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  • THE FRESHMAN is the best college spoof film ever made. Outside being lap-slapping hilarious throughout, it has some most original, poetic, and convincing romantic moments as well, like when Harold saw the girl from the reflection of the mirror in his room; or while dancing with other women he saw how she revealed her love for him on the bouquet he gave her, that moment is a wonder. Besides the great football sequence, this film is full of wonderful gags, especially that little dance Harold invented, and the party sequence. Not only this film hasn't aged a bit, but the formula of this film is still used in Hollywood nowadays, but the results hardly, if ever, top this one here.
  • 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.
  • "The Freshman" is a truly funny sports movie... And those are HARD to find! Harold is a nerdy freshman college student, who thinks that college life is JUST like it is in "the movies". He finds out differently once he arrives on campus and soon becomes the campus laughing-stock, so he tries to make the football team and prove everybody wrong.

    His pathetic attempts to make the team, and the other goings-on make this fabulous "flicker" one that all film buffs should see!

    If you've never seen a "silent", this is a great place to start, because it is easier than most for the neophyte to follow the story because, like most of Lloyd's films, the pacing and story-telling are more modern than most, and the humor seems easier to pick up than a lot of other silent movies.

    If you ever get the chance to see this or any other silent movie shown PROPERLY (in an old-time movie palace with live musical accompaniment), DO IT! You will NOT regret the experience!
  • I was fortunate enough to have seen this film in the theater many years ago and I can owe it to this film for sparking my life-long love of the old comedies. I only recently saw it again but this time on DVD and found the film to be even better than I remembered.

    For those used to seeing slapstick shorts (including those of Lloyd), this film is quite different. Instead of the focus of this film being comedy, the humor seems incidental to the story and the character development. Because of this, the first 1/4 of the movie does not have tons of laughs--because it's building and developing the story and not trying to elicit cheap laughs. However, as you watch, the humor increases and because this came as the character developed, you really find yourself hooked into caring for Harold and you are emotionally in-tune with him. So, as the movie continues, you find your heart breaking for the guy (yes, Chaplin was not the only silent comedian to use pathos). And, when the end of the picture arrives, you feel his triumph. An exquisite and highly artistic treasure.

    PS--I watched the DVD with the optional commentary from Leonard Maltin et al. This REALLY improved my understanding and appreciation for the film. I rarely ever use this option, but as I was re-watching the film and since it was a silent, this option is a major plus.

    Interestingly enough, Buster Keaton came out with a similar movie just a few years later (COLLEGE). However, it isn't even close to being as good as THE FRESHMAN. I love Keaton, but not this film. If you must seem one silent college picture, see THE FRESHMAN--and maybe the Marx Brothers' HORSE FEATHERS for a much stupider but terribly funny sound take on college life.
  • THE FRESHMAN, new to Tate University, is desperate to join the football team and gain instant popularity with the other students.

    Silent film legend Harold Lloyd had a tremendous box-office hit with this exceptionally funny film. His character, the all-American fellow, eager to please and fiercely determined to succeed, but hampered by a broad streak of naiveté, is instantly compelling and grabs the audience's sympathy from the start. His physical comedy set-pieces - acting as the replacement tackling dummy for the football squad, hosting a lavish banquet with his fancy clothes literally falling apart - are merely the preludes to the wonderful gridiron game which climaxes the action. Through it all Harold, peering perplexedly at life through his trademark horn rimmed glasses, never wearies the viewers or wears out his welcome with the audience.

    The rest of the cast help move the story along and provide able support to the star. Pretty Jobyna Ralston plays the landlady's daughter who encourages Harold when he needs it most. Brooks Benedict is appropriately caddish as the college bully. Pat Harmon gnashes his teeth with gusto as the intimidating football coach & diminutive Joseph Harrington brings big laughs to his role as a harried tailor given to dizzy spells at the worst possible times.

