This Saturday morning, May 30, Harold Lloyd’s granddaughter Suzanne Lloyd and I will be introducing Lloyd’s final silent comedy Speedy (1928) at the Castro Theater as part of the San Francisco Silent Film Festival’s 20th anniversary program. Live musical accompaniment will be provided by Rodney Sauer’s Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra. Here are five fun facts about the movie.
While most “New York” based films contain only a few stock footage establishing shots, Lloyd filmed ALL OVER – from Hamilton Heights north, to the tip of Bowling Green south, as well as in the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Coney Island.
Buster Keaton (far left) and Al St. John rode the same Witching Waves ride at Luna Park during their Roscoe Arbuckle short comedy Coney Island (1917) that Harold and Ann Christy rode ten years later filming Speedy.
Lloyd built a huge New York backlot (box) near Westwood Village (at back). The lot stood not far from the Westwood Village Memorial Park (dark vegetation left of center), where many notables, including Marilyn Monroe, are buried. A middle school and a large Mormon temple were built on the backlot site.
I’ve posted many other stories about Speedy (see the list HERE), and cover it thoroughly in my Harold Lloyd film locations book Silent Visions. Here’s also a link to an online article I prepared for the Museum of the Moving Image in New York when I spoke there in 2011. I’ll be available all this weekend to sign books at the festival.
In closing, here’s something you don’t see everyday – Harold extending the “digitus impudicus.”