The Freshman

The Freshman

A FILM BY: Fred Newmeyer, Sam Taylor
WRITTEN BY: Sam Taylor, Ted Wilde, John Grey
STARRING: Harold Lloyd, Jobyna Ralston, Brooks Benedict

Live accompaniment by Music Box house organist Dennis Scott | Programmed and co-presented by the Chicago Film Society 

One of the most financially successful pictures of the silent era, The Freshman was, in some ways, an unlikely smash. Although Harold Lloyd was silent comedy’s undisputed box office champion, he had recently cultivated a reputation for death-defying stunts and meticulous chases in films such as Safety Last and Girl Shy. Bereft of daredevil thrills, The Freshman hinges entirely on Lloyd’s homedown charm, an island of wholesome earnestness in a sea of Prohibition-era cynicism. He plays Harold Lamb, a mild-mannered freshman at Tate College who aspires to be Big Man on Campus, but whose only knowledge of college customs comes from the movies. (Though The Freshman was scarcely the first of its genre, more people bought tickets to it than had likely ever stepped foot on a college campus, setting off a wave of student comedy imitators and rip-offs from Buster Keaton to Adam Sandler.) Lamb’s quest to win the girl (Jobyna Ralston) and achieve pigskin glory provide a loose structure upon which Lloyd hangs a series of riotous set pieces, culminating in The Big Game where nothing goes right. Don’t worry—no prior knowledge of football or any other sports is required to enjoy Lloyd’s exquisitely choreographed hijinks. (KW)

35mm from Harold Lloyd Entertainment

Technical Information

Production Year: 1925
Country of Origin: United States
Language: English
Run Time: 76 mins
Format: 35mm