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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. Written by
This is a good comedy with a good performance by Harold Lloyd in the role of "The Freshman". The entertaining slapstick and amusing story tend to obscure how good a job Lloyd did with his character - to make the story work, Lloyd's character has to be a complete buffoon, utterly oblivious to what is going on around him, yet at the same time he has to be sympathetic to the audience. Lloyd makes this work, and combines it with plenty of good gags to make for a silent comedy classic.
The story is simple, but entertaining, following Harold as he learns about life on the campus of Tate University ("a large football stadium with a college attached"). Old campus comedies are often interesting because they show that, for all the things that have changed, some of the basic personalities on a college campus are still the same as they ever were. Here we have the hard-headed football coach, the mean-spirited hazers, the prissy dean, the wide-eyed freshmen, and more. Most of the characters remain one-dimensional, but they don't need to be anything more in order for it to work. Lloyd does a good job of blending his character into the campus atmosphere, and along with help from leading lady Jobyna Ralston, he makes you care about his silly character while providing plenty of laughs in the process.
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