Harold Lamb's dream is to go to college and become the most popular student on campus, much like the character Speedy played by actor Lester Laurel in the movie "The College Hero". Accepted into Tate College, Harold plans on emulating Speedy, including giving himself the nickname Speedy, to gain that popularity, not realizing that if he does so, he will be more the buffoon than the hero. To be the most popular student, he will have to outdo the current most popular student, football captain Chet Trask. Unaware Speedy's task is made all the more difficult when one of the upperclassmen, seeing how hard Speedy is trying to impress, does whatever he can to make Speedy look all the more ridiculous, all the while Speedy believing he is achieving his dream. The bully's efforts are made all the more easy as Speedy is able to buy his way to seeming popularity with the small nest egg he was able to accumulate from work. The one thing that Speedy may not be able to buy is his way onto the ...Written by
Harold Lloyd originally began production with the football scenes, filming at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA. However, he couldn't achieve the right tone for these final scenes, and he decided to start over again and shoot the film in sequence. See more »
When Peggy is doing the crossword puzzle on the train, Harold tells her he has the solution for clue number "19 Vertical". The puzzle is shown twice in close-up, and there is no "19 Vertical" - clue 19 is horizontal only. See more »
The Dean of the College - he was so dignified he never married for fear his wife would call him by his first name.
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A scene was filmed in which Harold cries and is comforted by Peggy (Jobyna Ralston). Harold Lloyd cut this scene when he re-released the film, thinking it was too overly sentimental, but the footage was recently reinstated by his granddaughter, Suzanne Lloyd Hayes. See more »
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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