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With: Harold Lloyd, Ann Christy, Bert Woodruff, Brooks Benedict, Babe Ruth
Written by: John Grey, Lex Neal, Howard Rogers
Directed by: Ted Wilde
MPAA Rating: NR
Running Time: 86
Date: 04/07/1928

Speedy (1928)

4 Stars (out of 4)

I Got You, Babe

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

The summery Speedy (1928) was Harold Lloyd's final silent film, though it's perhaps more notable for an onscreen appearance of baseball legend Babe Ruth. Lloyd plays the title character, a baseball-obsessed ne'er-do-well who can't seem to hang onto a job -- as the movie begins, he's a soda jerk -- though his girl, Jane (Ann Christy) loves him anyway. ("Speedy" was his nickname in real life as well.) The plot has him trying to save Jane's grandfather's horse-drawn trolley car, though there are long, carefree segments not connected to anything, such as a crazy day at Coney Island; the movie has a terrific, on-location feel for New York City. Director Ted Wilde received an Oscar nomination for Best Comedy Director, a category that, sadly, didn't last long. (Lloyd was always in charge of his movies, but never took a directing credit for himself.)

The Criterion Collection released a fantastic Blu-ray edition, restored and mastered in 4K, plus a score by the great Carl Davis, presented in an uncompressed stereo soundtrack. Bruce Goldstein and Scott McGee provide an informative commentary track, and we get a new short documentary, archival footage of Babe Ruth, a visual essay, Lloyd's home movies, and a 1919 Lloyd two-reeler, Bumping Into Broadway. Phillip Lopate provides the liner notes essay. Fans can add this to the Criterion releases of Safety Last! and The Freshman.

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