    Composer Robert Israel has created an excellent orchestral score which perfectly complements Lloyd's antics on the screen.
  • Sadly, a disappointment. I love Harold Lloyd, but, though many consider it his masterpiece, I did not find this one of his better works. Not that it's bad or anything, but I thought it lacked jokes compared to an average Lloyd film, and that the jokes that were there weren't as funny as they could have been. There are only two setpieces, and only one of them approaches the greatness of Safety Last or Speedy. That is the college party that Harold throws. He gets a cheap suit made, and the tailor, who can't quite stitch everything he needs to in time for the party, has to follow him around, repairing tears as they happen. It's hilarious, Lloyd dancing all over the floor while his sleeve is ripping off. The best moment of the film has Lloyd use the tailor's arm and hand to replace his own while the sleeve is being repaired. A buddy asks Harold if he can borrow ten bucks, and though he is shaking his head no, the tailor reaches into Harold's pocket and hands the guy a ten. The climactic football game is good, but, compared to the climb that finishes up Safety Last, it is unimpressive and certainly not as fun. I also was disappointed in the romance, again with Jobyna Ralston. Her character seems like an afterthought. 7/10.
  • Lloyd plays Harold Lamb, a youngster who goes to college.He wants to become the king of campus but he becomes the laughing stock.But he has someone to comfort him, a girl named Peggy, who's played by the extremely beautiful Jobyna Ralston.The Freshman from 1925 is a hilarious silent film.Harold Lloyd is a comedian who never lets you down.Also Ralston is amazing as Harold's love interest.There's one dramatic scene between them, where Harold burst into tears into her lap.That's one fine scene as are the comedic scenes, which you can find many from this movie.The great football game in the end is just amazing.And I could also mention the one where the freshman is at the party and his tuxedo falls apart.This is a movie that will make you laugh and that may also make a few tears come out.I recommend The Freshman for all those who are at college and who aren't.
  • This is a good comedy with a good performance by Harold Lloyd in the role of "The Freshman". The entertaining slapstick and amusing story tend to obscure how good a job Lloyd did with his character - to make the story work, Lloyd's character has to be a complete buffoon, utterly oblivious to what is going on around him, yet at the same time he has to be sympathetic to the audience. Lloyd makes this work, and combines it with plenty of good gags to make for a silent comedy classic.

    The story is simple, but entertaining, following Harold as he learns about life on the campus of Tate University ("a large football stadium with a college attached"). Old campus comedies are often interesting because they show that, for all the things that have changed, some of the basic personalities on a college campus are still the same as they ever were. Here we have the hard-headed football coach, the mean-spirited hazers, the prissy dean, the wide-eyed freshmen, and more. Most of the characters remain one-dimensional, but they don't need to be anything more in order for it to work. Lloyd does a good job of blending his character into the campus atmosphere, and along with help from leading lady Jobyna Ralston, he makes you care about his silly character while providing plenty of laughs in the process.
  • I know a lot of people consider this to be one of Harold Lloyd's best (and it's certainly one of his most famous) but I felt it came up a little short. Lloyd plays a decent chap trying his best to win popularity at his new school (like a lot of college comedies, going to class seems to be optional). There's some funny gags and inventive moments, and the football finale is rightfully iconic, but a lot of bits are drawn out far long or just aren't that funny. Watching Lloyd embarrass himself on stage or act as the team's tackle dummy or cope with an unraveling tuxedo is amusing at first but becomes tedious after a few minutes. The romance is also quite underdeveloped. I don't want to rag on it too much... as far as slapstick comedies go, it's far less annoying than most. I just expected more laughs. I prefer SAFETY LAST.
  • pakitosh21 September 2004
    Perhaps one of the best comedies by Mr. Lloyd. The final football game is just a perfect and unique moment in the silent movies history. I was a child when saw The Freshman for first time. It was my first Lloydian "experience". It was enough to fall in love his comedian style. TRIVIA: In Spain this is one of the most popular Lloyd movie. The Spanish title was "El estudiante novato" (The new student). With this film Mister Lloyd showed he could keep the high level showed on his previous long movies. Without doubt he was on the top. His character in this film, Harold Diddlebock, was used again in 1947 in the last Lloyd's film "The sin of Harold Diddlebock", by Preston Sturgues. In this film, the young student is now a medium age clerk tired of his so boring life...An interesting imagination exercise about the future of The Freshman's main character
  • This Is Harold's Lloyd's finest film and my personal favorite among his works. The World Television Premier of the full length newly restored version will air on TCM the first week in April. I can hardly wait! I've been a rabid and dedicated fan for well over half my life since I first saw this picture in a somewhat abridged format on 16mm at a local festival way back in 1979! By the way I am 35 years old and I've been waiting for and trying to locate a complete version for more than 20 years!

