This movie was shot in sequence, which was rare for a Harold Lloyd movie. Lloyd usually thought up comic setpieces and based his stories around them. In this instance he felt it was a more character-driven story and he would have to get into the character by shooting it in order.
Harold Lloyd was 31 when he shot this movie. He had always wanted to make a football movie but never had the opportunity. When this film was in development, he thought it would be a bad idea to have him in it, because he was too old.
Harold Lloyd originally began production with the football scenes, filming at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA. However, he couldn't achieve the right tone for these final scenes, and he decided to start over again and shoot the film in sequence.
The football scenes were shot at Memorial Stadium in Berkeley, CA, between the first and second quarters of the East-West game of 1924-25. The stadium had just completed construction the year before.
Included among the American Film Institute's 2000 list of the Top 100 Funniest American Movies.
A fictional movie poster titled "The College Hero" can be seen in Harold Lloyd's bedroom. In 1927 a movie would be released with the same title, The College Hero (1927).
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.
Some of the football scenes were reused by Preston Sturges in his 1947 film The Sin of Harold Diddlebock (1947).
The train station where Harold Lloyd got off for college was in Culver City, near Los Angeles.
Harold Lloyd's shirt has the letter "T" on it for Tate College / University. Although filmed in California, a poster and a pennant in his bedroom shows Tate being located in Texas.
This film was selected into the National Film Registry in 1990 for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant"
In 2002 Harold Lloyd Entertainment released a 76-minute version with music composed, arranged and conducted by Robert Israel and played by The Robert Israel Orchestra and The Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra.
At the Tate Hotel Cuban cigars are available to purchase at the main desk. Cuban cigars did not become illegal to have in the US until Fidel Castro took over Cuba in 1959.
The fact that the other freshman have no letters on their shirts when Harold comes off the bus so l'd better explain what's going on. These boys have yet to earn their school letter and so they don't have one yet. They only earn the right to wear a letter at the film's end when they win the championship football game. Wearing a school letter you haven't earned yet was a crime at the time this film was made.
In a 1927 interview with Photoplay Magazine, Alona Marlowe claimed to have been recruited, along with several other young people, directly from Hollywood High School to be extras in this film.
Assuming its copyright has not lapsed already, this film and all others produced in 1925 enter the U.S. public domain in 2021.