Speedy | Chicago Reader

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Rated NR · 87 minutes · 1928

Comedy
Neither as funny nor as freakish as Chaplin or Keaton, sunny go-getter Harold Lloyd incarnated the spirit of his age more directly (and less timelessly) than did his two confreres in the silent-comedy pantheon. Speedy (1928), his last silent film, pits him against corporate interests who want to buy out New York City's only remaining horse-drawn streetcar line; in keeping with the era's enshrinement of speculative capitalism, his goal is not to preserve the good old days but to sell them off at a better price. Extended digressions on Coney Island and baseball (there's a cameo by Babe Ruth) fill out this zippy slice of zeitgeist. Those familiar with King Vidor's contemporaneous masterpiece The Crowd might note how parts of Speedy resemble Vidor's darker spin on rugged individualism. Speedy is no masterpiece—it's not even one of Lloyd's best films. But it is an engaging, fast-paced time capsule. Ted Wilde directed.
Director: Ted Wilde
Cast: Harold Lloyd, Ann Christy, Bert Woodruff, Brooks Benedict, Babe Ruth and Dan Wolheim

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