    The strikingly beautiful Jobyna Ralston is wonderful in her role as Peggy "The Hat Check Girl" Harold's love interest and the hilarious "Fall Frolic" and "Day of The Big Game" sequences are among the grandest and most unforgettable moments in all of silent comedy! Lloyd always gave the credit to his Co-Directors but their can be no doubt who was always in command Harold was every bit the perfectionist that Chaplin was! He supervised and controlled each and every nuance of production!

    I must make note of the fact that this film has been blatantly ripped off over the years By numerous film makers when you see It you will know some of those films and the reason why! Harold Lloyd possessed a very special film making "Genius" which is impossible not to recognize 8 decades later!
  • For years, it has been parroted that this is his Best Film. Allow me to disagree. What don't i like about it? First, the student's cruelty to Harold is, at first, annoying. As the story goes on, it becomes painful to watch; even HAROLD cries! Many of the gags just aren't that funny; the "unravelling suit", for example. Much too much time is spent on it, but it's just not that good for the time allotted to it.

    The most redeeming thing about the film is the romance that develops between them; it's quite heart-warming & tender. (And, of course, i LOVE the jig he does when he introduces himself!).

    Imho, "Safety Last" was his best film, followed closely by "Movie Crazy", "Girl Shy", "Dr.Jack" and others.
  • Any big fans of my comments know that:

    a. I always vaguely state my location as "USA." b. I frequently make references to the AFI's 100 Funniest Movies list.

    And in fact, I've seen every movie on the AFI's list. "The Freshman" was the hardest one to find. When I finally saw it, I became an instant fan of Harold Lloyd. He shines in this role as a nerdy college freshman trying to become the most popular person at the school. His facial expressions are priceless, his wacky misadventures kept me in stitches, and you can't help but feel proud of the guy when he... well, I won't give away the ending.

    Anyway, if you ever find this one, it's a great movie. Too bad I'll probably never find another Harold Lloyd film.
  • Sure, we've seen many sports movies with an underdog determined to prove his worth and earn people's respect, going the distance, failing with grace or winning the big game and some heart in the process ... but "The Freshman" IS the original from the roaring twenties, codifying many tropes that hours of 80s sitcoms have engraved in our minds.

    You wouldn't believe it but there were college jocks who made it in the football team (probably the "Carpe Diem" ghost whisperers from "Dead Poets Society"), there were even nerds, jokers, pranksters, mean deans, and coaches at the verge of a breakdown. In fact, what you've got in "The Freshman" is the whole college sociology with the popularity pyramid still prevailing today, minus the cheerleaders and justice warriors.

    While not as accessible as today (an argument for the film's modern relevance) college has always been a pivotal moment in the life of a few privileged ones, that chronological point of convergence between the athletic and hormonal peak and the most advantageous freedom and responsibilities ratio. There's only one point in college: to have fun, otherwise, why would the Tate college be described as a big stadium with a college attached to it? (a great quote by the way).

    And in these idly studious days, popularity played exactly the same role as wealth or power and naturally, the first page of the yearbook was dedicated to the football captain, the most popular figure, the one who always gets the prettiest girl at the prom, as if even in an intellectually driven micro-society, the law of the strongest (and most attractive one) applied. The majority would be relegated to fraternities, football games and Toga parties ("Shout!").

    Harold Lamb is as marginal and dorky as any "Animal House" alumni except that he doesn't know it and believes he's the most popular student. His desperation is moved by a sort of Darwinian impulse that only makes sense to those who went to colleges or campuses and couldn't accept to be labeled as nobodies (God forbid!). "Thankfully" for Lamb, his chances of getting unnoticed instantly vanish when the college cad (Brookes Benedict) makes him the butt of many jokes before throwing him on a stage in front of the whole school.

    In this critical situation, Lamb can only think of mimicking his movie idol the College Hero with his trademark handshake jig. Automatically nicknamed 'Speedy' like his impersonation, Lamb takes the laughs and applauses as signs of approvals while being a literal lamb sacrificed at the altar of the college dogma, as much in need of a charismatic chief than a village idiot. And there is something sadly ironic that a comedian would play a character who wishes to be loved by being funny but ends up being mocked and despised.

