starring Harold Lloyd and Jobyna Ralston
May 17, 1924
One can't keep on parroting "The best thing he ever did," and deprived of that, we never know what to say about a Harold Lloyd picture anymore. Now, while we are certain that "Girl Shy" is not really so good a story as "Dr. Jack" and "Grandma's Boy," it seems to us that we have never laughed so much at any other comedy since we have been recording our cinema sensations. And we are not one of those persons who enjoy familiar jokes more than we do new ones. The only joke that can wring a laugh from us is one which surprises us, and Lloyd certainly does this. His solution of his difficulties are never obvious.
Getting laughs these days is serious business, and a comedian has to work like the devil to appear spontaneous.
One thing that Harold did - the hero's name was Harold Meadows - was smuggle a Pom dog on the train for "the only girl." The conductor discovered the presence of Fifi, and a quarrel ensued with Fifi as the bone of contention. Here the train shoots into the inky blackness of a tunnel, and when it emerges, there is the conductor trying to yank a sable scarf from the shoulders of an indignant passenger, while the real bone of contention is safely hidden under the beard of a nearby Rabbi.
Harold is a tailor's apprentice and, because he is so shy,
he writes a book on how to conquer women. Freud could easily explain
this, but the publisher to whom Harold submitted his efforts refused
to accept Freud's diagnosis as final. The scenes in the book are
played out on the screen, and this is almost the funniest thing
in "Girl Shy." Jobyna Ralston is a better actress than
such a beautiful girl has any right to be. We say emphatically,
"Do not miss 'Girl Shy,'" and we add a postscript to
the star, "Go on a diet, Harold. You are getting alarmingly
large around the middle. Remember your girth control!"
Starring Harold Lloyd and Jobyna Ralston
It's pretty hard to beat Harold Lloyd. No sooner has "Safety Last" been hailed as his greatest picture, than he offers "Girl Shy" which, while it may not have the hair-raising thrills of the other, his plenty of excitement and an extra allowance of laughs. It is not probable that anyone in the audience will scream as they did at "Safety Last," but, at the same time, it isn't a good picture for anyone with short breath to see. Harold plays a tailor's apprentice who is afraid of girls, but he writes a book about his love affairs. On his way to a publisher with the manuscript, he meets the only girl in the world. Up to this point, the laughs have predominated, but when he starts to prevent the girl from marrying the villain, there is not one quiet second. In his rush to stop the wedding, he uses automobiles, trolley cars, a policeman's motorcycle and other means of conveyance, winding up with a mad dash through traffic, driving a pair of horses attached to a dump cart. And when the horses break away from the cart, he finishes his trip on the back of one of them, leading the other. The journey would have given his insurance agent heart failure, as well as many other people.
Then there are interpolated many side issues which bring laughs. One is Harold's habit of stammering when a girl is near, the only cure being a sudden whistle. One of the funniest situations is when he is riding the motorcycle and it goes into a deep ditch. The motorcycle cannot be seen, but dozens of laborers come leaping out of the ditch as the machine progresses.
The photography is uniformly good and Jobyna Ralston is a lovely and dainty leading woman. "Girl Shy" is highly recommended.
For more information, see "Girl Shy" as our "Feature of the Month"
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