Girl Shy (1924)

Film Review

GIRL SHY

Release Date: 20 April, 1924

Studio: Pathé

Directors: Fred C. Newmeyer, Sam Taylor

Starring: Harold Lloyd, Jobyna Ralstond

Special Notes: TCM Classic Film Festival, 2012

Girl Shy was presented with live musical accompaniment at the 2012 TCM Classic Film Festival. Guest speakers were film historian and critic Leonard Maltin and Harold Lloyd's granddaughter Susan Lloyd.

Synopsis

This film typifies Harold Lloyd's persona of the innocent young man, shy but eager, well meaning, and upright. Lloyd stars as a clerk in a small-town store. He is writing a book about how to handle women, a subject about which he only knows what he has seen in the movies. He submits his book to a publisher. On a train to the city, he meets and falls in love with a rich girl, but his hopes to win her are crushed when his book is rejected. However, the publisher reconsiders and accepts his book. Now financially secure and able to marry the girl, he learns that she is about to marry an unworthy suitor. The film climaxes in a series of daredevil stunts as the boy races across the city to save the girl from this unfortunate marriage. Guest Leonard Maltin noted that this climatic scene is a tour of Los Angeles circa 1924.

Discussion

Susan Lloyd talked about her grandfather Harold, who had raised her along with his wife Mildred Harris. Harold Lloyd loved the sound of laughter and hearing people laugh, and he loved entertaining children. In the early 1920's he became his own producer and owned his own studio. He developed a screen persona of the "average guy", a real person and an underdog for whom the audience is rooting. Lloyd was also a perfectionist. He previewed his films with an audience and would reshoot entire scenes if he felt the response was weak.