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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.

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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.
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  • 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.
  • Rake Take: Harold manages to do this twice in a row while nervously looking around a barn in the dark for the hobo.
  • 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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