A meek young man must find the courage within when a rogue tramp menaces his home town.

Director:

(as Fred Newmeyer)

Writers:

(story), (story) | 2 more credits »
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Why Worry? (1923)
Adventure | Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A hypochondriac vacations in the tropics for the fresh air-- and finds himself in the middle of a revolution instead.

Directors: Fred C. Newmeyer, Sam Taylor
Stars: Harold Lloyd, Jobyna Ralston, John Aasen
Comedy | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A sheriff's milquetoast son has a chance to prove himself when a medicine show run by con artists comes into town.

Directors: Ted Wilde, J.A. Howe, and 2 more credits »
Stars: Harold Lloyd, Jobyna Ralston, Walter James
Speedy (1928)
Action | Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Harold "Speedy" Swift, a fan of Babe Ruth and the New York Yankees, saves from extinction the city's last horse-drawn trolley, operated by his girlfriend's grandfather.

Director: Ted Wilde
Stars: Harold Lloyd, Ann Christy, Bert Woodruff
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Short | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Blase eastern boy is shipped off to a ranch in the 'wild west ' by his father.

Director: Hal Roach
Stars: Harold Lloyd, Mildred Davis, Noah Young
The Freshman (1925)
Comedy | Family | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Nerdy college student will do anything to become popular on campus.

Directors: Fred C. Newmeyer, Sam Taylor
Stars: Harold Lloyd, Jobyna Ralston, Brooks Benedict
Movie Crazy (1932)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Family | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Harold Hall, an accident prone young man with little or no acting ability, desperately wants to be in pictures. After a mix-up with his application photograph, he gets an offer to have a ... See full summary »

Directors: Clyde Bruckman, Harold Lloyd
Stars: Harold Lloyd, Constance Cummings, Kenneth Thomson
Cops (1922)
Short | Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A series of mishaps manages to make a young man get chased by a big city's entire police force.

Directors: Edward F. Cline, Buster Keaton
Stars: Buster Keaton, Edward F. Cline, Virginia Fox
The Scarecrow (1920)
Comedy | Short | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Two inventive farmhands compete for the hand of the same girl.

Directors: Edward F. Cline, Buster Keaton
Stars: Buster Keaton, Edward F. Cline, Luke the Dog
The Boat (1921)
Short | Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Buster and his family go on a voyage on his homemade boat that proves to be one disaster after another.

Directors: Edward F. Cline, Buster Keaton
Stars: Buster Keaton, Edward F. Cline, Sybil Seely
Robin Hood (1922)
Adventure | Family | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A nobleman becomes the vigilante Robin Hood who protects the oppressed English people from the tyrannical Prince John.

Director: Allan Dwan
Stars: Wallace Beery, Sam De Grasse, Enid Bennett
Action | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The effete son of a cantankerous riverboat captain comes to join his father's crew.

Directors: Charles Reisner, Buster Keaton
Stars: Buster Keaton, Tom McGuire, Ernest Torrence
Drama | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

While visiting China, an American man falls in love with a young Chinese woman, but he then has second thoughts about the relationship.

Director: Chester M. Franklin
Stars: Anna May Wong, Kenneth Harlan, Beatrice Bentley
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Anna Townsend ...
Charles Stevenson ...
Dick Sutherland ...
Noah Young ...
Edit

Storyline

Always the mama's boy, or in this case a grandma's boy, Sonny joins a posse after a tramp accused of robbery and murder. He is unable to conquer his cowardice until Grandma tells him of his grandfather, also a coward, who overcame his fears with the help of a magic amulet. With new courage (and the charm), Sonny captures the fugitive and becomes the hero of the day. Written by Herman Seifer <alagain@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

tramp | bully | love | battle | sheriff | See All (76) »

Taglines:

His first 5 part feature See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Family

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

3 September 1922 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Harold, Neto Mimado  »

Box Office

Budget:

$100,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (2002 release)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

In the scene where the girl invites the bully to supper, you're is misspelled your. See more »

Goofs

Right after Harold has been deputized, he enters the barn and lets off a shotgun blast which stirs up a flock of chickens. In the long shot, the chickens are flying around Harold and he still holds the rifle; in the next shot, a medium shot, his hands are empty; in the following shot, which is another long shot, he's once again holding the rifle. See more »

Quotes

Title Card: .The place. BLOSSOM BEND: One of those slow towns where the Tuesday morning Express arrives Wednesday afternoon. If Monday's train gets out of the way.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Silent Clowns: Harold Lloyd (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

You Are the Ideal of My Dreams
(1910) (uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by Herbert Ingraham
Sheet music shown before The Girl plays it on piano
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Harold Lloyd's feature film debut is a first-rate silent comedy
10 December 2004 | by (Westchester County, NY) – See all my reviews

