The Freshman: Silent Comedy Classic Gets New DVD

Harold Lloyd in The Freshman. Courtesy of Harold Lloyd Entertainment.

Silent comedy classic The Freshman has received a new DVD release from Alpha Video but the source file is not the Criterion restoration.

For one, the film is known to run some 76 minutes. If this is the case, why does the Alpha Video DVD have a run time of 89-90 minutes? The other thing is that the Criterion restoration gas a way better picture. It is much easier to watch and available to stream on Max at press time. I certainly cannot say the same for the recent 2024 DVD re-release. It feels more grainy in terms of the video footage. Honestly, I’m not writing a formal review of the DVD because it can be hard to read the titles at times. If you’re going to go through the effort of re-releasing a comedy classic on DVD, please do some due diligence in making sure the film titles are also readable! It is impossible to read text with the text cut off!

You can probably do yourself a big favor by watching the Criterion release instead. One, you can see the film which would inspire Buster Keaton to make College two years later in 1927. Two, the restoration also comes with a new orchestral score by Carl Davis. My first viewing came several years ago and if I’m being honest, it’s certainly worth it to check out the restoration instead.

Synopsis

Harold Lloyd plays a naïve freshman who thinks college will be just like what he saw in the movies in this silent classic, considered by true film historians to be his best comedy.

Bonus Feature

  • The Relay (1927 short film)

DIRECTORS: Sam Taylor and Fred Newmeyer
STORY BY: Sam Taylor & Ted Wilde & John Grey & Tim Whelan
CAST: Harold Lloyd, Jobyna Ralston, Brooks Benedict, James Anderson, Hazel Keener, Joseph Harrington, Pat Harmon

Pathé Exchange released The Freshman in theaters on September 20, 1925.

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Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.