Repertory Picks

A Harold Lloyd Twofer in Los Angeles

On Film / In Theaters — Jan 24, 2019

Next Tuesday afternoon, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art will spotlight the high-energy high jinks of Harold Lloyd, as two of the silent comedian’s most beloved classics, The Freshman and Speedy, play back-to-back in the Bing Theater. With 1925’s The Freshman, Lloyd made the biggest box-office splash of his illustrious career, throwing himself into the role of a college freshman who, try as he might, keeps failing to impress his new peers—that is, until he pulls off a Hail Mary triumph on the gridiron. Three years later, Lloyd would don his trademark horn-rims for Speedy, his final silent feature. Adapting his irrepressible everyman persona to the streets of New York, the actor appears here as an underemployed self-starter who seeks to save the modernizing city’s last horsecar line (and just so happens to get the girl in the process). Lloyd—who not only played scrappy go-getters on-screen but boasted a bootstraps biography of his own, having risen to fame and fortune from a modest midwestern upbringing—“embodied the spirit of the American dream that any average individual with gumption could attain success,” writes critic Phillip Lopate in his liners for our edition of Speedy.