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The Freshman (Criterion Collection) (Blu-ray + DVD)
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
I picked this up a couple days early at a local record store and have been glued to my set enjoying the film and the extras!
Unlike others , I enjoy the BR / DVD sets.... I have a DVD player in my computer and in my office so the ability to watch the recent Criterion releases in both Standard and hi definition with a single purchase I find helpful ...and a space saver for my collection, but I digress.

Normally I cringe when I hear Harold Lloyd described as "the third genius" with Chaplin and Keaton. In my humble opinion at his very best he approaches what the other two did as a matter of routine and I even wondered if I should buy this. I think what put me over the top was that I rate "The Freshman" as one of his best and I know his films are in good state so it should look much more like a vintage Chaplin and much better than (sadly) most of the Keaton classic films of the 20's and the print does not disappoint.
I do believe that this was Lloyd's most popular film and while not of the "thrill" variety that he popularized shows his character at his most earnest and likeable. This also predates Buster Keaton's "College" by a couple of years.

But this is very expensive for a film of just over an hour in length (76 minutes) so how can I rate it that high? As I said, it is a good film , one of his best and a classic of the silent era. The bonus features are another thing all together and why I rate this a 5 star value. The first one I checked out was a delicious 7 minutes from Mr Lloyd's appearance on "What's My Line?" where he displays such charm and humor. The nearly 40 minute interview with archivists and friends of Mr Lloyd , Kevin Brownlow and Richard Correll had me thoroughly entertained as well. Author John Bengston , as he has done for others like Keaton, presents a visual essay on the various locations used for filming. I should add that as a lifelong resident in Southern California that feature may appeal to me more than those in other parts of the world. There is a half hour segment from the film "Harold Lloyd's Funny Side of Life" which contains an introduction from Mr Lloyd to The Freshman and a chunk of that feature film featuring many greatest hits clips from his career! The bonus features continue with 3 very classic Lloyd short films "The Marathon" from 1919 , "High and Dizzy" and " An Eastern Westerner" both from 1920 with newly created scores. There is a great audio commentary for the main feature with the previously noted Correll, Leonard Maltin and Richard Bann. I almost forgot another half hour of film where Mr Lloyd was being honored by USC fraternity in 1963 ...featuring Steve Allen and Jack Lemmon paying tribute to him and his own appearance.

So... what we have is a legitimate silent classic, lovingly presented and surrounded with a plethora of bonus features that enhance the experience for me to a great extent and I can say have made this a very treasured part of my film collection. Highly Recommended!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on June 25, 2014
Harold Lloyd films.
The best available prints.
Whenever there was overlap, I chose the best-looking transfer.
There are three primary sources:

-- KINO:
The Harold Lloyd Collection, Vol. 1 (Slapstick Symposium) -- includes 2 early shorts unavailable elsewhere
The Harold Lloyd Collection, Vol. 2 (Slapstick Symposium) -- includes 5 early shorts unavailable elsewhere
Public domain prints, Published 2004.

-- NEW LINE: New Line Home Entertainment: The Harold Lloyd Comedy Collection Vols. 1-3
Authorized by the Harold Lloyd estate, Transfered from the original negatives, Published 2005.

-- CRITERION (Blu-Ray & DVD):
(The Freshman (Criterion Collection) (Blu-ray + DVD) - and
Safety Last! (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]) - or - Safety Last! (Criterion Collection) DVD)
each film comes with three shorts and bonus features.
Authorized by the Harold Lloyd estate, Transfered from the original negatives, Published 2013, 2014.

