The Freshman (1925)

Not Rated   |    |  Comedy, Family, Romance

The Freshman (1925) Poster

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


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26 April 2006 | ccthemovieman-1
| Gets My Vote As Lloyd's Funniest
As I continue to delve into the Harold Lloyd films, courtesy the Lloyd Collection DVDs, this movie still ranks as the most entertaining of his silent films. ...and perhaps his funniest, but humor is subject. So far it's number one with me and I know I'm not alone.

Many silent comedies, Lloyd's and others, take 15-20 minutes to warm up but this is fun right from the start. I love Harold's "jig" as he introduces himself to people, thinking he would be "cool" and accepted by doing that, and calling himself "Speedy." I laughed every time he did that, beginning with a very early scene as he prepares himself for college. He was ready to make a big first impression. Of course, all it did was make himself look like a sap, but that's Harold for you, and the type of character he liked to play: a meek, corny-but good-hearted guy who becomes the hero in the end of his stories.

Harold does what he can to become popular in college, figuring the best way would be to be a football hero, since the current gridiron star is the "big man on campus." Harold makes the team, but only out of sympathy for his "spirit." Then, the big game comes and all I can say is that this almost looked like the wild-and- crazy ending of the Marx Brothers in "Horse Feathers." It's not as crazy as the game in that film, but it isn't far behind.

That ending was total lunacy but great fun and Harold winds up making that silly jig and handshake which now has become "in" thing to do, since Harold is the hero! This is a great silent comedy, one of the best from anyone.

Critic Reviews

Did You Know?


The San Bernardino Daily Sun reported on Thursday 13 November 1924 that on the previous afternoon Harold Lloyd had been filming train station scenes at the Southern Pacific Railroad depot at Lemon Avenue and Depot Street in Ontario, California, for an as-yet untitled film, "when hundreds of admirers of the movie comedian assembled to watch Harold Lloyd perform before the camera in the making of his newest film. Lloyd, with a company of 80 men and women and a special train, is engaged in the making of a college play, which has not yet been named. Jobyna Ralston , the comedian"s leading woman, shared honors with Lloyd in the interest of the crowd. The company expects to continue the work here tomorrow." (13 November) (Special Staff Correspondences, "Harold Lloyd Amuses in Filming of New Play," The San Bernardino Daily Sun, San Bernardino, California, Thursday 13 November 1924, Section 2, Volume LV, Number 54, page 10.)

In John Bengtson's book, "Silent Visions: Discovering Early Hollywood and New York Through the Films of Harold Lloyd." Bengtson writes that Lloyd decided he needed a reaction shot of the dean looking outraged after being clapped on the back at the train station by Lloyd's character. Therefore, rather than return to Ontario, those few seconds were shot in Culver City with its train station behind the dean.. Bengtson credits Paul Ayers, railroad history buff, on finding the location. Lloyd is quoted in a local paper, DAILY REPORT, as saying that Southern Pacific had granted permission and the use of four train cars and a locomotive.


The Tailor's Wife: It's one of his dizzy spells, Mr. Lamb - a little brandy always fixes him right up.


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.

Alternate Versions

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.


Written by
Harold Berg and Jesse Greer
Used in the 2002 release by Permission of Shapiro, Bernstein & Co. Inc.


Plot Summary

Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Comedy | Family | Romance | Sport

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