Film / Speedy

Speedy is a 1928 comedy film starring Harold Lloyd.

Lloyd plays Harold "Speedy" Swift, a young go-getter in New York City who loves his girlfriend Jane (Ann Christy) and the New York Yankees, possibly not in that order. Jane's grandpa, Pop Dillon (Bert Woodruff), owns the last horse-drawn passenger trolley in New York City. Pop has been targeted by unscrupulous railroad developers who want to push him out of business so they can gain control of his route. Harold has to fight to make sure Pop gets a fair deal.

Speedy director Ted Wilde was nominated for Best Comedy Direction at the first Academy Awards ceremony. The award was never given again. The End of an Age plot with Pop's horse-drawn car turned out to be appropriate on a meta level, as Speedy was the last silent film Harold Lloyd ever made.


  • Accidental Pervert: Harold and Jane stop at a seafood place at Coney Island, and a live crab falls into Harold's pocket. The crab pinches ladies' bottoms and steals lingerie out of a woman's purse.
  • Amusement Park: A long sequence in which Harold takes Jane to Coney Island.
  • Artistic License Sports: The Yankees are playing at home, but the scoreboard on the street (as well as the impromptu line score Harold makes with doughnuts) has them batting in the top of the inning.
  • As Himself: One extended sequence involves Harold, who has gotten a job as a taxi driver, driving Babe Ruth to Yankee Stadium for a game. Ruth is billed in the opening credits as "Himself".
  • Badass Grandpa: A whole neighborhood full of them. All the old coots who like to hang out in Pop's bus after hours rally to fight the Mooks hired by the railroad boss to disrupt Pop's route.
  • Big Applesauce: The slum where Jane and Pop live was a set in Los Angeles but most of the rest of the film was shot on location in New York. Landmarks such as Times Square, Coney Island, and Yankee Stadium appear.
  • The Cameo:
    • Babe Ruth As Himself, catching a ride from Harold to the ballpark. The film includes a scene where Ruth hits a real home run in a real Yankee game.
    • There is a cameo within a cameo as well. As Ruth is getting out of Harold's cab at Yankee Stadium, his teammate Lou Gehrig can be seen walking behind the cab. Gehrig looks right at the camera.
  • Chinese Launderer: One has a business in Pop's neighborhood. When the Badass Grandpas attack the mooks, the launderer charges into battle with a hot iron.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Harold, running away from a cop, dives into a random phone booth at Yankee Stadium. He then hears the corrupt railroad guy in the next booth, plotting to destroy Pop Dillon's business.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: The railroad boss tries to lowball Pop in negotiations to buy out Pop's route. When that fails, he tries strategies such as stealing Pop's car (Pop has to run his route once a day to maintain the rights) and attacking Pop's car with a horde of mooks.
  • Driver Faces Passenger: Harold is so star-struck when Babe Ruth gets in the cab that he keeps turning around to talk to Ruth in the back seat. He narrowly escapes several collisions, much to Ruth's horror.
  • Driving a Desk: Used for some of the shots of Harold's wild drive across New York in Pop's car.
  • Feet-First Introduction: We first see Jane this way, as she chases Pop's car and kicks off a couple of boys riding the rear bumper.
  • Flipping the Bird: Harold leans against a fence with a "wet paint" sign on it, and ruins his suit. He discovers this after seeing his reflection in a mirror. In the most surprising scene in the movie, he then flips the bird to his own reflection. This, in a general-release comedy in 1928.
  • Percussive Maintenance: Harold can't open the door of his crappy taxi—until he kicks it.
  • Shown Their Work: While the film did forget that the home team bats in the bottom of the inning, the lineups shown on a scoreboard are accurate, reflecting the names of the real players on the 1927 Yankees and Chicago White Sox.