Directed by Ted Wilde
"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.
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★★★½ review by Bobby Analog on Letterboxd
Coney Island rides in the 1920s were more horrifying than anything dreamed up in the entire Nightmare on Elm Street series.
I also dug this movie because there is a ten minute gag about a crab falling into Harold Lloyd's pocket and then it pinching unsuspecting bystanders. I told everyone about this scene at a pool party and not one person laughed. I am now ostracized and girls hate me.
★★★½ review by Chris on Letterboxd
Things I learned from the Criterion edition of Speedy:
1. Harold Lloyd didn't do as many stunts in this film as in Safety Last or The Freshman, but he was well-off and famous by the time he made Speedy so he didn't really need to risk his life anymore. It was a well kept secret that there was a stunt driver in a very impressive chase scene.
2. It's quick, but he does give his own reflection the finger.
3. Harold Lloyd, when not covered in make-up was a rather handsome man.
4. He got the cameraman from the studio to film all his home movies.
5. Every ride at Coney Island in the 20s was trying to kill you.
★★★½ review by Mike D'Angelo on Letterboxd
A.V. Club review. Such a fantastic record of New York in the late '20s that it's hard to pay attention to the foreground action.
★★★★ review by Tom Morton on Letterboxd
I'm not sure why it has taken me so long to get around to seeing another Harold Lloyd film - I absolutely loved Safety Last! back in 2013, and despite not having any building climbing whatsoever this is very nearly as good. In fact it has just about everything you could ask for - car chases, gorgeous New York locations, a sweet romance (with another one of those wonderful 1920s actresses I can't help fall in love with for reasons I still don't really understand) and a ridiculously cute and extremely useful dog.
Really my only criticism of Speedy is that the first half, which mostly takes in a trip to Coney Island for Harold and his sweetheart, is so damned good that the more action-centric second-half can't quite live up to it. All of Harold's misadventures at the funfair were so great, from the crab in his pocket to all the eating (followed by an amazing "is he throwing up? no, he's testing his lungs!" joke), with the lovely finale set in the moving van they use to hitch a ride home. There's also some great stuff about 'Speedy' bouncing in and out of various jobs and an extended Babe Ruth cameo! Even as somebody who knows nothing about Baseball, I thought that was incredibly cool.
The actual plot kicks in later on, with Harold having to save his girlfriend's grandfather's horse-car business by outwitting a gang of hoodlums. This leads to a massive bust-up on the streets of New York that is impressive, but a bit overextended for my liking - I wanted more time with the dog, the grandfather and Ann Christy! Minor complaints though, this is a superb film full of invention, and this Criterion blu-ray version is one of the best restored and best looking silent films I've ever seen.
★★★½ review by Peter Labuza on Letterboxd
"Lloyd balances Speedy’s gags with both the fantastic and the realistic, relying on his character’s obliviousness to find himself in social situations part in the Manhattan and Brooklyn locales that become absurd through naturally logical causation. A date at Coney Island where a live crab slips into his pocket becomes both a horny pincher that shows the all-too-innocent Lloyd having to display a mix of awkward innocence and self-righteous anger, which only exacerbates situations into higher absurdities."
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