Classic of the Week: Girl Shy (1924)


Girl Shy is a 1924 romantic comedy silent film starring Harold Lloyd and Jobyna Ralston and directed by Fred C. Newmeyer.

The story follows Harold Meadows (Lloyd) a tailor’s apprentice for his uncle in Little Bend, California. He is very shy around women and can barely talk to them without stuttering. Despite this he decides to write a “how to” book for young men called The Secret of Making Love, detailing about how to peruse different types of young women, such as “the vampire” and “the flapper.” He then takes a train to see a publisher in Los Angeles.

A rich young woman named Mary Buckingham (Ralston) boards the train after her car breaks down in Little Bend. No dogs are allowed on the train, so Mary hides her Pomeranian under her shawl, but the dog jumps off the train as it is pulling away. Harold rescues the dog and helps her hide it from the conductor. She spots his manuscript, so he tells her about his book, overcoming his  stuttering in excitement. They become so engrossed in each other that they don’t notice the has come to it’s last destination and everyone else is gone.

This a fun, funny, heartwarming and charming film, that stars one of the greatest comic actors of all time, Harold Lloyd with his trademark horn rimmed glasses. Truly a wonderful film that will have you laughing to the end. Harold is spectacular like he always is even today. This film has no dialogue and doesn’t need it, because the story is easy to follow for most part. Not many comedies today are great as this one and not many comic actors today, can touch Lloyd. None are as genuine and non-vulgar as him either. He his a true gem in everything he ever did.

What I love about this film, is the comedy as well as Harold’s struggles and how he overcomes them when he meets Mary. A delightful pair Harold Lloyd and Jobyna Ralston are, making you believe in true love. This a film both young and old can enjoy for generations to come. This not a complete family film, because of mature  themes such as bigamy, dating and relationships, hitchhiking, smoking and drinking. But the film does show how you can overcome a fear and problem and how to be brave. It also shows that money doesn’t matter when you’re in love, you love them just as they are.

This film is filled with Harold’s usual quirkiness, along with fun and heart racing, sweet and passionate and a bit angry scenes, that make it a true classic. Not many of today’s films even compare to how spectacular this is. This is one of the greatest romantic comedies I’ve ever seen right next to Chaplin’s City Lights. You don’t have to be a big silent film and/or Harold fan to enjoy this film. I’m a huge rom-com fan, but this one I love. Truly terrific from start to finish, there is nothing bad to say about this masterpiece. 9+ 5/5


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