    If I dared to psychoanalyze Lamb, I would say he's the reflection of a comedian's existential nightmare: being a clown in the pathetic sense. Just like Chaplin who questioned the notion of comedy by playing someone who couldn't be funny 'on request' in "The Circus", Lloyd gives a sensitive performance as a man you both laugh with and at him, his joy is our satisfaction, his sadness our guilt.

    There is bitter sweetness in "The Freshman", with his wide-eyed, optimism and adorkable charm, Lloyd turns out to be the most joyful 'sad clown' figure, the happier he is, the sadder we are. And as if he feared the material would be too mean-spirited, he sugarcoats the story with a blissful romance with the cherubic landlady's daughter Peggy (Jobyna Ralston), the only girl who genuinely likes him, the way he is.

    And I was glad that the hilarious Frat Follic sequence (with the tuxedo going to pieces) didn't inflict us the predictable scene where Peggy catches Harold with his pants down... and some girl. That bit would have deprived the film from that powerful moment where he finally understands what's going on... only half the truth actually, but it's enough to devastate him... and awaken in my memory the message a girl left in the back of my class picture at the end of the schoolyear: "it's not about leaving a mark, but what mark you're leaving".

    Of course, "The Freshman" didn't have such a downer ending and provided a memorable and heart-pounding climactic football game working like geek escapism at its finest. The final sight with Lloyd making his wet dream a 'wet' reality was as satisfying as "Rocky" or "Rudy" and made me reconsider what I said about Leni Riefenstahl's "Olympia" being the seminal Sports film. "The Freshman" deserves the same title if we believe in the spirit of sports more than the aesthetics, the way it allows us to rise above our condition in a more fictionalized way ... for cheers... and for laughs.

    Laugh-wise, the film provides unforgettably creative visual gags and even the intertitles are part of the fun instead of being just verbal vehicles, but there's something nuanced and mature in the film as if you could tell Lloyd wanted a good story rather than a ha-ha picture, he succeeded in both and his film (unlike "Safety Last!") made the AFI's Top 100 List. It's one thing to be about a goofball but embracing the whole goofiness would have killed the heart of the story.

    Speaking of the heart, in an early 1953 episode of TV game show "What's My Line", available on Youtube, panelist Dorothy Killgalen told mystery guest Harold Lloyd that she cried at "The Freshman" as a little girl because of the way his fictional alter-ego was mistreated. This seemingly benign and cute confession had picked my curiosity.

    Obviously "The Freshman" was more than a slapstick comedy about a nerd playing football, it carried a genuine poignancy that I needed to discover. I just didn't expect it would be of such a Chaplinian level!
  • SnoopyStyle9 August 2018
    Harold Lamb (Harold Lloyd) has always dreamed of going to college. He is excited to be a freshman at Tate University. Upon arrival, the upper classmen led by The College Cad prank Harold. He is humiliated until he start imitating his movie hero gaining the nickname Speedy. Unbeknownst to him, The College Cad continues his campaign to make Harold a joke. Everybody starts laughing at him behind his back except Peggy. He tries out for football but is relegated to replace the tackling dummy. Despite that, he is thrilled to be on the team and his never-quit attitude ends up winning the big game.

    This is Harold Lloyd's on-screen persona at its purest goodness. It is Rudy and Forrest rolled into one. He is wide-eyed and optimistic. He is the underdog and the good guy. He is the movie hero that everybody roots for. I certainly understand why this is his breakout role and his big movie hit. My only concern is the football game. I know rules have changed over the years but there are a lot of things wrong with that game.
  • CJBx720 November 2014
    THE FRESHMAN (1925) deals with Harold Lamb's (Harold Lloyd) endeavors to become a popular man on campus, by joining the football team, only to find that the other kids think he's the "college boob". Still, with the support of his girl Peggy (Jobyna Ralston), he manages to show them all what he's really made of. Directed by Fred Newmeyer and Sam Taylor.

    This film was one of Harold Lloyd's biggest successes, and is now part of the National Film Registry. THE FRESHMAN represents the culmination of Harold Lloyd's development of his lovable nerd persona – clumsy and awkward, but plucky, full of spirit, and never quits. This had a tremendous appeal to 20s audiences and is still quite endearing today. THE FRESHMAN kickstarted a spate of college-based movies, and many movies to this day use the same kinds of characters – the nerd, the insensitive jock, the girl who sticks by the leading man's side even when no one else believes in him, etc.

