Friday, May 30, 2008

Harold Lloyd's "Speedy" 80 years later

COMPOSER Carl Davis has worked with the giants of the silent era -- nevermind that it's all been decades after the films came out.

So when he conducts the U.S. premiere of his score for the 1928 Harold Lloyd comedy classic "Speedy" on Saturday evening at Royce Hall, it won't be the first time he's given a silent movie a new voice. "Speedy" is the centerpiece of the 19th annual Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra Silent Film Gala, which features Dustin Hoffman as honorary chairman. The film was Lloyd's last silent and one of his best. Shot on location in Manhattan, it centers on Lloyd's bespectacled "Everyman" Harold "Speedy" Swift, an absolute Yankee baseball nut who tries to save the last horse-drawn trolley bus in New York, operated by his girlfriend's grandfather. Babe Ruth has a wonderful cameo as a nervous passenger in Speedy's taxicab.

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