THE FRESHMAN, 1925
Cast: Harold Lloyd, Jobyna Ralston, Brooks Benedict, James Anderson, Hazel Keener, Joseph Harrington, Pat Harmon
Harold Lamb is so excited about going to college that he has been working to earn spending money, practicing college yells, and learning a special way of introducing himself that he saw in a movie. When he arrives at Tate University, he soon becomes the target of practical jokes and ridicule. With the help of his one real friend Peggy, he resolves to make every possible effort to become popular.
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Come fall, itís time for college freshmen to pack their bags and head to the new exciting place that is college. Theyíre finally breaking free of the parental grasp and venturing into brand new territory. Itís a fun and scary experience all at the same time, for both student and parent. If youíre a parent, Iím sure watching Animal House doesn't calm your nerves and if you are a student, perhaps Van Wilder has you psyched.
Either way, college movies have been around since the silent era and in one way or another have inspired or struck fear in the audiences that have watched them. But, thereís one movie that has influenced all the others after it. Itís the silent classic The Freshman (1925). Since its release, the brilliant comedian Harold Lloyd has been the model for the newcomer underdog in the later college comedies. Lloyd delivers a memorable performance and, in turn, a hilarious film that is just as relevant today as ever.
Lloyd stars as Harold ďSpeedyĒ Lamb, a naÔve young man just about to set off for college. Inspired by his idol The College Hero from his favorite film, Lamb imitates him the best he can. He dresses like him, has memorized his mannerisms, and is as excited as a kid on Christmas to finally arrive at the university. However, his excitement is his alone and his parents watch in agony as they know their son will be made a fool of. They canít break his spirits though and send him on his way. On the train, he meets a pretty girl, Peggy, whom he is immediately attracted to. Heís too shy though to do anything about it and the two go on their way.
When he arrives on campus, the other older, more experienced boys make fun of Lambís outfit and youthful behavior behind his back. Lamb, still in his haze of joy, doesnít give their rude behavior a second thought. Instead, he believes heís the most popular kid at the place, a joke the upperclassmen have administered. He even goes so far as to try out for the football team.