    The movie has some brilliantly constructed gags - just when you think they can't go on any more, Lloyd comes up with something else to amaze you. My favorite is the party in the hotel, which features a dizzy tailor trying in vain to mend Lloyd's tuxedo. Also funny is the scene where Lloyd's character has to make an impromptu speech to his class while wrestling with a cat.

    Harold plays his character with his typical peppy charm, and Jobyna Ralston makes a nice love interest. Everyone here is effective in his or her roles and the film doesn't wear out its welcome. It's easy to see why this movie was so popular in its time, and it still has lots of comic appeal today. SCORE: 8/10
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I am aware that SAFETY LAST! is widely considered Harold Lloyd's signature work, which of course is not without reason. However, other than its magnificent finale at the building, much of SAFETY LAST! arguably seems rather standard; funny and well-done by all means, but much more concerned with gags than character. THE FRESHMAN, on the other hand, equips Lloyd's character with more depth; and manages to be no less funny than SAFETY LAST! for that reason. In fact, to me, THE FRESHMAN is probably the most consistently funny film Harold Lloyd ever did. Released in 1925, Lloyd was well-established as a comedian of feature-length films by this point, and enjoyed something so rare in Hollywood as full creative freedom.

    Harold is The Freshman: he has just arrived at college with the dream of becoming the most popular boy in school. Having recently watched a light college-movie (those were becoming popular even before Lloyd made THE FRESHMAN), the ever-optimistic Harold is convinced that the surest way to gain popularity is to behave exactly as the performers in the college-movie he'd just seen; he is unaware that movies (and fiction in general) usually provide an exaggerated depiction of the real world. Most of the other students ridicule Harold's rather banal "tip-toe"-greeting amongst themselves, though they at first pretend to be impressed with him, just to make him into an even bigger joke. The exception is Jobyna Ralston's sympathetic character Peggy, who finds Harold cute, and Harold is quite attracted to her as well.

    The funniest part of the film I consider to be the one at the party, which has Harold's well-meaning, aging tailor failing to repair the young man's suit just before a school dance is to begin. Though the tailor finally succeeds, he does not fully trust his own skills, and insists on walking along with Harold in case something should happen to tear up while the boy is dancing. Needless to say, this is just what happens. Everything tears up; the laughs and humor which follow are much enhanced due to Harold's facial expressions, during his near-fanatic attempts to maintain his dignity while the tailor, hiding behind curtains and the like, tries to repair the suit in a hurry. Some moments had me in stitches. The eventual finale to this hilarious sequence is, however, a bit unexpected. Having lost his temper when a villainous boy tries to steal his sweetheart, Harold is finally made aware of how most of the students around view him. At first, our hero seems to shrug it off; "I knew it all the time." It does not last long, however, before he bursts out in tears, burying his face in the lap of Jobyna. The laughter is forgotten by now and we are instead faced with almost overwhelming sentimentality.

    When Lloyd decided to introduce THE FRESHMAN to new audiences in the 1950s, he insisted on leaving out the part with him crying in Jobyna's lap, fearing it would appear too sentimental to modern audiences. Although I never understood the apparent aversion to "sentimentality" among audiences of recent decades (in fact, sometimes I feel we could need some more sentimentality these days), I can to an extent see Lloyd's viewpoint here; the moments with Lloyd crying make us sympathize with him, but seem to have been devised with exactly that in mind. Unlike, in my opinion, the pathos Chaplin offers in THE KID and CITY LIGHTS, films which benefited from scenes with strong pathos, the story and atmosphere of THE FRESHMAN could have done just as well with a more suggestive, downplayed approach. At least on first sight, that is. On the other hand, in contrast to Chaplin's Tramp, Harold much more resembles a real human being; thus he also seems to inhabit a (somewhat) less exaggerated comic universe than the Tramp, and one could argue it is only reasonable that he should also perform emotional outbursts akin to something of a real person, in such a stressful situation.

