Speedy (1928)

87 mins | Comedy | 7 April 1928

Director:

Ted Wilde

Cinematographer:

Walter Lundin

Editor:

Carl Himm

Production Designer:

L. K. Vedder

Production Company:

Harold Lloyd Corp.
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HISTORY

According to a production chart in the 7 Jan 1928 Exhibitors Herald and Moving Picture World, work began on Speedy on 30 Jul 1927.
       As noted in reviews and contemporary news items, many of the film's exteriors were shot on location in New York City. Notable locations included Yankee Stadium, Pennsylvania Station and Coney Island. In one scene, Yankee baseball star Lou Gehrig can be viewed very briefly through the taxicab window as his teammate, Babe Ruth, is exiting the cab upon his safe arrival at Yankee Stadium. According to news items, much of the New York footage was shot in Oct and Nov 1927. That was just after Ruth hit his record-setting 60th home run on 30 Sep 1927, when he was the most famous sports figure in America. Other exteriors were shot at Harold Lloyd's lot on Santa Monica Blvd., in the Westwood district of Los Angeles.
       "Speedy" was Harold Lloyd's nickname. As part of the publicity campaign for the film, several contemporary newspaper articles reported that Lloyd's fans had suggested the name for the title of the picture. A feature article in the Evening Independent newspaper, St. Petersberg, FL, noted that Paramount general manager Sidney R. Kent suggested the title. Although some sources reported that Speedy marked the film debut of actress Ann Christy, she had appeared in several 2-reel shorts and as a bit player in features such as the 1927 Columbia release The Kid Sister (see entry), before her appearance in this film. As part of the first Academy Awards held in 1930, Speedy director Ted Wilde ...

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According to a production chart in the 7 Jan 1928 Exhibitors Herald and Moving Picture World, work began on Speedy on 30 Jul 1927.
       As noted in reviews and contemporary news items, many of the film's exteriors were shot on location in New York City. Notable locations included Yankee Stadium, Pennsylvania Station and Coney Island. In one scene, Yankee baseball star Lou Gehrig can be viewed very briefly through the taxicab window as his teammate, Babe Ruth, is exiting the cab upon his safe arrival at Yankee Stadium. According to news items, much of the New York footage was shot in Oct and Nov 1927. That was just after Ruth hit his record-setting 60th home run on 30 Sep 1927, when he was the most famous sports figure in America. Other exteriors were shot at Harold Lloyd's lot on Santa Monica Blvd., in the Westwood district of Los Angeles.
       "Speedy" was Harold Lloyd's nickname. As part of the publicity campaign for the film, several contemporary newspaper articles reported that Lloyd's fans had suggested the name for the title of the picture. A feature article in the Evening Independent newspaper, St. Petersberg, FL, noted that Paramount general manager Sidney R. Kent suggested the title. Although some sources reported that Speedy marked the film debut of actress Ann Christy, she had appeared in several 2-reel shorts and as a bit player in features such as the 1927 Columbia release The Kid Sister (see entry), before her appearance in this film. As part of the first Academy Awards held in 1930, Speedy director Ted Wilde received a certificate of honorable mention in the Directing (Comedy Picture) category.

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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Evening Independent (St. Petersberg, FL)
13 Mar 1928
p. 6
Exhibitors Herald and Moving Picture World
7 Jan 1928
p. 43
Film Daily
15 Apr 1928
p. 4
Film Spectator
28 Apr 1928
pp. 10-11
Los Angeles Times
26 Dec 1927
p. 11
New York Times
7 Apr 1928
p. 20
Pittsburgh Press
13 Oct 1927
p. 4
Pittsburgh Press
15 Oct 1927
p. 16
Variety
11 Apr 1928
p. 12
DETAILS
Release Date:
7 April 1928
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 7 Apr 1928
Production Date:
began 30 Jul 1927; Oct-Dec 1927 in New York City
Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
Harold Lloyd Corp.
7 April 1928
LP25135
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
87
Length(in feet):
7,690
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

