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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Speedy [Blu-ray]

 

(Ted Wilde, 1928)

 

   

Criterion is releasing this in the UK on Blu-ray in April of 2016:

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: The Harold Lloyd Corporation

Video: Criterion Collection Spine #788

 

Disc:

Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:26:22.969 

Disc Size: 47,156,403,913 bytes

Feature Size: 26,834,343,936 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.91 Mbps

Chapters: 13

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: December 8th, 2015

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.37:1

Resolution: 1080P / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary:

LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), none

 

Extras:

• New audio commentary featuring Bruce Goldstein, director of repertory programming at New York’s Film Forum, and Turner Classic Movies director of program production Scott McGee
In the Footsteps of “Speedy,” a new short documentary by Goldstein about the film’s New York shoot (31:06)
Selection of rare archival footage from UCLA Film & Television Archive’s Hearst Newsreel Collection of baseball legend Babe Ruth, who has a cameo in the film, presented by David Filipi, director of film and video at the Wexner Center for the Arts (40:24)
New visual essay featuring stills of deleted scenes from the film and narrated by Goldstein (4:24)
Selection of actor Harold Lloyd’s home movies, narrated by his granddaughter, Suzanne Lloyd (17:45)
Bumping into Broadway, a 1919 Lloyd two-reeler, newly restored and with a 2004 score by Robert Israel (25:51)
PLUS: An essay by critic Phillip Lopate

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Speedy was the last Silent feature to star Harold Lloyd—and one of his very best. The slapstick legend reprises his “Glasses Character,” this time as a good-natured but scatterbrained New Yorker who can’t keep a job. He finally finds his true calling when he becomes determined to help save the city’s last horse-drawn streetcar, which is operated by his sweetheart’s crusty grandfather. From its joyous visit to Coney Island to its incredible Babe Ruth cameo to its hair-raising climactic stunts on the city’s streets, Speedy is an out-of-control love letter to New York that will have you grinning from ear to ear.

 

 

The Film:

Silent comedy legend Harold Lloyd stars as a die-hard Yankees fan who can't keep a job, but is determined to save the last horse-drawn trolley in New York. This lighthearted slapstick classic features visits to Coney Island and Yankee Stadium, an incredible cameo by Babe Ruth, and hair-raising cab rides through the city streets.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

The title for the Harold Lloyd vehicle Speedy (1928) came from the bespectacled comic's own nickname, bestowed upon him by his father. The nickname also was used by Lloyd in The Freshman (1925), in which his character instructed, "Step right up and call me Speedy!" It was a handle that suited the athletic, fast-moving Lloyd, whose character in Speedy is a sports nut whose adventures include a memorably wild trolley ride.

In this, his final Silent film, Lloyd plays Harold "Speedy" Swift, whose enthusiasm for baseball interferes with his holding a job. Speedy's sweetheart (Ann Christy) is the granddaughter of the owner of the last horse-drawn trolley in New York City, which is stolen by railway magnates that covet its route. The film's climax comes as Speedy recovers the trolley and makes a mad dash to get it back on its route. During filming at the Brooklyn Bridge, the trolley crashed by accident into the steel pillars adjoining the bridge, providing an unexpectedly vivid scene when the smash-up was captured by the camera and left in the movie with little editing.

Excerpt from TCM located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

You can see quite a substantial improvement in this new Criterion Blu-ray is over the SD transfer in The Harold Lloyd Comedy Collection DVD set (samples below). It looks superb in-motion advertised as a 'new 4K digital restoration from elements preserved by the UCLA Film & Television Archive'. Unlike the Criterion BD of Safety Last (a film made 5 years earlier) this is progressive (1080P not 1080i). Contrast is well-layered with a darker image and even some impressive depth. There is quite a bit more information (left, top and bottom edges) in the frame over the SD. Grain is consistent and textured. Damage still exists but it is barely visible via the digital restoration. The disc is dual-layered with a max'ed out bitrate. It is in the 1.37:1 aspect ratio and this image is very solid. Silent Era fans will greatly appreciate this Blu-ray video transfer.

 

NOTE: There is one sepia-tinted scene (inside the stable - see last capture.)

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

The Harold Lloyd Comedy Collection (Reviewed HERE) - NTSC - TOP vs. Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

The Harold Lloyd Comedy Collection (Reviewed HERE) - NTSC - TOP vs. Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

The Harold Lloyd Comedy Collection (Reviewed HERE) - NTSC - TOP vs. Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

The Harold Lloyd Comedy Collection (Reviewed HERE) - NTSC - TOP vs. Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

The Harold Lloyd Comedy Collection (Reviewed HERE) - NTSC - TOP vs. Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

More Blu-ray Captures

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bumping into Broadway

The Harold Lloyd Comedy Collection (Reviewed HERE) - NTSC - TOP vs. Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

 

Audio :

We get a linear PCM 2.0 channel score by composer Carl Davis (same found in the 2005 DVD set) at 2304 kbps, synchronized and restored under his supervision and presented in uncompressed stereo. I compared to the DVD and the uncompressed is, not surprisingly, more robust. It sounded quite lively - rich and jovial. There are English language intertitles (see sample) and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A' disc.

 

Extras :

Criterion add a new (2015) audio commentary featuring Bruce Goldstein, director of repertory programming at New York’s Film Forum, paired with Turner Classic Movies director of program production Scott McGee. They bounce off each other's comments well - Scott brought Grits and Bruce provided the egg-creams. I found it very professional and extremely informative while not being boring - they have some fun repartee. In the Footsteps of “Speedy” is a new, 31-minute, short documentary by Goldstein about the film’s New York shoot highlighting specific locations used in Speedy. We get 40-minutes of a selection of rare archival footage from UCLA Film & Television Archive’s Hearst Newsreel Collection of baseball legend Babe Ruth, who has a cameo in the film, presented by David Filipi, director of film and video at the Wexner Center for the Arts. There is a new, short, visual essay featuring stills of deleted scenes from the film and narrated by Goldstein and an 18-minute selection of actor Harold Lloyd’s home movies, narrated by his granddaughter, Suzanne Lloyd. Lastly we get Bumping into Broadway, a 1919 Lloyd two-reeler, newly restored and with a 2004 score by Robert Israel - a frame is compared above to the 2005 DVD. It runs 26-minutes. The package has a liner notes booklet with an essay by critic Phillip Lopate.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
I'm a huge Harold Lloyd fan. This is non-stop fun and I could re-watch it all over again. The Criterion Blu-ray package looks and sounds fabulous and has many excellent supplements including the commentary. It would be a dream to own all Lloyd's films in this resolution. It really does improve the expereince. Absolutely recommended! 

Gary Tooze

November 20th, 2015

   

Criterion is releasing this in the UK on Blu-ray in April of 2016:

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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