    In any case, the upcoming football sequence made me laugh almost as heartily as the one at the party and also captivated me completely, which should say something since I barely know the basic rules in football; and it also contains quite a lot of tension, since the game gives Harold his final opportunity to prove his worth among the narrow-minded other students at his college... THE FRESHMAN remains both funny and sweet; perhaps not as stunning as Lloyd's later THE KID BROTHER, but arguably his funniest, and with decent opportunity for Lloyd to establish a character we care about as audiences, in between and during all the gags. (This review was revised and updated in 2015.)
  • Warning: Spoilers
    To say that Harold Lamb (Lloyd) is excited about going to college is an understatement. He knows all the cheers, has read all the books and has even perfected a meet and greet dance that he saw in the movie "The College Hero" again and again and again!!! His parents aren't so sure - "if he tries that dance at college they'll either break his heart or his neck"!! During the movie his "freshie" friends try to do both. Beautiful Jobyna Ralston plays the girl - "the kind of girl your mother must have been" (so the title says). She helps out at her mother's boarding house where Harold is forced to live after treating the entire college to ice cream!!! She also works behind the cigarette counter at the college and sees first hand how Harold is treated by his "friends". They meet on the train over a crossword puzzle and it is love at first sight for the cute pair. When he steps off the train and goes into his "routine" he is secretly thought of as a college boob but Harold thinks he is on the first rung of the ladder to popularity.

    Even though there is no chase sequence there are plenty of laughs as "Speedy" (his nickname) fronts up to the college dance in a suit that is only half made and as the night progresses proceeds to lose pockets, sleeves etc until he is left only in his underwear!! Another stock part of college movies -Football - has a hilarious sequence as "Speedy" tries out for the team, doesn't make it but impresses the coach and top player with his spirit and determination. They allow him to believe he is on the team while in reality he is only the water boy!! In a really thrilling game Harold makes a few silly mistakes but gives his character grit and enthusiasm which is what made him popular with audiences of the 20s. His character didn't have the wistfulness of Chaplin's "the little tramp" or the "against all odds" personality of Keaton - he was a typical American go-getter and audiences loved him and laughed along with him and was there ever a more adorable girl to win his heart than Jobyna Ralston.

    The last scene has Harold, now truly popular, looking out of a window as the new "freshies" arrive by train and all are doing that crazy dance - Harold has created a craze!!!

    Highly, Highly Recommended.
  • The Freshman (1925) : Brief Review -

    A MIND-BLASTING Comedy! Harold Lloyd's UNDERRATED GEM that gave so many sub-stories to the cinema world. By 2020, i have seen so many films having college life stories, that bullying stuff, ragging and scapegoat character and bla bla but it is unbelievable to learn that this Harold Lloyd's comedy flick started all these sub-stories way back in 1925. It was the same time when Chaplin was doing comedies with social sentiments and Bustor Keaton was more curved towards the Romantic, adventurous and generous comedies. At the same time, Harold Lloyd was busy bringing path-breaking stuff in comedy genre. When i saw his 'Safety Last' (1923), i was shocked to see those breathtaking stunts and here i am pleased to see mind-blasting comedy plus generous story along with creation of so many sub-genres. The Freshman is about a youngster, a college student will do anything to become popular on campus. It carries a cute love story alongside and also one more story of self-realization (another sub-story that begun here). I got no guns to shoot at it for mistakes because it doesn't have any mistakes. The writing was done by four guys and i am very happy to see such a great teamwork. In those 76 minutes it has lot of gags, situational laughs, brilliant set-ups and smartly dressed fiascos. Harold Lloyd's performance is one of the finest i have seen from his filmography. Jobyna Ralston as Peggy is cute as doll and she is damn lovable. Supporting cast is good and because they are mostly in negative roles, they all get into major funny scenes. The Frenchman doesn't feel dated, i enjoyed it like a laugh riot even Today after 95 years of its release therefore the major credit goes to Newmeyer and Sam Taylor's direction. Overall, a Classic Comedy and a Must Watch. Those 'All time films" lists are waste and unblessed for not mentioning this Classic.

    RATING - 8/10*

    By - #samthebestest
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The Freshman is a 1925 silent comedy directed by Fred C. Newmyer and Sam Taylor and starring Harold Lloyd, Jobyna Ralston and Brooks Benedict.

