Complete list of movies for Essential viewing based on The Dissolve's Essential Viewing and Essential Retro selections..
Companion list: The…
Harold Lamb is so excited about going to college that he has been working to earn spending money, practicing college yells, and learning a special way of introducing himself that he saw in a movie. When he arrives at Tate University, he soon becomes the target of practical jokes and ridicule. With the help of his one real friend Peggy, he resolves to make every possible effort to become popular.
“Lloyd was outstanding even among the master craftsmen at setting up a gag clearly, culminating and getting out of it deftly, and linking it smoothly to the next. Harsh experience also taught him a deep and fundamental rule: never try to get “above” the audience.”
-James Agee, Comedy’s Greatest Era
Chaplin is a saint, Keaton a bit of a devil (at least according to the laws of physics). Lloyd is us. In The Freshman especially, all he is trying to do is fit in. Lloyd’s plots are broken up into sequences in the same way as Chaplin – you could mix and match scenes pretty easily without too much interruption of rhythm or flow – but within the scenes, he…
One nerdy College student, one old-fashioned Girl, a speech and a kitten, empty trails of ice cream cones, a real-life human dummy, a tiring football practice, a very ridiculous Fall Frolic, a laughable wardrobe malfunction, one big exciting game, and one heck of a truck load of a nightmarish embarrassment.
When it comes to Silent comedies, there are three big names: Charles Chaplin – primarily well-known as the “Little Tramp” character; Buster Keaton – often referred as the “Great Stone Face” whose masterpieces includes “Our Hospitality”, “Sherlock Jr.”, “The General” and “Steamboat Bill, Jr.”; and Harold Lloyd – the modern guy striving for success who astonishingly climbed up the facade of a twelve-story building and accidentally find himself on a…
'Safety Last!' < 'The Freshman'
Harold Lloyd is a silent star I've watched a whole lot less of than Keaton and Chaplin. Certainly he's worthy to be mentioned in the same breath. 'The Freshman's climactic football scene is nowhere near as iconic as the clock scene from 'Last!', but as it's just as entertaining. 'Freshman' actually has a lot of emotion driving the story too. Despite no spoken words, the sad heckling of popular kid-wannabe is both moving and hilarious. 'The Freshman' is 90 years old, but still has a youthful energy that remains everlasting.
The best part of this movie is that the female protagonist at one point says, "Harold Lamb has more spunk in his little finger than you have in your whole body" and it made me wonder if Wes Anderson had been inspired by this movie for one of the best parts in Rushmore.
Otherwise it has a couple of okay jokes interspersed between protracted, unfunny set pieces regarding a poorly-tailored suit continually falling apart during a dinner party and Harold helping the team win in the big football game.
I laughed silently to myself.
I don't think it's QUITE as great as Safety Last! but it's pretty darn great Harold Lloyd film. A college freshman struggles to find popularity and acceptance with the upperclassmen. Harold Lloyd as usual blends a lot of clever gags and physical humor with great filmmaking. There's also a lot of pathos and sweetness in it too. I suspect a lot of college-set comedies and comedy sports movies after this stole a lot ideas from this film.
Harold Lloyd was nowhere near as inspired in his comedy as Chaplin, but he succeeds wildly due to his inherent likability and just how impressively he captures the awkwardness that we all inherently feel. It's interesting that an 80 year-old movie can be so dated (but charming) and relevant at the same time. The movie also isn't the laugh riot that Safety Last is, but interestingly enough the title cards giving exposition are actually the funniest and wittiest moments in the whole movie (i.e.: Tate University was a large football stadium with a college attached to it). Lloyd also was no physical genius, so the sequence with the suit works more on a level of charm than actual comedic ability.…
Charm galore saves the day
Some good gags, but way too cute for my taste
What I wanted this movie to be: The only movie I have seen from Keaton in recent years is Sherlock, Jr., which is pretty fun. As a child, they showed lots of his movies to us in our kindergarten class, and I remember thinking they were the most impressive and hilarious thing I had ever seen. I was waiting for more of the stunts I remembered from childhood mixed with the comedy of Sherlock, Jr.
What this movie was: There were really only stunts during the football scene, and they are mainly impressive in terms of how much of a beating he can take. The comedy was super fun, though, especially during the ball! Keaton was also far from deadpan in this role, which defied one of the three things I knew about Keaton. The just-be-yourself plot is also very recognizable to a modern viewer.
This is my tenth movie in the Letterboxd Season Challenge 2015-16 . This is my third Harold Lloyd film (Safety Last, The Mily Way) and is my favorite so far. While I still put Lloyd slightly below Keaton and Chaplin, this was a wonderful experience. The plot is simple and predictable, but Lloyd's performance kept me constantly rooting for Speedy. The tackling dummy and ballroom scenes were my favorite. I also enjoyed the performance of Jobyna Ralston as his love interest.
Uno dei più celebri film di Harol Lloyd.
Indimenticabili le scene della partita di football.
jobyna ralston though
I wonder if I'll ever believe in anything as much as Harold Lloyd seemed to believe in the American Dream. Anyway, go read Labuza.
More endearing than funny, its gags go on for far too long, especially the party sequence. Lloyd plays the everyman with our dreams well enough in the end, and I'm quietly rooting for his triumphant end
The entire Criterion collection organized by spine number.
I don't know why I did this.
Number I've Seen: 196/776 (25%)
UPDATED: November 23, 2015
The Criterion Collection is a video distribution company that sells "important classic and contemporary films" in…