SILENT FILM SHORTS:
1918: Are Crooks Dishonest? * ---- KINO vol. 1
1918: The City Slicker * -------------- KINO vol. 2
1918: The Non-Stop Kid * ----------- KINO vol. 2
1918: Take a Chance * -------------- CRITERION: SAFETY LAST
1918: Two Gun Gussie * ------------- KINO vol. 2
1919: Ask Father * --------------------- NEW LINE vol. 1
1919: Billy Blazes, Esq.* ------------ NEW LINE vol. 2
1919: Bumping Into Broadway * --- NEW LINE vol. 2
1919: Captain Kidd's Kids * --------- KINO vol. 2
1919: Just Neighbors * --------------- KINO vol. 1
1919: The Marathon * ---------------- CRITERION: FRESHMAN
1919: Ring Up the Curtain * -------- KINO vol. 2
1919: Young Mr. Jazz * ------------- CRITERION: SAFETY LAST
1919: From Hand to Mouth ** ----- NEW LINE vol. 1
1920: An Eastern Westerner ** --- CRITERION: FRESHMAN
1920: Get Out and Get Under ** -- NEW LINE vol. 3
1920: Haunted Spooks ** ----------- NEW LINE vol. 3 -- with commentary
1920: High and Dizzy ** ------------- CRITERION: FRESHMAN
1920: His Royal Slyness ** --------- CRITERION: SAFETY LAST
1920: Number Please? ** ----------- NEW LINE vol. 3
1921: Among Those Present ** --- NEW LINE vol. 3
1921: I Do ** ---------------------------- NEW LINE vol. 3
1921: Never Weaken ** ------------- NEW LINE vol. 3
1921: Now or Never ** -------------- NEW LINE vol. 2

SILENT FEATURE FILMS:
1921: A Sailor-Made Man ** ---- NEW LINE vol. 3
1922: Grandma's Boy ** --------- NEW LINE vol. 2
1922: Dr. Jack ** ------------------ NEW LINE vol. 2
1923: Safety Last! ** ------------- CRITERION -- with commentary
1923: Why Worry? *** ------------ NEW LINE vol. 1
1924: Hot Water *** --------------- NEW LINE vol. 3
1924: Girl Shy *** ----------------- NEW LINE vol. 1
1925: The Freshman *** -------- CRITERION -- with commentary
1926: For Heaven's Sake *** --- NEW LINE vol. 3
1927: The Kid Brother *** ------- NEW LINE vol. 2 -- with commentary
1928: Speedy ---------------------- NEW LINE vol. 3 -- with commentary

* costarring Bebe Daniels (spunky)
** costarring Mildred Davis (adorable)
*** costarring Jobyna Ralston (adorable yet spunky)

SOUND FEATURE FILMS:
1930: Feet First ---------- NEW LINE vol. 2
1932: Movie Crazy ------ NEW LINE vol. 3
1934: The Cat's Paw --- NEW LINE vol. 1
1936: The Milky Way -- NEW LINE vol. 1

Note: Three sound features: WELCOME DANGER (1929), PROFESSOR BEWARE (1938) and THE SIN OF HAROLD DIDDLEBOCK (1947) are awaiting satisfactory DVD release.
-- THE SIN OF HAROLD DIDDLEBOCK is in the public domain, with mediocre prints on several budget labels.
I recommend The Sin of Harold Diddlebock / Heartbeat , which makes up in quantity what it lacks in quality.
-- WELCOME DANGER was broadcast on Turner Classic Movies in June, 2014.

Additions / Corrections to this list are welcome.

The Criterion Blu-Rays of THE FRESHMAN and SAFETY LAST are reissues of the same prints that New Line used
(including the same commentaries with Leonard Maltin etc.)
I have no complaint, especially as the New Line DVDs are now out-of-print and starting to get pricey.
They were produced by the Harold Lloyd estate from the original negatives.

Criterion has added additional bonus material, including four shorts that were not on New Line,
plus the essential 1989 PBS documentary "Harold Lloyd: The Third Genius" (with SAFETY LAST) - watch this first if you are new to Harold Lloyd.

