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Speedy Blu-ray Review

Speedy Blu-ray

“Speedy” is one of many Harold Lloyd classics.

In “Speedy,” Harold Lloyd plays the baseball obsessed everyman Harold “Speedy” Swift who puts it upon himself to try to save his gal’s grandather’s horse-drawn trolley in New York. You see, some Railway goons are trying to muscle their way in to the trolley’s territory and they want that outdated business out of the picture. Only Speedy can try to save the trolley from being put out of service.

“Speedy” is the type of silent film that has it all. There’s romance, comedy, drama, a hilarious dog, and even a cameo by Babe Ruth, but what really sticks out here is the action and the ideas presented in the story. If you’ve ever seen a Harold Lloyd film before, you know there can be some intense action sequences and “Speedy” certainly has that in spades. The pulse pounding climactic “race against time” chase scene shot on location in New York is particularly memorable as it looks and feels risky. As it turns out, it was quite risky to shoot in reality too as the crash featured in the film was not intentional and was actually left in the film.

As for the story of “Speedy,” even though it was written for the screen way back in 1928, it is still surprisingly relevant and poignant as it touches on technological advances, the past, city life, and societal changes. The world may be a much different place now, but some ideas never change as the multiple writers so eloquently observed.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.33:1 1080p. How does it look? The 4K digital restoration is the best print I have seen of this film. Yes, there are lines and so forth, but that is to be expected.

Audio Track: Uncompressed Stereo. How does it sound? The score is loud and clear which is all you can ask of a silent film.

Extras:
* A booklet featuring an essay by author Phillip Lopate.
* Narrated stills of deleted scenes by NY Film Forum repertory programmer Bruce Goldstein.
* David Filipi talks about Babe Ruth over stills, newsreel footage, and “Speedy” footage. This piece runs 40 minutes.
* Suzanne Lloyd narrates 18 minutes of charming home movies of Harold Lloyd.
* “In The Footsteps Of Speedy”- A 31 minute documentary short in which Bruce Goldstein chats about (and visits) NY locals where “Speedy” was filmed.
* “Bumping Intro Broadway”- The best extra here is this Harold Lloyd short film about a broke playwright and an actress trying to make it.
* A fact filled commentary by Bruce Goldstein and Scott McGee. I dug the back and forth between these two.

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December 5, 2015 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , ,

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