|SPEEDY (director: Ted Wilde; screenwriters: Jay Howe/Jordan Grey/Jay Howe/Lex Neal; cinematographer: Walter Lundin; editor: Carl Himm; music: Carl Davis; cast: Harold Lloyd (Speedy), Ann Christy (Jane Dillon), Bert Woodruff (Pop Dillon), Byron Douglas (W.S. Wilton),Babe Ruth, Brooks Benedict (Steve Carter); Runtime: 86; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Jeffrey Vance/Harold Lloyd ; Paramount/The Criterion Collection;1928-silent)|
agreeable silent comedy."
by Dennis Schwartz
title was derived from Harold Lloyd's real nickname.
It's an agreeable silent comedy directed by Ted
Wilde ("The Kid Brother"/"Babe Comes
Home"), who received an Oscar nomination for
Best Comedy Director (though its apparent that an
uncredited Lloyd helped in the direction). By the way,
that category was short-lived and no longer exists.
This was Lloyd's swan song in silent comedies, a film
that's not bad but not close to his great works like
Safety Last and The Freshman.
(Harold lloyd) is an obsessed New York Yankee fan and
a ne'er-do-well who might be innovative but
who has trouble keeping a job. His girl friend is the
sweet Jane Dillon (Ann
Christy), whose grand-father (Bert
Woodruff ) owns the last
horse-drawn trolley in the city. The gist of the story
is about a railroad magnate (Byron
Douglas) who desires his track
route because of a pending railroad merger and is
willing to force him out with rough stuff if Pop
refuses his low-ball offer. The city says Pop can keep
his track route if he runs the trolley at least once
over a 24-hour period.
comedy routines have Speedy losing his soda jerk job
because he can't deliver the boss's flowers to his
wife in time; a carefree day spent in Coney Island
with Jane and coming home with a stray dog; getting
too many traffic tickets on a cab driver job and
having the Yankee slugger Babe Ruth as a fare; and the
highlight finale chase scene where the railroad man
has his thugs steal the trolley and a determined
Speedy finds it on the other side of town in the nick
of time to wildly run the trolley over its designated
route while chased by the bad guys.
the funniest gag was Speedy getting a seat for his
girlfriend on the crowded subway by having a dollar
bill on the floor attached to a string in which he
lifts when the seated passenger gets up to make a grab
The comedy was mostly tepid, but the affectionate portrait of a no longer NYC and its myriad of great location street scenes caught my interest.
REVIEWED ON 5/4/2017 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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