For a better experience on MUBI, update your browser.
Critics reviews
The Freshman
Fred C. Newmeyer, Sam Taylor United States, 1925
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
Read full article
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
Read full article
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
Read full article
Lloyd constructed gags like an architect, with the surroundings in his films manipulated to become the physical manifestation of his inner worries. As appearance and the maintaining of such is paramount to Lamb, the gags in The Freshman are sometimes hard to bear, as cutting through courteous behavior to expose even a hint of vulnerability is an inherent fear in individuals within large social groups…
March 25, 2014
Read full article
Lloyd’s films are prose where Keaton’s were poems, but gag for gag, Lloyd was the funniest screen comic of his time. Passionately recommended.
January 01, 1980
Read full article