I hope Criterion will reissue the remaining New Line titles along with additional shorts.
THE KID BROTHER (1927) and SPEEDY (1928) already have Carl Davis scores and would be likely candidates for the Criterion treatment,
but I have no inside information.
[SPEEDY features a trolley car race and spectacular crash filmed on the streets of New York in 1928.]
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 9, 2014
"The Freshman" is a silent film comedy about a young man, played by Harold Lloyd, who is desperate to be popular at his college. He does this by trying out for the football team, hosting a fall dance, giving a speech at the school, and more.

The movie is so funny because it utilizes Harold Lloyd's genius in so many ways. His facial expressions and physical comedy are tremendous. The leading lady who plays opposite him is gorgeous, and the scenes are well choreographed.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
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Another great winner from our friends at Criterion! This may just be the release of the year!! Harold Lloyd fans rejoice at this amazing blu ray/DVD set Criterion has released onto the world (at least the region A world). Have loved Harold Lloyd since discovering his films on Turner Classics and New Line's massive box set of his amazing work. All his films are preserved and in great condition from seeing these in the New Line box set. And Criterion did an awesome job on releasing our favorite THE FRESHMAN onto blu ray coming from a 4K master. This is the time I crave that the 4K technology catches up, because blu ray upconverted to 4K is not the same as real 4K. And this great film should be seen in real 4K. It is hard to believe this film was released in 1925! The beauty that lies within this masterful work is a sight to be seen. I don't care how old this movie is, but blu ray brings out more detail and sharpness that the DVD (even upconverted) cannot come nowhere close to the blu ray's resolution (although the DVD in this set looks good).
There are tons of special features that we come to expect from Criterion. Several short films in HD among others. I am still impressed on how great this set represents the brilliance of Harold Lloyd's masterpiece. Criterion once again proves why they are the best when it comes to releasing classics onto blu ray. Even if you are not a fan of silent films, this is one funny movie. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on May 16, 2014
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It's not remarkable that one of the most popular comedies of the 1920's is still tremendously funny. (Some would say funnier than anything made today. In fact, I would say that.) The amazing thing is that it doesn't look old. Once in a while there are a few slight indications that original elements had seen plenty of service, not that most people would notice while absorbed in the story. But never are there any signs of forced restoration. The image could not be this sharp and crisp if the preservation elements had been highly compromised by film condition or inferior lab work. The viewer need not make allowances for the extreme age of this film. It plays as well now as when new, and looks it. I highly recommend it as an eye-opener for anyone who thinks that silent movies creak.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 12, 2014
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Harold Lloyd is one the greats from the silent era along with Chaplin and Keaton. THE FRESHMAN was his most popular release and has been beautifully restored on the Criterion Blu-ray/DVD release. There are plenty of outstanding Extras included on this set and it has a fine commentary track (carried over from an earlier release) as well as couple of restored Lloyd shorts. If you can about the comedy from the the silent movie era then this is a must have disc.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on April 7, 2014
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Everytime I have to explain why I spend more than 30 dls on a movie, I explain that Criterion is the home video equivalent of an "annotated" edition of a classic book, And sometimes, even the best possible edition, plus the "Cambridge Companion" in a bundle. That holds true for this film, that blu-ray.com reviews this way: "So far, this is one of the year's very best releases" ([...]). And that kind of praise is reserved only to stuff like the beautiful Zatoichi box-set, the indisputable champion of 2013.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 17, 2014
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You can't go wrong with Harold Lloyd. This film his box office triumph the even had a sequel made some 15 years later.
Sort of, the Sin of Harold Diddlebock, is fun, but the Freshman is what it's all about. It's what defined Lloyd as one of the big three of the silent era. He's right up there with Chaplin and Keaton. If you don't believe me, buy the movie and see fir yourself!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 20, 2014
Verified Purchase
there are few beter comedies than this.....Lloyd is wonderful
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 27, 2014
Verified Purchase
This is very much an Harold Lloyd movie. Criterion did a very good job in bringing it up to blu-ray quality. I didn't really pay attention to the music so i suppose it fit with the movie. The movie had many of his characteristic dilemma's and eventual resolutions.
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