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March @CERA: Harold Lloyd’s “Speedy” (1928)

Sunday, March 02, 2014 3:43 PM | Ed Graziano (Administrator)

Our Next Program:

Harold Lloyd’s “Speedy” (1928)

This is the Year of the Horse, and for our March program, CERA takes a look back at horsecars, the beginnings of street railways.

Our feature presentation is Harold Lloyd’s “Speedy” (1928), a silent comedy about a fictional last horsecar line in New York City. In real life, the last horsecar in New York ran in 1917.

Harold Lloyd in "Speedy" (1928).

Harold Lloyd in “Speedy” (1928).

In the film, Harold Lloyd is in love with the daughter of the operator of a horsecar line. Traction magnates need his franchise to achieve transit unification, and want to put him out of business. Despite their sabotage, Harold (aka “Speedy”) rises to the occasion, in a frantic attempt to complete the horsecar’s required franchise run. Don’t be surprised if Harold saves the day and gets the girl in the end.

Babe Ruth makes a cameo appearance, and we also get to watch him hit a home run against the visitingChicago White Sox.

“Speedy” was filmed on location in NYC in 1927, and besides the horsecars, there are plenty of views of vintage streetscapes, streetcars, elevated trains, Coney Island, and even the late, lamented Penn Station, subject of a recent American Experience documentary.

As added attractions, we will watch two shorts- “The Bellboy,” (1918) starring Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle andBuster Keaton (which also features a horsecar), and we will go back to the beginnings of railroading circa 1830 with “The Iron Mule” (1925) starring Al St. John, with an uncredited appearance by Buster Keaton.  Join us for what promises to be a fun evening.

Friday, March 28, 2014
1900 hrs / 7:00pm
University Center
525 S. State Street
Chicago, Illinois

Admission is free for current CERA members. There will be a $5.00 Admission charge for non-members.

From the novelized version of "Speedy" (1928).

From the novelized version of “Speedy” (1928).

A scene on the New York subway from "Speedy."

A scene on the New York subway from “Speedy.”

A screenshot from "Speedy."

A screenshot from “Speedy.”

A screenshot from "Speedy" (1928).

A screenshot from “Speedy” (1928).

A title card from "Speedy" (1928).

A title card from “Speedy” (1928).

A screenshot from "Speedy."

A screenshot from “Speedy.”

The real last horsecar line in New York City in 1917.

The real last horsecar line in New York City in 1917.

A screen shot from "The Bell Boy."

A screen shot from “The Bell Boy.”

Al St. John oils a horse in "The Bell Boy" (1918).

Al St. John oils a horse in “The Bell Boy” (1918).

A screenshot from "The Bell Boy" (1918).

A screenshot from “The Bell Boy” (1918).


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