Monday, April 29, 2024

This week: Harold Lloyd is 'Speedy' on Tuesday, April 30 at Jane Pickens Theatre, Newport, R.I.

Me with members of the Boston Society of Film Critics last month at the Somerville Theatre, which the society awarded 'Best Film Series of 2023' for its 'Silents, Please!' program.

Hi everyone!

I've been a bad boy with posting in the past month or so. Real life (outside the movie theatre) has been throwing its weight around, with several big projects entering important phases.

But I'm back on the silent film wagon with regular postings, and will try to catch up on things I've missed.

To wit: Last month, I was thrilled to learn that the Somerville Theatre's 'Silents, Please!' series (of which I'm accompanist) was recently awarded 'Best Film Series' by the Boston Society of Film Critics.

Members presented a certificate to me on Sunday, March 21 after a screening of 'Metropolis' (1927) at the Somerville. What a great honor for the theater, which remains committed to showing silent films in its main theater on 35mm prints whenever possible, and for me!

Okay, next up: Harold Lloyd's 'Speedy' (1928), which I'm accompanying tomorrow (Tuesday, April 30) at 6 p.m. at the Jane Pickens Theatre in Newport, R.I.

Lots more info in the press release below. See you in Newport!

*   *   *

A vintage lobby card promoting 'Speedy' (1928).

Contact Jeff Rapsis • (603) 236-9237 •

Classic Harold Lloyd comedy 'Speedy' on Tuesday, April 30 at Jane Pickens Theatre

Screening features live music; 1920s rom-com filmed on location in NYC with cameo featuring Babe Ruth

NEWPORT, R.I.—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 Tuesday, April 30 at 6 p.m. at the Jane Pickens Theatre Film and Event Center, 49 Touro St., Newport, R.I.

The screening, the latest in the venue's silent film series, will feature live accompaniment by Jeff Rapsis, a New Hampshire-based composer who specializes in creating music for silent films.

Admission is $17 per person. Tickets available online at or at the door.
'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.

Harold Lloyd and Babe Ruth during the filming of 'Speedy' (1928) in New York City.

"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 Tuesday, April 30 at 6 p.m. at the Jane Pickens Theatre Film and Event Center, 49 Touro St., Newport, R.I.

Admission is $17 per person. Tickets available online at or at the door. For more information, call the box office at (401) 846-5474.

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