    This is my second feature length Lloyd film and I really enjoyed it, even more than the previous one (The Kid Brother).

    It's easily one of the funniest films that I have ever watched (wich to be fair is not saying much since I do not watch many comedies) and Harold Lloyd is great and adorable in it.

    Like I said before the film is hilarious and full of great scenes, my favourite one being the brilliant party scene when Lloyd's suit is alaways tearing, with the tailor right behind him to fix the suit every time it teares but the climatic football scene is just as great as well.

  • Warning: Spoilers
    I found the movie "The Freshman" by Harold Lloyd to be incredibly captivating for a silent film. I have only watched one other silent film, "The Circus", and had to watch both that one and this one for a class. Generally, on my own, I would never pick to watch an older movie, so I am very happy this class has made me because I am pleasantly surprised. I found the film to be easy to follow and it was able to keep my interest through out it. Humor, love, and sadness were easily displayed and presented from start to finish. My personal favorite scene was when Harold and Peggy met on the train doing the crossword puzzle. I found their interaction to be really meaningful even without voice. The most upsetting part to me was when Harold learned he was the laughing stock of the school, and again, even without voice, you could feel the pain and his facial expressions and body language and it broke my heart. The intertitle then came up "It doesn't bother me a bit- really; a fellow has to expect those things, you know." and I could read/hear the voice trembling. In this example, I enjoyed having an intertitle, however, the only thing I did not care for was the amount of intertitles there were in the beginning, specifically the first few minutes. I found starting it off with so many in a row made it hard to jump right into enjoying and understanding the film.
  • Harold Lloyd is his awkward, lovable self in 'The Freshman', where he goes off to college seeking popularity. He's mostly mocked without realizing it, and after trying out for the football team, is used as a tackling dummy in practice and then as a water boy during the game, though of course thinks he may go in at any time. He hosts a big dance, the 'Fall Frolic', but has his ill-tailored suit falls apart as he tries to move around. There are few laugh out loud moments, even if the film's heart is in the right place, and some of the scenes go on for just a little too long. Seeing football played so long ago, even comically, with those thin leather helmets and that puffier ball, and finding out the crowd scenes were shot at halftime during the 1924 'Big Game' between Cal and Stanford, was also personally interesting. That move where he unlaces the ball is pretty cool too. Lastly, and this is kind of a quirky thing of mine, but I like how Lloyd gives us shots of objects or things in print in his films, in this case various books from the period, newspaper articles, and a crossword puzzle he notices Jobyna Ralston doing on a train and tries to help her with. Even her final message to him is a handwritten note, and very sweet. Not quite as good as 'Safety Last' or 'Girl Shy' from the previous two years, but solid entertainment.
  • Always a big fan of silent slapstick, and having seen Harold Lloyd's excellent 1923 iconic comedy classic 'Safety Last!' many times over the years, I did have somewhat high hopes going into this, especially since I'd heard before that it's among his best films and was released on the prestigious Criterion Collection a few years back, which is more often than not a good sign. Well, apparently my high hopes could've been much higher and still would have been surpassed! This is one of the most fun and genuinely positive movies I have seen in a while! Hardly do I ever call a movie "inspiring", but this movie is unexpectedly just that. It is also extremely funny throughout, and is extremely well structured, as each slapstick set piece gets increasingly higher scale as the film goes on, culminating in an extremely memorable football-themed finale that actually made me audibly gasp at one point. Seriously, this movie is hugely affecting. It is also super sweet and the romantic elements are on par w/a film like 'The Gold Rush' or 'City Lights', most silent slapstick comedies have some bits of romance attached, but few execute said romance in a way nearly as memorably and just generally skillfully as this film does. It's a legitimately lovely and heartwarming movie, and none of that overshadows the constant and consistent flow of humor. It's a genuine audience pleaser, and is admittedly somewhat predictable but is so damn likable, or should I say LOVABLE, that I see no problem in its predictability. Few films have made me so elated honestly.
  • sol-9 September 2017
    Tricked into believing that he is the most popular student on campus, a college freshman gradually proves his worth in this Harold Lloyd silent comedy. This may not be Lloyd's funniest movie with several gags (falling down a staircase) telegraphed too far in advance, but this is a nice departure from Lloyd's earlier comedies with more in the way of character development and a narrative that is more plot than gag orientated. Even Lloyd's most famous work, 'Safety Last!', is most a series of skits loosely connected together, whereas 'The Freshman' spins a surprisingly compelling story with lessons to be learned and characters who change - and 'The Freshman' is still a fun comedy first and foremost even with such solid drama. There is a hilarious extended scene in which Lloyd attends a ball where his tailor has to keep discreetly mending his suit. Another highlight has Lloyd outsmarting a dog and the bits where keeps inadvertently annoying the college dean are awesome. There is also a beautiful shot in which Lloyd wipes the dust off the mirror to reveal his love interest, to his surprise, standing behind him. Jobyna Ralston does not have much to do in the role (compared to her earlier Lloyd collaborations) but she is as solid as ever, and with a great supporting cast to match, this is a Harold Lloyd comedy that lingers in the mind on account of more than just the jokes.
  • slokes28 June 2016
    Take a naive innocent and drop him in a setting everyone but him knows is going to be trouble. It's the germ for many screen comedies; few have done more with it than this.

