If you’re a fan of Harold Lloyd (and everybody should be!), I can certainly recommend The Kid Brother. This feature has an extremely well-constructed plot and is one of Lloyd’s best. A little about the plot, courtesy of IMDB: “The most important family in Hickoryville is (naturally enough) the Hickorys, with sheriff Jim and his tough manly sons Leo and Olin. The timid youngest son, Harold, doesn't have the muscles to match up to them, so he has to use his wits to win the respect of his strong father and also the love of beautiful Mary.”
Like almost all Lloyd’s major films, the action level and comedy all steadily escalate throughout the film. The plot is rather slow and only mildly amusing at first, but builds little by little to an astonishing and hilarious, long climax. (Moral: if you don’t find it that interesting in the first 5 or 10 minutes—keep watching!) This is also one of the most action-packed of Lloyd's films.
Walter James is wonderful as the stalwart sheriff, and an actor I’d never heard of by the name of Constantine Romanoff makes a delightfully creepy and repulsive bad guy.
And then there is Jobyna Ralston... As always, she and Harold Lloyd make a great pair on the screen. Their chemistry is special, which you know if you seen them together in any of Lloyd features, The Freshman and Girl Shy being particularly good examples. (Don’t tell my wife, but I think I am in love with her.)
If you decide to watch The Kid Brother, be sure to see it with the marvelous Carl Davis orchestral score, which was written especially for the film. 82 minutes of wonderful fun, with Lloyd at his best. Highly recommended!
This will be where we leave our silent photoplay reviews! Beware of the Spoiler Monster!
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