Saturday, April 26, 2014

Speedy (1928)

Saw this at Loew's Jersey tonight in a gorgeous 35mm print with excellent accompaniment on the Wonder Morton Organ by Bernie Anderson. This is the third time I've seen this one theatrically, and it just gets funnier each time. I've never been able to watch it all the way through on DVD, because the audience reaction is so essential to the full experience of Lloyd's comedy, and this one in particular just comes to life on the big screen in a way that I can never match watching it at home.

I did notice a stunning shot that had never caught my eye on previous viewings. It occurs as Lloyd and Ann Christy depart Coney Island in a moving van. As they settle into their make-believe, makeshift home among the furniture, there's a reverse shot looking out the back of the van, with the lights of Coney Island fading into the distance as the van drives along back to the city. It's a small moment, but it's the kind of shot that possesses such a simple, lyrical beauty that it took my breath away.

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