    Harold Lamb (Harold Lloyd) arrives as a new student at Tate College, head full of Frank Merriwell notions of becoming Big Man On Campus. But his overeagerness to please marks him as an easy target of cynical scorn. Reduced to a live tackle dummy for the Tate football team, he doesn't know when to quit. Will he get his chance to show them he's better than they think?

    "The Freshman" represents a fascinating inflection point in Lloyd's career. Established by now as the premier daredevil comic with his iconic turn in "Safety Last" two years before, Lloyd was now stretching himself as a real actor, banking on his charisma and ability to sell a scene while keeping his feet on the ground. While "The Freshman" has many gags, it is the character that pulls you in, to the point where you really care what happens after the pratfall dust settles.

    The film does start slow, introducing Harold with his parents. There's some minor business about his practicing cheers and fooling Pa into thinking he raised China on his radio. Likewise, the first meeting on a train with demure Peggy (Jobyna Ralston, a Zooey Deschanel doppelgänger) has them absently trading romantic pet names while trying to solve a crossword puzzle. It's tame stuff.

    But almost as soon as Harold steps off the train and makes his way to Tate College, the film picks up and never stops. We know right away he's in trouble when his affected greeting, complete with jig, catches the eye of the school bully (Brooks Benedict, wonderfully smug). By the time he somehow finds himself on stage in front of an auditorium of Tate students, being laughed at because he picked the wrong time to help a kitten, we are wincing with real discomfort. When will Harold discover the truth? What will he do when he does?

    Lloyd and co-director Fred C. Newmeyer use the sentiment of that situation expertly by keeping it in their back pockets. Instead, we are encouraged to laugh along as Harold stumbles out of a taxi, trying to put on a brave face after a long day being pummeled by football players. It's guilty laughter, because his blind determination to succeed in the face of total rejection is something many of us recognize.

    Doing a college comedy would seem natural for Lloyd, given how his trademark glasses gave him a collegiate air and his personification of self-made pluck. Watching him try out his debonair greeting on an unamused dean ("He was so dignified he never married out of fear his wife would call him by his first name") or walk through a wild party while his cheap suit becomes unstitched is so much fun, it's hard to realize he never did this sort of thing again.

    The film keeps you laughing all the way through to the end, but the art of the film is how it works your emotions. His scenes with Ralston are textbook romantic subplotting. He snips the buttons off his shirt in hopes of keeping her around to sew them back on, his face sly and shy as he watches her work. Ralston has several wonderful moments, my favorite being when Benedict's character finally rounds on Harold to inform him he's a campus-wide joke. There's a one-shot of her just before he does, and her eyes are a perfect mirror for our own dread.

    The film works well enough as just a collection of gags, with the tackling practice, the big dance, and Harold's nightmare introductory speech all getting their laughs. But after an hour, when we've had our fun, Lloyd and Newmeyer make sure to reward our concern with Harold's fate by giving him his long-overdue chance at the big football game. The gags are everywhere here, too, but now we also can really root for him, not just wince at his unknowing embarrassment. The result is one of the finest 15 minutes in movie history.

    Don't be afraid of silent movies. Give "The Freshman" a try and you'll emerge not only happier and refreshed but a better person, too.
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