When a silent film catches the attention (and heart) of a modern viewer (in this case, me), it's a special little phenomenon - sort of like time travel. And while culture certainly changes over time, "good" is "good," regardless of your perspective. So when I see a silent movie I like, or don't have anything else to talk about, I'll review it in this "Silence" series.
Since I'm not a fan (at all) of college comedies or football, I'm surprised at how much I enjoyed Harold Lloyd's 1925 film The Freshman. It was my first experience with Lloyd, and I'll have to watch more of his films, but I'm almost ready to call him the equal or superior of Charlie Chaplin when it comes to clever physical comedy.
In revenge, the prankster tells Lloyd he's been the subject of a huge joke, and that everyone actually thinks he's (what we would today call) a big nerd. The hatcheck girl tells him to be himself, and cheers him up a bit. But he's still determined to prove himself to everyone. He gets his chance in the Big Game against another university, whose footballers are so tough, they knock out almost everyone on the team. Lloyd, the water boy, finally gets his chance. He rallies the team and leads them on to victory - not through any athletic prowess, but in a series of tightly shot, well-choreographed, and clever tricks that win the day. In the end, he gets the popularity he wanted by being himself, and he gets the girl.
This set the template for about a thousand other college movies that followed, and remained one of Harold Lloyd's top films. Lloyd himself has a ton of charisma, and I'll have to check out more of his movies.
In a final note only Colin Lee Campbell will get - check out the "college beanie" in the top photo...