‘The Freshman’

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Thursday night’s movie in my “College Daze” series at the Ontario library is Harold Lloyd’s 1925 gem, “The Freshman.” Lloyd plays a naive freshman, Harold Lamb, who is pranked by his entire college into thinking he’s popular. The part where he does a little dance when greeting people is a gas.

Join us for the 6:30 p.m. screening at the library, 215 E. C St. And yes, it’s free.

Here’s the Wikipedia page. Be careful not to read much of the plot description! Most of the YouTube clips are 10 minutes, but here’s a short, charming scene.

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  • Doug Evans

    I’m teaching, or I’d be there… This kind of thing is right up my alley. My grandfather was a cinematographer in Hollywood back in these days (and on through the sixties). He died when I was still too young to be very curious about that… I’d pump him full of questions now if I could. In fact, I have a Christmas ornament from Harold Lloyd’s tree (apparently a pretty famous Christmas tree) that grandpa bought at auction after Lloyd’s death!

    That clip was great… More subtle, as in realistic, acting than I would have expected from a silent film, considering they didn’t have their voices to convey what they’re feeling. Thanks for linking!

    [You're welcome! It's possible to watch the entire movie on YouTube, either in 10-minute segments or all 76 minutes at once, for anyone inclined to stare at a computer screen that long. -- DA]

  • John Clifford

    For Doug:

    Harold Lloyd’s Christmas tree was, indeed, quite famous. He had a special room built and decorated at his “Green Acres” mansion in Beverly Hills where the famous tree stood. It is said that he loved Christmas and his Christmas ornaments collection. However, each year, it took over a month to put up the tree, then another month to take it down again. In this period prior to artificial trees, Lloyd took a live tree and had it specially lacquered so that it could be kept up year round in the “Christmas Room.”

  • Doug Evans

    Thank you, John! I actually clipped an article on the tree that appeared in the LA Times a few years back, and I keep it with the ornament (which is framed and accompanied by a postcard showing the tree. My wife and I trot it out each year at Christmas). I tried to find a link to the article but it’s in the Times’ searchable-but-you-need-to-pay-to-access-it section now.

    To pass on the Lloyd nerdiness in my family, I’ve shown my eight-year-old daughter a YouTube clip of the famous scene of Lloyd hanging from the hands of a clock outside a building. She wasn’t as impressed as I was when I was a kid and first saw it on TV… Kids these days are so jaded. It is an amazing stunt. Here’s a link, just for fun:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEcTjhUN_7U

  • John Clifford

    Doug:

    Actually Safety Last (the film with the clock hanging) is showing as part of the LA Conservancy’s Last Remaining Seats program on June 29 at the Orpheum Theater on Broadway in downtown LA. You can get more information from http://www.laconservancy.org/remaining/2011.php4#safety.

    One of the nice things about seeing it in this location is that many of the buildings in the film are right there as you enter and leave the theater. It should be a real treat.

  • John Clifford

    More Harold Lloyd trivia.

    If you look at his movies you’ll notice that he’s usually wearing gloves. That’s because he had his hand blown off by a “bomb” during the filming of one of his films.

    [He had a sort of glove "hand" although I can never remember which one it was, until the occasional moment when it's really obvious. -- DA]