Release year: 2010
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This was comedian Harold Lloyd's last silent film, and one of his most charming. Lloyd's character here is called Harold Speedy Swift, an upbeat young man whose fatal attraction for baseball always causes him to lose his jobs. After his latest firing, he impulsively spends a day at Coney Island with his sweetheart, Jane Dillon (Ann Christy).
Ann's grandfather, Pop Dillon (Bert Woodruff), meanwhile, has a dilemma -- he runs the last horse-drawn trolley in New York City, and the railway magnates desperately want his route. Since Pop won't sell it to them, they plan to get it by underhanded means. Pop must make his rounds at least once every 24 hours, so the magnates hire thugs to stop him.
Speedy hears about this plan and, being gainfully unemployed, takes over the route to protect the old man. But the magnates then steal the trolley, and the climax of the film involves Speedy's dash to find the trolley and get it back to its route before the 24 hours are up.
He makes it just in time and then forces the magnates to buy the route for a cool 100,000 dollars. This picture was shot on location in a Manhattan that now looks almost quaint for all its concrete and steel. Baseball legend Babe Ruth had a cameo role, playing himself as a very harassed fare when Speedy is working as a cabbie.
Their wild ride ends at the old Yankee Stadium. Other historically interesting sites include Coney Island's Luna Park, and Columbus Circle and Wall Street as they were in 1928. In the film's climax, the trolley has a spectacular crash at the Brooklyn Bridge -- this accident was not planned, but was left in the film anyhow.
At the time of this picture's release, Lloyd was a top box-office draw, a bigger moneymaker than Charlie Chaplin (whose releases during the '20s was infrequent) and Buster Keaton (whose quirky comedy wouldn't be fully appreciated for several decades). While Lloyd made some fairly amusing sound films, he never again matched the quality of his silent work.