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.
My streak of watching it least one movie a day for the entire 2014 year almost came to an end today.....but I managed to get not one but two Harold Lloyd movies in. Granted The Freshman was only 76 minutes long and Bumping Into Broadway was only 25 minutes long.
In the The Freshman, Lloyd plays an awkward new college student (interesting that Lloyd played a doctor three years earlier). He wants to be popular but almost all of his efforts backfire. This one does provide Lloyd with some interesting scenes. My favorites would be when he tries out for the football team. Instead of making the team he ends up as the tackling dummy and the water boy. I…
“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…
As part of my Letterboxd Season Challenge
Less slapstick, more just silent rom-com, as it depends far more on situational comedy and hands down the sharpest use of intertitles Ive seen, than visual gags (although some set pieces, like the famous football game, are fantastic). This isnt a bad or a good thing, its still hilarious, sweet and highly entertaining, but ito. the never ending slapstick argument, Lloyd just didnt quite match Keaton or Chaplin's physical comedy for me (his spectacular Safety Last being a noteworthy exception). He was by far the most likable of the triad though and that made up for most. A great American underdog story.
'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 Freshman is one of Lloyd’s most amiable adventures. It was his most commercially successful film and perhaps is my personal favourite. The stunts and set pieces are less spectacular than Safety Last! or Girl Shy. But there is something warm and endearing about Harold’s attempts to make good amongst the smug elite of Tate College. There isn't always a 'Harold' in Harold Lloyd pictures in the way there is a Charlie or Buster. In a lot of his pictures he is a blank spectacled cipher creating spellbinding chaos around him. His screen persona is not as well formed as his great peers. But this is different in The Freshman . There is more personality to him here. He is,…
Comedy that is painful both physically and emotionally. Harold Lloyd as the outsider desperate to be popular at college and not yet worked out that you can't buy friends. Some of the extended gag sequences brilliantly thought through and executed, my favourite being a ball sequence where the hero's dinner suit is steadily falling apart.
Reminded me very much of my own freshman year in college.
Credited as the first 'sports' movie, this should be a classic in anyone's book. It's light-hearted fun that really showcases the vastly underrated silent star that was Harold Lloyd.
With goofy lines like 'I'm just a regular fellow - step right up and call me 'Speedy' ', it's a little campy, but that was really a staple of any comedy of this time. Even with no sound the movie has plenty of charisma and has an excellent remastered version available on Hulu.
Conceptually speaking, The Freshman was very unique at the time of its release, so much so that it sparked a craze for college based films. Whilst this sub-genre has now been driven into the grave, The Freshman still remains a surprisingly entertaining and accurate representation of the life of a freshman.
Harold Lloyd plays a geek, who seems to have no friends. Just as he is about to begin his first year at college, he aspires to become the most popular student at college. But the bullies at college may have other ideas.
I cannot stress enough just how impressive The Freshman really is. Harold Lloyd shows, especially with this picture, just how much of a mind he has for…
It took a while to grab me, but pretty funny by the end. I kind of like how Lloyd's persona is so different from the other classic silent comedians, but he's also less interesting that Keaton or Chaplin.
SAW: in Norris Theater (for 464)
Good moments, but not really that funny... Also, way too many inter-titles
While not a tour-de-force achievement like Keaton's best, and not an emotional powerhouse like Chaplin's best, The Freshman is just darned funny and quite fun. The intertitles are some of my favorites I've yet seen, and they did honestly make me laugh. A great intro to Lloyd.
It's my first Harold Lloyd film and while it won't be my last I wasn't terribly impressed by it. Certain gags are great but some just didn't work for me.
UPDATED: January 28, 2016
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A list of all films associated with the Criterion Collection, including laserdiscs, DVDs, Blu-rays, Essential Arthouse, Eclipse Series, Hulu Plus,…