Film / Grandma's Boy (1922)

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Grandma's Boy is a 1922 comedy film directed by Fred C. Newmeyer, starring Harold Lloyd.

Lloyd is the grandma's boy, a timid young man living with his grandma in a small rural town. He yearns for romance with the local pretty girl (Mildred Davis, the future Mrs. Lloyd), while struggling with his rival, a bully who also wants the attentions of a pretty girl. Harold is a hopeless coward, quailing in fright when a hobo is found lurking in the yard, further embarrassed when his feisty grandma chases the hobo away with a broomstick.

The hobo actually turns out to be a dangerous criminal. The town forms a posse to catch him, but a terrified Harold runs away. His grandma, to buck up his courage, tells him a story about his grandpa. It seems that back in the Civil War, Harold's grandpa received a magic charm from an old witch, which rendered him invulnerable to harm. She then gives him the charm, which gives Harold courage.

No connection with the similarly named 2006 film starring Adam Sandler.


Tropes:

  • The Bully: The Rival, who, while also being a rival for the Girl's affections, delights on picking on Harold.
  • Call-Back: The Bully completes his tormenting of Harold in an early scene by chucking him into a well (it isn't very deep). In the last scene Harold smacks the Bully in the face and knocks him into that same well.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The hobo, aka "The Rolling Stone", pops up in one scene that is apparently meant to show what a chicken Harold is and how badass his grandma is in contrast. Then the latter portion of the film has a posse chasing said hobo, who is a dangerous criminal.
  • Clucking Funny: Harold accidentally discharges a shotgun in a barn, causing a blizzard of chickens to fall on him.
  • Establishing Character Moment: The character of Harold's rival is established in his first appearance when the Rival is seen chucking a piece of wood at a random cat.
  • Identical Grandson: Lloyd plays both the grandma's boy and his grandfather.
  • Lovable Coward: Poor Harold, trying so hard but just naturally cowardly.
  • Magic Feather: The supposed magic charm of Zuni, which turns out to be the ornament to Grandma's umbrella.
  • Masochist's Meal: Harold accidentally drops some of the mothballs from his suit into the Girl's candy bowl for guests. Both he and the Bully wind up having to choke down a mothball.
  • A Minor Kidroduction: A shot of an infant Harold (with glasses!) and a shot of a schoolboy Harold, both establishing that Harold has been a scaredy-cat since childhood.
  • Nameless Narrative: Often in silent films. Lloyd is simply credited as "Grandma's Boy", Mildred Davis is "His Girl", and the hobo is "The Rolling Stone."
  • Never Mess with Granny: After Harold recoils in fright from the hobo, his grandma chases him away by whacking him on the head with a parasol.
  • Scooby Stack: Seen briefly from some villagers astonished to see Harold carrying the dangerous hobo into town in a baby's stroller.
  • Stick 'em Up: Harold uses the magic charm like a gun and jabs it into the hobo's back. It works.
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