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... See full summary »
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 <email@example.com>
Harold Lloyd's first great feature pits him in his ideal homespun setting with a simple and archetypal plot in which the mild-mannered Boy gradually learns to overcome his cowardice - with the help of his loving grandmother - to become the toast of the town; in this respect, it predates the star's more celebrated THE FRESHMAN (1925) in being, above all, character-driven (with a dash of sentimentality). That said, perhaps the film's most hilarious scene is a typical one in which both Lloyd and his rival for the affections of leading lady Mildred Davis unwittingly mistake moth-balls from Lloyd's ancient costume (which had belonged to his grandfather) for sweets.
It's climaxed, however, by three lengthy and impressive set-pieces: the Civil War feat of the hero's grandfather (also played by Lloyd and remarkably anticipating Keaton's THE GENERAL ); the chase leading up to the capture of the town bully by the newly-brave Lloyd (brought about by the presence of a Zuni doll - more than 50 years before such an artifact would achieve immortality via the classic made-for-TV compendium TRILOGY OF TERROR !); and our hero's settling of accounts with his mean-spirited rival, which features some rather physical tussling for this kind of film. As ever with Lloyd, apart from providing the requisite attention to gag structure and the creation of atmosphere, the film results in being quite technically proficient.
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