the final hectic 15 minutes of the film.

While he was driving the cab, he gets the famous Ruth as one of his customers and he's so excited he almost cracks up the cab and Ruth goes crazy in the back seat. It's a funny scene.

Also tied in with the film is a nice, long scene with Lloyd and his girl (Ann Christy) having a wild day at Coney Island. That, too, was fun and interesting to see. In all, a fun movie and a chance to see Lloyd finish up his great silent career, before films changed to "talkies."

Reviewed by MARIO GAUCI 9 / 10

SPEEDY (Ted Wilde, 1928) ***1/2

Harold Lloyd's last Silent effort is also one of his best vehicles: as ever, production values transcend its simple, comedic nature - the film is particularly relevant as a time-capsule for its view of 1920s New York City - while the narrative itself is filled with enough engaging subplots to please just about everybody - Harold's failure to keep a job for long (we see him, hilariously, as a soda-jerk and a cab driver), his passion for baseball (replacing the game of football celebrated in Lloyd's earlier THE FRESHMAN [1925] and even featuring a cameo by one of its legendary exponents, Babe Ruth, as himself), not to mention an outing with his girl (Ann Christy - okay, if not quite in the same league as regulars Bebe Daniels, Mildred Davis and Jobyna Ralston) at Coney Island.

The main plot, however, concerns a gang of big-city crooks intent on buying out Christy's grandfather (who owns the last operating horse-drawn cart in town); this eventually results in two wonderful set-pieces: the lengthy brawl between the villains and the team Lloyd rallies to resist them, a bunch of mangled but enthusiastic Civil War veterans, and the exhilarating final chase in which Harold ultimately makes good by bringing in the horse-cart on time against all odds - a tour-de-force in the style of Lloyd's climaxes for both GIRL SHY (1924) and FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE (1926). Incidentally, the ousting of an old-fashioned means of transport was also the theme of one of Ealing Studios' classic British comedies, THE TITFIELD THUNDERBOLT (1953), not to mention one of Luis Bunuel's Mexican films, ILLUSION TRAVELS BY STREETCAR (1954).

Tragically, director Ted Wilde - who had also guided Lloyd through his finest movie ever, THE KID BROTHER (1927) - died of a stroke at the young age of 36 the year after he made SPEEDY but not before receiving an Oscar nomination for Best Direction of a Comedy Picture, the only time an award of this sort was handed out by the Academy.

Reviewed by doc-55 9 / 10

Harold Lloyd at his best

Unlike some of his films in which Lloyd plays an underdog until his final self-assertion, here Lloyd plays a would-be Horatio Alger type who nevertheless is fired from one job to another, yet who is ingenious in handling every minor problem that arises, such as finding seats on the subway while still failing at every job. Highlights: The taxi ride with a terrified Babe Ruth; the old geezers defeating a bunch of hired toughs; a dog who comes close to stealing the show; a climactic mad dash across New York in a horse-drawn trolley; a tender not mawkish romance; and always the Lloyd charm and calculating innocence.

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