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245 Ratings

The Freshman

United States, 1925


Nerdy college student will do anything to become popular on campus.

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The Freshman Directed by Fred C. Newmeyer, Sam Taylor
For most of The Freshman’s duration, a complex relationship is sustained between on-screen laughter and our own. We laugh at Harold at the same time as his tormentors, and our laughter is often occasioned by the same incidents, but we are in no danger of thinking ourselves parties to their cruelty… This is not only because we care more, but also because we see his calamities in the context of his ambition and inventiveness.
March 17, 2017
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I sometimes think of Lloyd as the Swiss watchmaker of comedy. He and his gagmen would meticulously build classic sequence after classic sequence… Scenes like the Fall Frolic and the football game can be pulled out of context and play just as effectively for an audience. But seeing them embedded in the film, we discover how tightly Lloyd marries his comedy to the arc of his character’s story, creating a perfect bond of laughter and recognition with his public.
March 26, 2014
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it’s in Harold’s determined efforts to prove himself worthy, rather than in the sort of sustained physical comedy practiced by Chaplin and Keaton, that Lloyd truly shines. The Freshman was so successful that Keaton wound up making his own campus comedy, 1927’s College, but this was Lloyd’s natural milieu. Another thing that distinguishes Lloyd’s films is that the intertitles are often as funny as the visual gags.
March 26, 2014
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