Pop Dillon, who owns the last remaining horse-drawn streetcar in New York, is proudly fighting off attempts by mogul W. S. Wilton to buy him out. Pop lives in an old fashioned neighborhood with his devoted granddaughter, Jane, who is in love with Harold “Speedy” Swift. Although Pop likes Harold, he is concerned by the young man's inability to hold a job, especially during baseball season. Harold loses his latest job as a soda jerk when he is distracted by the score of a Yankee’s game while running an errand for his boss. At Pop and Jane’s apartment that night, Harold urges Pop to keep resisting Wilton’s offers, as well as threats by Steve Carter, Wilton’s underling. Pop proudly explains that, as long as he runs his streetcar on city tracks at least once every twenty-four hours, they cannot shut him down. After a happy weekend jaunt at Luna Park in Coney Island, Harold and Jane return home in a moving van driven by a friend, and dream of the day they will marry and raise a family. Harold’s next job, as a taxi driver at The Only One Cab Co., is not proving to be a success. Because of misunderstandings, Harold receives two parking tickets from a surly motorcycle cop, who threatens him with jail if he receives a third. Harold’s day brightens when he parks across the street from an orphanage and learns that his hero, Babe Ruth, is there visiting the children. Because Babe needs a taxi to get to Yankee Stadium in a hurry, Harold happily volunteers his cab. True to his word, Harold ...

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Pop Dillon, who owns the last remaining horse-drawn streetcar in New York, is proudly fighting off attempts by mogul W. S. Wilton to buy him out. Pop lives in an old fashioned neighborhood with his devoted granddaughter, Jane, who is in love with Harold “Speedy” Swift. Although Pop likes Harold, he is concerned by the young man's inability to hold a job, especially during baseball season. Harold loses his latest job as a soda jerk when he is distracted by the score of a Yankee’s game while running an errand for his boss. At Pop and Jane’s apartment that night, Harold urges Pop to keep resisting Wilton’s offers, as well as threats by Steve Carter, Wilton’s underling. Pop proudly explains that, as long as he runs his streetcar on city tracks at least once every twenty-four hours, they cannot shut him down. After a happy weekend jaunt at Luna Park in Coney Island, Harold and Jane return home in a moving van driven by a friend, and dream of the day they will marry and raise a family. Harold’s next job, as a taxi driver at The Only One Cab Co., is not proving to be a success. Because of misunderstandings, Harold receives two parking tickets from a surly motorcycle cop, who threatens him with jail if he receives a third. Harold’s day brightens when he parks across the street from an orphanage and learns that his hero, Babe Ruth, is there visiting the children. Because Babe needs a taxi to get to Yankee Stadium in a hurry, Harold happily volunteers his cab. True to his word, Harold rushes through New York City traffic. Despite frenetic driving that frightens even the Sultan of Swat, they arrive in time for the game. Although the same motorcycle cop is about to issue his taxi its third ticket, Harold goes to the game as Babe’s guest. Later, though, when Babe hits a homerun, Harold’s boss turns around in the stands as the ball sails past him and is infuriated to see Harold cheering instead of driving his taxi. After being fired, Harold gives his boss all of his parking tickets, then eludes the angry motorcycle cop by hiding in a phone booth. There he overhears Carter telling someone that he plans to send thugs to frighten Pop. Back at Pop’s that night, Speedy convinces him that he needs a vacation and offers to take over the streetcar the next day. Later, while Speedy tends to Pop’s horse, the neighborhood men, who have been using the streetcar as a clubhouse during the evenings, listen to Speedy tell them about the threats against Pop’s business. The angry men, some of whom are Civil War veterans, offer to help Speedy and suggest that he use the password “It smells like rain” when he needs them. The next morning, Harold has a number of misadventures, including inadvertently helping some thieves to escape on the streetcar, but finally calls out the password when Carter’s men go to work. True to their word, the elderly neighborhood men come to Speedy’s aid and enthusiastically thwart the henchmen. With the streetcar now safe, Wilton, who knew nothing about the thugs, has a change of heart, fires Carter and offers Pop his asking price of $70,000. Pop is ready to sign, but Speedy convinces Wilton that the line is now worth $100,000. With an agreement finally reached, Pop and Wilton shake hands while Speedy proposes to Jane, and she accepts.

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Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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