33 user 36 critic

Speedy (1928)

Passed | | Action, Comedy, Family | 7 April 1928 (USA)
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.


Ted Wilde


John Grey (story), Lex Neal (story) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »




Complete credited cast:
Harold Lloyd ... Harold 'Speedy' Swift
Ann Christy ... Jane Dillon
Bert Woodruff ... Pop Dillon - Jane's Grand-daddy
Babe Ruth ... Babe Ruth
Byron Douglas ... W.S. Wilton
Brooks Benedict ... Steve Carter
King Tut the Dog King Tut the Dog ... The Dog
Learn more

More Like This 

The Freshman (1925)
Comedy | Family | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A nerdy college student will do anything to become popular on campus.

Directors: Fred C. Newmeyer, Sam Taylor
Stars: Harold Lloyd, Jobyna Ralston, Brooks Benedict
Certificate: Passed 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, Harold Lloyd, and 2 more credits »
Stars: Harold Lloyd, Jobyna Ralston, Walter James
Grandma's Boy (1922)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

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

Director: Fred C. Newmeyer
Stars: Harold Lloyd, Mildred Davis, Anna Townsend
Why Worry? (1923)
Adventure | Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 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
Movie Crazy (1932)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Family | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

After a mix-up with his application photograph, an aspiring actor is invited to a test screening and goes off to Hollywood.

Directors: Clyde Bruckman, Harold Lloyd
Stars: Harold Lloyd, Constance Cummings, Kenneth Thomson
The Cameraman (1928)
Comedy | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Hopelessly in love with a woman working at MGM Studios, a clumsy man attempts to become a motion picture cameraman to be close to the object of his desire.

Directors: Edward Sedgwick, Buster Keaton
Stars: Buster Keaton, Marceline Day, Harold Goodwin
Action | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 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
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 Scarecrow (1920)
Comedy | Short | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 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
Big Business (1929)
Short | Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Ollie and Stanley are two Christmas Tree sales reps who get into one of their usual mutual destruction fights with a homeowner.

Directors: James W. Horne, Leo McCarey
Stars: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, James Finlayson
The Boat (1921)
Short | Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 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
Cops (1922)
Short | Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 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


"Speedy" loses his job as a soda-jerk, then spends the day with his girl at Coney Island. He then becomes a cab driver and delivers Babe Ruth to Yankee Stadium, where he stays to see the game. When the railroad tries to run the last horse-drawn trolley (operated by his girl's grandfather) out of business, "Speedy" organizes the neighborhood oldtimers to thwart their scheme. Written by Herman Seifer <alagain@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


LLOYD'S LATEST (original print ad - all caps) See more »


Action | Comedy | Family


Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Filmed extensively on location in New York City. The slums scenes, however, were built and shot on a backlot in Los Angeles. See more »


In several early scenes the box score to the Yankee game is shown to keep fans and customers up to date. The Yankees were said to be playing a home game. Therefore the Yankees should be shown on the bottom of the box score, not on top, as shown in the film. See more »


Title Card: New York, where everybody is in such a hurry that they take Saturday's bath on Friday so they can do Monday's washing on Sunday.
See more »

Alternate Versions

In 1992, The Harold Lloyd Trust and Photoplay Productions presented a 85-minute version of this film in association with Thames Television International and Channel Four, with a musical score written by Carl Davis. The addition of modern credits stretched the time to 86 minutes. See more »


Referenced in I Graduated, But... (1929) See more »


Speedy Boy
Written by Jesse Greer and Raymond Klages
See more »

User Reviews

Broadway Melody Minus Noise
15 February 2011 | by slokesSee all my reviews

The last Harold Lloyd silent comedy, "Speedy" is a yuk-filled feature boasting some impressive thrill scenes and Jazz Age Manhattan ambiance. If not as satisfying as some earlier Lloyd silents, it manages to showcase just why Lloyd was the most popular of the big three silent clowns.

Harold plays the title character, who may have gotten his name from undiagnosed ADD. Speedy flits from job to job while he dreams of baseball and his girl Jane (Ann Christy). Jane wants to marry Speedy, but first there's the business of her grandfather's horse-drawn trolley, which a greedy railway magnate wants to put out of business any way he can.

As other commenters here point out, this is less a unified film than a sequence of four shorts stitched together as follows: 1. Harold the soda jerk. 2. Harold and Jane at Coney Island. 3. Harold the taxi driver. 4. Harold saves Pop's trolley. The only serious concession to "Speedy's" feature length is that some business of short #4 is introduced between shorts #1 and #2.

Add to that the hit-or-miss gagginess of much of the film, and what you wind up with is less satisfying than Lloyd classics like "The Freshman" or "The Kid Brother." Even early Lloyd features like "Grandma's Boy" or "Dr. Jack" had loftier goals than the laugh-driven "Speedy". Yet "Speedy" is funny most of the time, and does work in some other ways, too.

Though I'm not a Yankees fan, I'm a sucker with any movie that features Babe Ruth. Here, in a cameo, he does excellent work as a passenger afraid for his life getting a mad cab ride from the star-struck Speedy.

"Even when you strike out, you miss 'em close," Speedy enthuses, eyes on Babe and not the road.

"I don't miss 'em half as close as you do!" Babe yells back.

It's cool just seeing these two icons share the screen, and if you watch just before the 53rd minute, you'll see a third icon, Lou Gehrig, slip into the background during a Harold-Babe two-shot and proceed to stick his tongue out at the camera!

As fun as moments like that are, "Speedy" doesn't add up to the sum of its parts until the final third, when we resume the story of Pop's horse-drawn trolley. There we get a fitting capper to Lloyd's silent-clown career, with a hilarious street battle between young toughs and old coots fought with flypaper, horseshoes, and a pegleg, among other implements. Then there's the final trolley ride, which employs a horrific-looking real accident to create some tension over the question of whether Harold will save the day.

Like many note, "Speedy" is as captivating for what you see in the background. So much of it was shot for real in Manhattan, and even when there's no comically rude Hall-of-Fame first basemen in sight, there's a lot of energy and activity on view, whether its tugboats on the Hudson, taxis on Times Square, or street urchins ingenuously looking at the camera wondering what's up. The Coney Island sequence is the most labored part of the film for me, but it's still not only inventively played out but especially edifying for those of us who wonder what amusement parks were like before the age of the steel roller-coaster or more stringent safety regulations.

Lloyd and director Ted Wilde knew what the audience wanted, and deliver it here with a cherry on top. If not quite as on the money after more than 80 years, "Speedy" is still well worth watching for fans of Lloyd and silent comedy.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 33 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






Release Date:

7 April 1928 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

O Ás da Velocidade See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.

Recently Viewed