The Freshman

Saturday, January 29 at 11:30 AM — Music Box Theatre — 3733 N Southport Ave

Jan 29 - The Freshman

Directed by Fred Newmeyer and Sam Taylor • 1925
One of the most financially successful pictures of the silent era, The Freshman was, in some ways, an unlikely smash. Although Harold Lloyd was silent comedy’s undisputed box office champion, he had recently cultivated a reputation for death-defying stunts and meticulous chases in films such as Safety Last and Girl Shy. Bereft of daredevil thrills, The Freshman hinges entirely on Lloyd’s hometown charm, an island of wholesome earnestness in a sea of Prohibition-era cynicism. He plays Harold Lamb, a mild-mannered freshman at Tate College who aspires to be Big Man on Campus, but whose only knowledge of college customs comes from the movies. (Though The Freshman was scarcely the first of its genre, more people bought tickets to it than had likely ever stepped foot on a college campus, setting off a wave of student comedy imitators and rip-offs from Buster Keaton to Adam Sandler.) Lamb’s quest to win the girl (Jobyna Ralston) and achieve pigskin glory provides a loose structure upon which Lloyd hangs a series of riotous set pieces, culminating in The Big Game where nothing goes right. Don’t worry—no prior knowledge of football or any other sports is required to enjoy Lloyd’s exquisitely choreographed hijinks. (KW)
76 min • Pathé • 35mm from Harold Lloyd Entertainment
Preceded by: Putnam Family Home Movies (c. 1930s) – 10 min – 16mm
Live musical accompaniment by Music Box house organist Dennis Scott

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