Sunday, May 18, 2014

Silent Sundays: Grandma's Boy (1922)


“It’s no use Granny. I’m a coward… I’m a coward.”

            Harold Lloyd plays a young man who was raised by his grandmother. All his life Harold has been a pushover always letting others take things from him and letting them pick on him mercilessly.
            One day while he is mixing some ice cream with his object of desire Mildred (Mildred Davis) the school bully comes over. The bully starts flirting with Mildred which makes Harold a little jealous. The bully ruffs Harold up and then takes the ice cream Harold been working on and show the mother taking credit for work he did not do. When Mildred is not looking the bully throws Harold in a well and then walks away with the girl.
            While walking home in the hot sun Harold’s suit shrinks. He gets laughed at by a group of girls. Harold gets home and there is a vagrant sitting in his grandmother’s chair out in the garden. The grandmother tells him to chase the man off the property but Harold is too frightened. The grandmother winds up scaring the vagrant off the property.
            Harold was supposed to go to Mildred’s house for dinner that night but his Sunday suit shrunk. The grandmother gives him his grandfather’s suit from 1861. Mildred also invited the bully over for dinner. Before the bully came over Mildred and Harold were sitting together. He finds moth balls in his pocket that he forgot to take out. He slips them into a box of chocolates. Mildred gives Harold one of the moth balls neither realizing what they really were. When the bully comes over he even mistakenly gets a moth ball. The bully kicks Harold around after spitting out the moth ball.
            A few men come over looking for Mildred’s father since he is the town’s sheriff. The vagrant is causing problems. The sheriff gives out deputy badges to some of the men. He runs out when he gets to Harold. The bully gives his badge to Harold knowing he will mess up and embarrass himself and also because then he (the bully) will get Mildred all to himself. Harold accidentally goes into the barn because it is dark out and he cannot see where he is going. He bumps into all kinds of animals and falls over the place. Harold gets so frightened that he races home, bars his door to his room, and jumps under the covers shaking.
            The next morning the grandmother comes to his room knowing how scared her grandson was. She tells him a story about his grandfather during the Civil War. The grandfather was sent to get some papers from the enemy. He was so scared he wanted to run away. A gypsy woman happened to be around and saw the grandfather was scared. She gave him a statue that would bring him courage. The statue gave him so much courage that he took out several soldiers and was made a hero by his commander. The grandmother gives Harold the statue and now he has all the courage and confidence he ever dreamed of.
            Word reaches Harold that the vagrant is holed up in a shack shooting at the sheriff’s men. He races over and runs right up to the shack. He walks right in and cuffs the vagrant. Unfortunately the vagrant is strong and he breaks loose of the cuffs and gets away. Not too long later and under silly circumstances Harold catches up with the vagrant and manages to walk him right into town and into jail. The whole town is happy and grateful the vagrant has been captured.
            As soon as Harold gets home the bully is there waiting for him. Soon the two boys get into a massive brawl with the grandmother standing there watching them cheering on her grandson. For a moment Harold cannot find his statue and starts to panic. The bully takes advantage of this moment of weakness. Soon enough Harold finds his statue and he finishes the annoying off. When the brawl is over the grandmother tells Harold how proud of him she is. She also tells him that the story of the statue is not true. The statue is actually just the ornament from the top of her umbrella. She told him the story to help boost his confidence and make him brave.
            Harold still feeling confident and in charge asks Mildred if she wants to get married that day. He carries across the river but they wind up falling in.
            Grandma’s Boy was cute. It was a typical Harold Lloyd film where the main character is kind of the laughing stock and gets pushed around until he is forced to be brave and face some danger. I would not say it is Lloyd’s best but Grandma’s Boy was enjoyable and worth watching.