Sunday, February 11, 2024

This Valentine's Day, fall in love with silent film by seeing 'Speedy' (1928) in Manchester, N.H.

An original poster for 'Speedy' (1928).

Doing anything for Valentine's Day?

If you have plans, cancel them and see 'Speedy' (1928) instead. I'm accompanying Harold Lloyd's final silent feature on Wednesday, Feb. 14 at 7 p.m. at the Rex Theatre in downtown Manchester, N.H.

More details in the press release pasted in below.

Even if you don't have a sweetie to bring along, 'Speedy' will help you fall in love—with silent film!

One of the great things about 'Speedy' is that much of it was filmed on location in New York City. So it's a great way to see what life was like in the Big Apple a century ago, at the height of the Roaring '20s.

And baseball fans will love it for the vintage shots of Yankee Stadium, and an extended cameo by none other than Babe Ruth. 

And insurance adjusters will have a great time seeing all the rides in action during scenes filmed at Coney Island.

So: something for everyone! So see you on Valentine's Day. Details below.  

But before we go...a couple of photos from a screening of Buster Keaton's 'The Navigator' (1924), with music by me, on Saturday, Feb. 10 at the Jane Pickens Theatre in Newport, R.I.

First, me in front of the theater's custom poster...

...and then me inside the theater, actually on the stage in front of the screen setting up my speakers. I looked up to see my name behind me, so snapped a quick selfie.

*    *    *

An original lobby card promoting 'Speedy' (1928).

Contact Jeff Rapsis • (603) 236-9237 •

Classic Harold Lloyd comedy 'Speedy' on Wednesday, Feb. 14 at Rex Theatre

Valentine's Day screening features live music; 1920s rom-com filmed on location in NYC with cameo by Babe Ruth

MANCHESTER, N.H.—He was the bespectacled boy next door whose road to success was often paved with perilous detours.

He was Harold Lloyd, whose fast-paced comedies made him the most popular movie star of Hollywood's silent film era.

See for yourself why Lloyd was the top box office attraction of the 1920s in a revival of 'Speedy' (1928), one of his most popular comedies.

The film, shot on location in New York City, will be shown on Wednesday, Feb. 14 at 7 p.m. at the Rex Theatre, 23 Amherst St., Manchester, N.H.

General admission is $10 per person; tickets are available at the door or online at

 Live music for the movie will be provided by silent film accompanist Jeff Rapsis.

Harold Lloyd and girlfriend Barbara Kent ride the subway in 'Speedy' (1928).

'Speedy,' Lloyd's final silent feature before the transition to talkies, finds Harold as a baseball-crazed youth who must rescue the city's last horse-drawn streetcar from gangsters bent on running it out of business.

Filmed almost entirely on location in New York, 'Speedy' features remarkable glimpses of the city at the end of the 1920s, including footage of Coney Island and the original Yankee Stadium in the Bronx.

The latter scenes include an extended appearance by Babe Ruth, then at the height of his career during the team's storied 1927 season.

"In 'Speedy,' New York City is practically a part of the cast," Rapsis said. "In filming it on location, Lloyd knew scenes of New York would give the picture added interest to audiences across the nation and around the world.

"But what he didn't anticipate was that today, the location shots now provide a fascinating record of how life was lived in the Big Apple in the 1920s," Rapsis said.

Rapsis will improvise a musical score for 'Speedy' as the film is screened. In creating accompaniment for vintage classics, Rapsis tries to bridge the gap between silent film and modern audiences.

"Creating the music on the spot is a bit of a high-wire act, but it contributes a level of energy that's really crucial to the silent film experience," Rapsis said.

'Speedy' (1928) will be screened with live music on Wednesday, Feb. 14 at 7 p.m. at the Rex Theatre, 23 Amherst St., Manchester, N.H.

General admission is $10 per person; tickets are available at the door or online at

For more information, call (603) 668-5588.

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