About 20 years ago I was fortunate enough to see Harold Lloyd's first feature-length film, Grandma's Boy, at a public screening. I recall that it went over very well with the audience, that Harold was highly sympathetic in the lead role, and that I found the movie pleasant and engaging, with a stronger plot than some of Lloyd's later features. Now that I've rediscovered the film on DVD it's a pleasure to report that it holds up beautifully and, unlike some silent comedies, plays well on TV. Grandma's Boy is a richly atmospheric period piece that is sweet, funny, and suspenseful, and certainly ranks with Lloyd's best work. It's all the more impressive that this was his first attempt at a full-length feature, for it marks a genuine stylistic break with the sort of thing he'd been making up to this point. Unlike some of Harold's earlier, "gag happy" short comedies, this film offers a well structured story built around recognizable human beings who inhabit a basically realistic world. The story is more character-driven than gag-driven, and more relaxed in tempo than Lloyd's earlier films. Admittedly, some of the rural characters are a little cartoon-y, but they don't behave outlandishly or pick fights at the drop of a hat in order to get laughs. And while there are certainly plenty of laughs along the way, everything seems to unfold naturally, and nothing feels forced.

Grandma's Boy is set in the sleepy rural village of Blossom Bend, which, we are told, is "one of those slow towns where the Tuesday morning Express arrives Wednesday afternoon. If Monday's train gets out of the way." Except for a brief prologue and a flashback to the Civil War, the story takes place when the film was made, that is, in 1922, but in the sort of Town That Time Forgot that would have looked like a quaint throwback to some viewers even then. Harold plays a young man who lives with his grandmother, and is the kind of guy who would be called a wimp -- or worse -- nowadays. The prologue dramatizes Harold's lifelong reluctance to defend himself from bullies. He's a coward, he knows it, and he's miserable about it. On the other hand, Harold's grandmother is a peppery old lady who is not to be trifled with. (Anna Townsend plays this role, and she is wonderful). Grandma sympathizes with the boy's plight, yet also comes to realize that she has coddled him long enough, and that he must be tricked into finding the courage within himself.

This movie paints a nostalgic picture of small town life that was never so simple in reality, but, like the story of Tom Sawyer, it holds the powerful appeal of life as we wish it was. Period charm is a major element of the film's strength, but in order to appreciate it fully a modern viewer needs a certain amount of historical perspective. For example: during one scene, when Harold is forced to wear his grandfather's ancient suit to a party, his embarrassment may be hard for some to understand. The other party-goers think he looks strange in his 19th century frock coat, but their own clothing looks just as odd to us as Harold's "old-fashioned" suit does to them, especially the leading lady's massive hair ribbon. (Did that thing look funny to some viewers, even in 1922? I'll bet the flappers thought so!)

The film's best known sequence is a flashback to the Civil War, as Harold's Grandma tells him of his grandfather's exploits behind enemy lines. This is the funniest portion of Grandma's Boy, deliberately played in a "heightened" manner like a hokey stage melodrama. I was especially fascinated by the witch who helps Harold's grandfather triumph over his enemies; she wears heavy stage makeup, emotes like crazy, and looks like she must have a gingerbread house somewhere back in the woods. All of this wacky over-playing is acceptable, dramatically speaking, because we eventually learn that Grandma's story is, well, not entirely true. It's interesting that Lloyd and his colleagues took this approach to the Civil War sequence, but the reasons for doing so are not hard to imagine: when this film was made there were plenty of actual Civil War veterans still around, and the war and its aftermath lingered as a painful memory for many. Perhaps the filmmakers chose to treat the war scenes as jokey melodrama in order to make the material more palatable to contemporary audiences. A few years later, when Buster Keaton made The General, he chose to treat the war with almost documentary-like realism while dropping black comedy gags into the mix, and some critics of the day felt his approach was in poor taste. Lloyd's version of the war is quite different from Keaton's but still valid in its own way, and may well have influenced Keaton when he made his masterpiece.

As memorable as the Civil War sequence is, the most gripping section of the film depicts Harold's transformation from coward to hero, as he manages to subdue a dangerous tramp who has been terrorizing the town. (The tramp is played by Dick Sutherland, an enormous actor with an unforgettable face.) This is a terrifically suspenseful sequence, alternately funny and thrilling, and it's followed by a deeply satisfying finale in which this lifelong sissy applies the lessons he learned in dealing with the tramp to the bully who has tormented him since boyhood. And don't miss the delightful closing gag! Grandma's Boy is a film that leaves the viewer with a warm glow, one of the best movies Harold Lloyd ever made, and one of the top comedies of the silent era.


25 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Why was Harold's Grandfather a Confederate? erica-170-111358
Discuss Grandma's Boy (1922) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page